Question about Potential

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Nathan Sanchez 1F
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Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 3:00 am

Question about Potential

Postby Nathan Sanchez 1F » Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:13 pm

Can someone please explain to me what potential is. Why do we use it in equations and what does it tell us? I want to really understand it at the conceptual level. Explain like I'm 5!

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Re: Question about Potential

Postby Chem_Mod » Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:36 pm

ELI5: the potential of something is energy. More specifically, it is energy that is not being used right now, it is being stored, so it can be used at a later time. It can be used for many things, like doing work, or moving (kinetic energy), or moving electrons (electrical work). We calculate the potential of a system so we know how much work we could possibly get out of it when we use it. Also remember that it is all relative.

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