Scalar and vector potentials in electromagnetism. The scalar potential is potential energy per unit charge. For potential energy, use the potential-energy tag.

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Wave function with a delta potential

I have a particle and a potential $V(x)=\frac{\hbar^2}{2m}k\delta(x)$. Where $\delta (x)$ is the Delta function, and I am interested in the solutions of the stationary Schroedinger equation. If ...
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1answer
240 views

Energy and time evolution of a particle in a potential well

Hoping this is not a silly and stupid question let me ask for help in this problem. I have a particle in an infinite square well (the box is from 0 to a), in the state described by the function ...
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0answers
575 views

Vector and scalar potentials of plane wave

Consider a simplest 3D solution of Maxwell's equations: $$\vec B=\vec e_z \cos\left(\frac{2\pi}{\lambda}(ct-x)\right),$$ $$\vec E=\vec e_y\cos\left(\frac{2\pi}{\lambda}(ct-x)\right),$$ and ...
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1answer
132 views

Is there any good reason/argument/heuristic why one can approximate forces by approximating the potentials?

My question Is there any good reason/argument/heuristic why one can approximate forces by approximating the potentials? (As a concrete example, in Electrostatics.) Motivation for the question I am ...
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2answers
273 views

Wave function for an electron in and around a small charged sphere

I am interested in solutions of the Schroedinger equation. For simplicity I started my studies with the $n=1$ ground state of the hydrogen atom. I was particularly interested in the higher moments of ...
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2answers
405 views

Detecting the presence of a delta potential

Suppose you have a particle in a box, and there may or may not be a Dirac delta potential somewhere in the box. How could one detect whether or not the potential is present? Furthermore: If there's ...
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1answer
287 views

Integers, Energy levels, and wavenumbers for a particle in a 2D box

(This question is not about coding) I have built a little code in Python that allows the user to plot the energy vs the wave number of particle in a 2D box, depending on what values for the integers ...
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73 views

What is a potential in De-Broglie-Bohm theory?

As I have so far understood, the De-Broglie-Bohm theory is based on two equations: The Schrödinger equation. The Guiding equation of the De-Broglie-Bohm theory. In the Schrödinger equation (as ...
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1answer
59 views

A question about electric field

I would like to understand why is it the charge density while dealing with currents is $\mathop{\mathrm{div}}(E)/4\pi$, while when dealing with insulators is $-\mathop{\mathrm{div}}(E)/4\pi$? Thank ...
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1answer
159 views

Electrical potential difference?

What is the electrical potential difference and why we have to talk about a difference and not about the electrical potential itself? What is the electrical potential difference in practical terms ...
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2answers
160 views

Are $G$, $F$ and $H$ (thermodynamics potentials) extensive quantities?

Internal energy $E$ is an extensive quantity for most systems. But energy extensivity is not valid in systems with long-range interactions, like gravity (e.g. in astrophysical systems). For extensive ...
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1answer
162 views

How do aspherical gravitational monopoles look like?

I was recently pointed by laboussoleestmonpays to a beautiful paper from some time ago, Aspherical gravitational monopoles. Alain Connes, Thibault Damour and Pierre Fayet. Nucl. Phys. B 490 no. ...
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3answers
2k views

Pn junction voltage drop?

This image from wikipedia, explains that there occurs a potential drop across a pn semiconductor junction, and an electric field confined to the depletion region. I already know the reason for the ...
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4answers
456 views

When is energy discrete/quantized for a potential well?

Specifically, my question is: Should one expect energy quantization for a particle in the following potential well? More generally, how can one tell whether or not energy should be ...
3
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2answers
255 views

The meaning of potential in Bohm-Aharonov experiment

The Bohm-Aharonov experiment involves a magnetic field inside a cylinder which is zero outside that cylinder. Nonetheless it affects the electrons moving outside the cylinder. The explanation for this ...
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3answers
153 views

What is the meaning of $U''(x)=0$?

