Electrostatic potential energy

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Annie Chantasirivisal_4G
Posts: 114
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:21 am

Electrostatic potential energy

Postby Annie Chantasirivisal_4G » Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:59 pm

I was reviewing my notes from last week, and I'm having trouble understanding this equation:

electrostatic potential energy ∝ (q1*q2)/r

what does each variable mean, and what type of problem would require us to use it?

Zaynab Hashm 2I
Posts: 110
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:15 am
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Re: Electrostatic potential energy

Postby Zaynab Hashm 2I » Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:29 pm

This is the equation used to show the electrostatic (Coulomb) potential energy for multi-electron atoms (basically non-hydrogen atoms).

Each q indicates a charge (typically different level charges), and the r is the distance between the charges.
The equation shows that the charges and the distance between them affect the electron energy of multi-electron atoms. The charged particles experience a force due to their interactions, in which the force is also affected by the distance.
Last edited by Zaynab Hashm 2I on Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Sydney Myers 4I
Posts: 100
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:17 am

Re: Electrostatic potential energy

Postby Sydney Myers 4I » Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:32 pm

As long as you understand that two charges interact with each other and we can measure their interaction, and that it affects the energy of electrons in a multi-electron atom, you're good. We don't do calculations with that equation.

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