Potential Energy of a Battery?
Consider dropping a ball from rest. This ball moves from a state of high gravitational potential energy to one of low gravitational potential energy as it falls to the ground. Similarly, charges move from a state of high electric potential energy to one of low electric potential energy.
Mustang Sally just finished restoring her 1965 Ford Mustang car. To save money, she did not get a new battery. When she tries to start the car, she discovers that the battery is dead and she needs a jump start. While unhooking the jumper cables, the positive and negative cables almost touch and a spark jumps between the ends of the cables. This spark is caused by the movement of electrons through the air between the battery terminals. In what direction are the electrons traveling?
1. Negative to positive
2. Either terminal to the other
3. Positive to negative