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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Taylor expansion term equals zero?

I have to Taylor expand an effective potential $U_{eff}$, which is given by: $$U_{eff}(r)=-\frac{Gm_{1}m_{2}}{r}+\frac{l^{2}}{2\mu r^{2}}$$ I then expand it and get: ...
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What is the relationship between keV and kVp?

On X-ray topics we get used to talk about "energy", but what is keV? and what is the relationship between keV and kVp?
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355 views

Field inside a wire?

This answer gives a great explanation of why the field inside a wire connected to a battery must be equal at all points: Why doesn't the electric field inside a wire in a circuit fall off with ...
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140 views

Calculating the Potential from the E-Field

I find that often times I'll be tripped up by questioning whether or not I can do something mathematically, and be unable to come up with a satisfying answer. This is, unfortunately, one of those ...
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1answer
556 views

Relating Schrödinger's Wave Equation and Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

A homework question that I don't conceptually understand: A quantum particle of mass M is trapped inside an infinite, one-dimensional square well of width $L$. If we were to solve Schrodinger's wave ...
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742 views

Schrödinger's Equation and the depth of a finite potential well

Before I ask my question, I have to stress: I have absolutely no idea what the math is going on. I've read my textbook, several Wikipedia articles, scoured the internet, and don't feel anymore ...
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93 views

Sign of Potential Energy

The mass is released at height $h$ above the spring, how far will the spring move? $E_i=mgh, E_f= kx^2/2+mgx$...why the second equation isn't $ E_f= kx^2/2-mgx$? Since it is below the "zero".
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Electric Potential Energy

When work is done on a positive test charge by an external force to move it from one location to another, does the potential energy increases or decreases, and does the electric potential increases or ...
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Infinite and Finite Square Wells

For the infinite square well in the first region, outside the well: $$\frac{-\hbar^2}{2m}\frac{d^2 \psi}{dx^2} + V(x) \psi (x) = E \psi (x),$$ where you set $V = 0$. Rearranging gives $$\frac{d^2 ...
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How electron movement produces current,instead of having a slow drift speed

Just need a clarification here, how the current is produced due to the movement of electrons, in an external circuit,having a very slow drift speed. Normally in a battery there is high potential ...
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159 views

Definition of quantum anharmonicity

I have been reading research papers in mathematical physics for some months now, and I've seen the the term "anharmonic oscillator" quite frequently. At first I assumed that given a Schrodinger ...
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208 views

Question related to Equipotential Surface

How will you show that equipotential surface is always directed perpendicular to electric field?
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112 views

Intuitive explanation of difference in $r$-dependence between dipole and monopole

For an electric monopole, its potential scales with $\frac{1}{r}$, where $r$ is the distance from the point of interest to the charge. However, for a dipole, its potential scales with $\frac{1}{r^2}$. ...
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Particle in a higher-dimensional box with an attractive delta potential

Suppose you have a particle in the box $[0,L]^d$, with an attractive Dirac delta potential $-\delta_{\vec w}(x)$ at $\vec w$. How do you solve the Schroedinger equation for this system? In the case ...
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1answer
561 views

Electrical Potential Energy and Electric Force [closed]

Under certain circumstances, potassium ions $(K+)$ move across the $8.0 nm$ thick cell membrane from the inside to the outside. The potential inside the cell is $−70 mV$ and the potential outside is ...
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619 views

Electric potential and maximum charge on a conductor

Does increasing the amount of electric charge on a conductor cause an increase in its electric potential to a point at which it becomes maximum; where it can hold no more extra charge? Is it true? ...
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1answer
93 views

Increasing potential in a voltage doubler

When I use a sinusoidal input AC-voltage from -1 Volt to +1 V , the potential between the diode and the capacitor is increasing. But why do I reach a value of 2 Volt over the diode? I deliberately ...
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228 views

In a positively biased PN junction, where do the injection carriers come from?

I am not quite understand i-v character of PN-junction diode. Here is the model in textbook. The PN junction diode can be divided into three regions. They are One depletion region near the PN ...
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789 views

Solving quantum radial equation for infinite potential spherical annulus for $l=0$

There is a mass $m$ in a potential such that $$ V(r) = \left\{ \begin{array}{lr} 0, & a \leq r \leq b\\ \infty, & \text{everywhere else} \end{array} \right. $$ ...
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223 views

Transmission + Reflection coefficients >1 For Potencial Barrier with Negative Complex Part Contradicts Paper

I am studying reflection and transmission coefficients for a barrier consisting of a a step potencial defined by: $$V(x):=\begin{cases}0&{\rm if}\,|x|>a/2 \\ V_0+iW_0 & {\rm ...
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1answer
247 views

Infinite potential square well solutions

My question is about understanding the different solutions of the potential square well. Imagine a square well defined this way: $$ V(x) = \begin{cases} ∞&\,{\rm if} x<0 \\ 0&\,{\rm ...
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501 views

What exactly is a bound state and why does it have negative energy?

Our professor hasn't explained what bound states are. Could you give me an idea of what they mean and their importance in quantum-mechanics problems with potential (e.g. a potential described by a ...
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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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269 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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728 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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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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302 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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413 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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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
60 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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179 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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192 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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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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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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570 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 ...
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269 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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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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59 views

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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787 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 ...
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2answers
247 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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88 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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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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137 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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756 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
144 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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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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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 ...