# A dipole is placed in an electric field as shown. In which direction will it move?

By Shivank Goel|Updated : August 17th, 2022 (a) Towards the right as its potential energy will increase.

(b) Towards the left as its potential energy will increase.

(c) Towards the right as its potential energy will decrease.

(d) Towards the left as its potential energy will decrease.

Potential energy is defined as the energy stored in an object. The electric field is defined mathematically as a vector field that can be associated with each point in space, the force per unit charge exerted on a positive test charge at rest at that point.

We know that the potential energy of an electric dipole in an external electric field

U = - P . E = - P E cos θ The angle between the electric field and the electric dipole is 180°

Substituting the value of θ

U = - P E cos 180° = + P E

By moving towards the right, the strength of the electric field decreases, and the potential energy decreases.

When the net force on an electric dipole moves towards the right, the net torque on it becomes zero and therefore it will move towards the right.

Therefore, it will move towards the right as its potential energy will decrease.

Summary:

## A dipole is placed in an electric field as shown. In which direction will it move?

A dipole is placed in an electric field as shown. It will move towards the right as its potential energy will decrease.

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