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electrostatic potential[i′lek·trə‚stad·ik pə′ten·chəl]
a scalar characteristic of energy in an electrostatic field. Electrostatic potential is equal to the ratio of the potential energy of a charge in an electrostatic field to the magnitude of the charge. The intensity of the electrostatic field E and the potential ϕ are related by the equation E = — grad ϕ. The electrostatic potential satisfies the Poisson equation. The potential itself, which, like potential energy, can be calculated within an accuracy up to an arbitrary constant, does not have significance, but rather the difference in potentials is physically significant.