Most potentials with a minimum can be described approximately as a harmonic oscillator. So the procedure is to Taylor expand $U(x)$: $$U(x)=U(0)+U'(0)x+\frac{1}{2}U''(0)x^2 +...$$ If we suppose ...
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Charge distribution and potential in a 1-dimensional quasistatic system

Suppose you have an 1-dimensional system with a charge distribution $\rho(x)$ (not given) moving with an speed $v(x)$ (not given), calculate the potential $\phi(x)$ and the charge distribution ...
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694 views

Bound state in a potential well?

Reading from http://quantummechanics.ucsd.edu/ph130a/130_notes/node151.html It says: This means that the solutions separate into even parity and odd parity states. We could have guessed this from ...
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Which number should I suppose to $a$ (width of well) and $m$ (mass of particle) in potential well problem? [closed]

I tried to plot a complete of state functions of potential well problem but graph was so weird. I thought a cause was variables a and ...
2
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2answers
225 views

The criteria for potential flow theory

I am learning aerodynamics. In this course a potential flow is denoted that a flow in which the rotation is zero everywhere. But the book told me that we can add vortex into a flow field, and we can ...
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73 views

Wave function interaction

If you have two or more wave functions that represent electrons or other charged particles, how would the force on one be calculated based on the charge of the others.
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386 views

Anharmonic oscillators: why is $F=-k x-k' x^3$, with no quadratic terms?

The equation of motion of a general anharmonic oscillator includes a position-dependent force that can be expanded in a Taylor series as $$m\ddot{x}+2\mu\dot{x}+k_0+k_1x+k_2x^2+k_3x^3\ldots=F.$$ I ...
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1answer
136 views

Is self gravitation theoretically impossible?

Is it theoretically possible to create some system such that the energy distribution creates a gravitational potential offset from its center of mass (or energy?) so that the body continually 'falls' ...
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535 views

Alternative derivation for the capacitor energy equation [closed]

I hope this is the right place for this kind of post. A friend is trying to derive the equation for the energy stored in a capacitor by analysing the change in potential on one plate when the ...
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1answer
140 views

How to understand dynamics $\dot x_i=\partial_jA_{ij}$ from skew-symmetric potential $A$?

We speak of a dynamical system with a potential if there is a scalar possibly depending on coordinate such that the vector field is exactly the (negative) gradient of the potential. That means each ...
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A satellite in orbit fires it's engines for a short interval. Is the new orbit closer or further away?

A satellite is in a circular orbit when its engines turn on to exert a small force in the direction of the velocity for a short time interval. Is the new orbit further or closer to the Earth? The ...
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Finding out the potential [closed]

According to me, if we want to find out the potential the the equation will be, $$dV = \int \frac{dQ}{4 \pi \epsilon_0 x}$$. But the answer is given is on the basis of $$dV = \int \frac{dQ}{4 ...
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1answer
155 views

Quadrupole potential generation in Paul traps

I am currently getting familiar with the concept of the Paul trap and the underlying physical principles. I do understand what kind of potentials are needed to trap charged particles, e.g. for the 3D ...
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1answer
106 views

Slight variation to method of images

Suppose a point charge $q$ is located at $(x=0,y=0,z=d)$, and that along the $x$-$y$ plane is a infinite plate of potential $V = 0$. Then the method of images solves Laplace's equation for the ...
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2answers
322 views

Strong Newton's third law of action and reaction: Mathematical Interpretation

According to the strong law of action and reaction for internal forces(Goldstein): "$F_{ij}=-F_{ji}$ and the forces lie along the direction joining the particles." Now consider the statement If ...
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5answers
999 views

Infinite Wells and Delta Functions

In considering a delta potential barrier in an infinite well, I can just enforce continuity at the potential barrier-it doesn't have to go to zero. Why then does it need to go to zero at the walls of ...
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1answer
67 views

Gradient of the potential originated from two similar magnetic vector potentials is not the same

The magnetic vector potential $\textbf{A}$ can be defined up to a gradient of a field. Adding or subtracting such gradient should not change the physics of the problem. The same reasoning is applied ...
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1answer
394 views

Canonical momentum Velocity dependent Lagrangian

I have a homework problem wich I think I'm on the verge of solving but need help with some relations: Show that if the potential $U$ in the Lagrangian contains velocity-dependent terms, the ...
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1answer
500 views

Transparence of an infinite square well? [closed]

What does it mean by an infinite square well being transparent? I have been doing the calculation of the infinite square well and I came up with an answer $T = 1$ where $T$ for Transmission ...
3
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1answer
733 views

How does charge flowing between emf terminals reduce voltage difference?

