Definition:Electric Potential

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An electric potential is the amount of work needed to move a unit of electric charge from a given reference point to a specific point in an electric field without producing an acceleration.

The reference point is usually either Earth or a point at infinity, although any point can be used.

Electric potential is a scalar quantity.


The dimension of measurement of electric potential is $\mathsf M \mathsf L^2 \mathsf T^{−3} \mathsf I^{−1}$.


The SI unit of electric potential is the volt $\mathrm V$.

Also known as

An electric potential is also known as:

  • electric field potential
  • potential drop
  • electrostatic potential.

Also see