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Texas A&M University - ENGR 217 Lab 02; Electric Potential & Electric Fields

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Electric Potential & Electric Fields. Abstract This experiment was performed with the purpose of finding and plotting the electric field vector components across a two-dimensional surface. The e lectr... ic potential data was obtained for every corresponding (x,y) point and converted into a list by using the (DAQ). The surfaces tested with the measuring probe consisted of four uniform shapes which include the following: Dipole, point plate, sphere, sharp point, and additional diamond custom shaped surface. Additionally, the voltage probe attributed high electrical potential differences from the points in the surface with respect to the ground and assigned the color red. Lower potential differences were assigned the blue color and a “thermo” map was able to be generated from these program specifications. The electric potential is defined as the absolute summation of the electric field from two defined bounds. In other words, at a certain location on a surface, the electric potential is obtained by taking the integral of the electric field from the ground coordinate to such point of interest on such surface. This is a location dependent variable that expresses the amount of potential energy per unit of charge at a specific spot. The difference in potential between two points is called voltage. For a moving charge, the potential difference is the change in potential between its initial position and its final position. The potential difference is also equal to the negative integral of the electric field with respect to r, the distance traveled. Electric field always travels away from positive charges and towards negative charges. In the same way, the field moves from a higher potential to a lower potential. It is similar to gravitational field in this way. When a current runs through a conductor, the charge across the whole surface is equalized because the electrons move freely to where they are equidistant from each other. This results in the potential being equal across the shape of the conducting surface. Furthermore, the electric field may be obtained by taking the measured electric potentials and making them a function of x & y and performing a rate of change calculation or derivative of the function. The calculus background is omitted, for it is not the focus of this paper. [Show More]

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