Electric Potential Energy Due to Multiple Charges

With these charges already in place, what is the potential energy of another charge q that is brought in from infinity?

Potential energy is a scalar, so we need only add the PE due to each of these charges. That is,

That's all there is to it. Now let's try an example.

Electric Potential Energy of Two Point Charges

El PE Due to Multiple Charges: An Example

Return to Ch 17, Electrostatics & Electric Energy
(c) Doug Davis, 2000; all rights reserved