RES.TLL-004 | Fall 2013 | Undergraduate

STEM Concept Videos

Derivatives and Integrals

Electric Potential


This video begins with a review of electric field and electric potential, focusing on their similarities and differences and the way they are most commonly represented. A video clip from the Boston Museum of Science’s Theatre of Electricity helps to transition into a discussion of electrical breakdown, which is described in detail. Students are asked to consider the role of the field and/or the potential in creating a spark during electrical breakdown.

Learning Objectives

After watching this video students will:

  • Have a clearer picture of the electric field and electric potential.

  • Be able to describe electrical breakdown in terms of the electric field or electric potential.

Funding provided by the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)

Developed by the Teaching and Learning Laboratory (TLL) at MIT for SUTD

MIT © 2012

It is highly recommended that the video is paused when prompted so that students are able to attempt the activities on their own and then check their solutions against the video.

During the video, students will:

  • Recall different aspects of the electric field and electric potential.
  • Discuss electrical breakdown in terms of both the electric field and the electric potential.
  • Draw electric field vectors and equipotential lines in a way that uses and reinforces the relationship between them.