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Math Help - Energy stored in an electrostatic field

  1. #1
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    Energy stored in an electrostatic field

    Hi,

    To calculate the energy stored in an electric field, the derivation starts with (Wikipedia):



    where is the charge density and is the voltage.

    Where did the 1/2 multiplier come from?

    Thanks.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Energy stored in an electrostatic field

    In a two charge system the total potential energy is is phi_1 * charge_2. The integration however includes phi_1*charge_2 + phi_2*charge_1. The halving factor is to compensate for this 'double count'. This is explained earlier on in the Wikipedia article.
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