In this activity, students will explore concepts related to equipotentials near point charges and the relationship between equipotentials and electric fields. Students will use a simulation to plot equipotentials near a single positive charge, near two positive charges, and near a positive and a negative charge.
Before the Activity
Students should be introduced to the concept of electric potential before this activity. They should be introduced to the formula for calculating electric potential near a point charge.
During the Activity
The .tns file contains a review of the background information, instructions for students, the actual simulations, and questions to guide students as they make observations. Students may record their answers and make sketches of the patterns on paper. The activity description provides a few explanatory notes and two sample screen shots.
After the Activity
Students will benefit from a class discussion in which they compare their observations with observations of other students.