NCERT Class XII Science Class: Chapter – 2 Electrostatic Potential and Capacitance Part-5 (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

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Q. 17 Can the potential function have a maximum or minimum in free space?

Answer: No


The potential function does not have a maximum or minimum in free space, it is because the absence of atmosphere around conductor prevents the phenomenon of electric discharge or potential leakage.

Q. 18 A test charge q is made to move In the electric field of a point charge Q along two different closed paths (figure) . First path has sections along and perpendicular to lines of electric field. Second path is a rectangular loop of the same area as the first loop. How does the work done compare in the two cases?

Electric Field Path

Answer: As electric field is conservative, work done will be zero in both the cases.


The electrostatic field is conservative, and in this field work done by electric force on the charge in a closed loop is zero. In this question both are closed paths, hence the work done in both the cases will be zero.