# Illustration Potential Energy of a Charge in a Radial Electric Field

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A test charge $$q$$ is in the radial electric field of the source charge $$Q$$. Both are positively charged and are separated by distance $$r$$. The sample charge is located at the point $$P$$. The reference point $$P_0$$ of the potential energy is conventionally set to infinity, i.e. the distance of the reference point to the generating charge $$Q$$ is infinite. The potential energy at the infinitely far position is zero by definition.

Thus, to bring a positive sample charge $$q$$ from infinity to the point $$P$$ (in the E-field), energy must be expended, which represents potential energy.