I'm struggling through a data set put together (I suspect) by a non-physicist. The following is either a poorly written problem, or I'm missing the point completely. Please advise.
Given three infinitely large parallel plates with charge densities as follows:
Plate 1: -8 * 10^-9C/m^2
Plate 2: same as 1
Plate 3: -2 * 10^-9C/m^2
Point X is located between plates 1 and 2, point Y is located between plates 2 and 3. The question is,
"a. Which (point) has the higher potential energy for an electron?
b. Which has the higher electrical potential for an electron?"
To part b, my instinct is to say Y, because a test charge at Y "sees" a potential difference, while a charge at X does not. But here's the rub: Does a test charge at Y also "see" the charge on plate 1, or is this shielded by plate 2? If not, the answer would still be Y.
A bigger question is, what's the distinction between the potential energy and the electrical potential? I would think they're one and the same. Is the tutor simply playing a head game here?