# Frequent question: Is the electric potential energy of two unlike charges positive or negative?

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Note that the electrical potential energy is positive if the two charges are of the same type, either positive or negative, and negative if the two charges are of opposite types. This makes sense if you think of the change in the potential energy ΔU as you bring the two charges closer or move them farther apart.

## Is the electric potential energy of two like charges positive or negative?

For like charges, the potential energy is always positive, that is because we need to put energy in the system to bring like charges closer together.

## Why is the potential energy of unlike charges negative?

Since the electric field of Q is kQ/r2, This process defines the electric potential of a point-like charge. … A negative potential energy means that work must be done against the electric field in moving the charges apart!

## What is the electric potential between two opposite charges?

Since the charges have equal magnitude and the distance from each to the mid point is the same, the magnitude of the potential energy contributed by each charge is the same, but the signs are opposite, so the net potential energy should be zero.

## What is the potential energy of the system of two charges?

Recall that the electric potential is defined as the potential energy per unit charge, i.e. V=PEq V = PE q . The potential difference between two points ΔV is often called the voltage and is given by ΔV=VB−VA=ΔPEq Δ V = V B − V A = Δ PE q . The potential at an infinite distance is often taken to be zero.

## Is electric potential energy positive or negative?

Note that the electrical potential energy is positive if the two charges are of the same type, either positive or negative, and negative if the two charges are of opposite types. This makes sense if you think of the change in the potential energy ΔU as you bring the two charges closer or move them farther apart.

## Is potential energy positive or negative?

The potential energy is the amount of stored energy which can be extracted, therefore it must be the negative of the external work done to get it there.

## Why does two positive charges have more electric potential energy?

When work is done on a positive test charge to move it from one location to another, potential energy increases and electric potential increases.

## Is potential energy always positive?

So, the motion involves net increase of potential energy whether it is being compressed or elongated. Hence, in that sense, change in potential energy is always positive, in this case, as John Rennie has mentioned in his post.

## How do you know if the potential difference is positive or negative?

The potential at any point is always an indicator of how much more potential energy a coulomb would have compared to when it’s at some reference point. So, if the potential is negative, it means the coulomb at that point would have less potential energy compared to when it’s at the reference point.

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## What is the potential energy of two equal positive point charges?

Hence, the Potential energy of the Equal positive charges of 1 micro coulomb each held 1 m apart in air is 9 mJ. Hope it helps.

## Why potential energy of dipole is negative?

The state where the dipole is pointing in the same direction as the electric is lower than that where the two vectors are anti-parallel, so you want the θ=0∘ state to be lower than the θ=180∘ state. So you insert the negative sign to enforce that.