I'm currently learning what electromotive force is and while reading my book's description of an ideal source of emf, I had difficulty understanding what these sentences mean: The nonelectrostatic ...
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1answer
3k views

How to find the wavefunction that solves an infinite square well with a delta function well in the middle?

Solutions for the wavefunction in an infinite square well with a delta function barrier in the middle are easily found online (see here for an example). I am wondering what the wavefunction is for an ...
3
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1answer
446 views

Quantum Mechanics and the Airy Function, the physics of the turning point

I'm working with the Airy function, and the book states at $x=0$ is a turning point, and there are two very different behaviors on either side. In general what a does a turning point mean in ...
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0answers
377 views

QM Question about the Dirac Delta Potential

I just wrote down the solution for the bound state of the Dirac delta potential well, for $E<0$, and apparently there is only one specific energy for the bound state, and it is negative. I solved ...
3
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3answers
952 views

When Eigenfunctions/Wavefunctions are real?

When the Hamiltonian is Hermitian(i,e. beyond the effective mass approximation), generally under which conditions the eigenfunctions/wavefunctions are real? What happens in 1D case like the finite ...
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2answers
239 views

Stable equilibrium given force

If a particle moves under the influence of a resistive force proportianal to velocity and a potential $U$, $$F(x,\dot x)=-b\dot x-\frac {\partial U}{\partial x}$$ Where b>0 and ...
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724 views

Quantum mechanics potential barrier problem [duplicate]

While reviewing some quantum mechanics, I cam across a very interesting situation. For a potential barrier, if a particle has an energy $E$ less than the potential barrier $V_0$, it is possible to ...
2
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2answers
4k views

Why does the electric field perpendicular to every point on the surface of a conductor?

I am reading Berkeley Physics Course, Volume 2 (Electricity and Magnetism by Edward M. Purcell). I am in chapter $3$ pg $92$, and the book discusses conductors. The following is from the book: ...
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Does the Lennard-Jones force equation give its answer in Newtons?

I'm trying to do the dimensional analysis of the Lennard-Jones force to work out what units are being used in my MD simulation. The lennard Jones force is given as the negative derivative of the ...
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Why is Energy = Voltage x Charge, and how to prove that?

As you know the equation $\mathbf{E=V\times Q}$. Where: $\mathbf E$ is the energy measured in joules, $\mathbf V$ is potential difference (Voltage), $\mathbf Q$ is the charge. So my qustion is: ...
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606 views

Potential of arbitrary charge distribution

Imagine this: You have a sphere of air where you have no charge and around this sphere you have a charge distribution $\rho(r,\theta,\phi)$. (For instance, this could be ...
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2answers
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Wavefunction as a combination of two stationary states - how to find those states?

Lets say we have a particle in a infinite square well which has a wavefunction like this ($A$ is some constant and $d$ is the width of the well): \begin{align} A\left[ \sin \left(\frac{2 \pi ...
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Dirac Delta Potential and bound/scattered states

Why does the attractive Dirac Delta distribution (function) potential $V = \alpha\delta$(x) (for negative $\alpha$) yield both bound AND scattered states? Is this due to the definition of the Dirac ...
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267 views

exponential potential in physics

given the differential equation $$ -\hbar^{2}D^{2}y(x)+ae^{bx}y(x)=E_{n}y(x) $$ here $ D=d/dx $ derivative are there examples in physics where this potential appears ??, i know how to solve it but ...
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319 views

Understand equations of a conducting sphere

Can somebody explain to me, when the following two equations (equations 2.48 and 2.50 in this document) are applicable and what $\Phi_s$ and $\Phi$ actually are? The thing is, I want to find general ...
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1answer
410 views

Frank-Hertz experiment setup

The usual schematic representing the setup of Frank-Hertz experiment is the following: However, sometimes, you can see a bit different schematic: My question is: what function does $V_{G_1K}$ ...