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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Finding voltage between two points in space

If electric field vector is defines as : $\vec{E} = \frac{V_0x^2}{a^3} \vec{i_x} + \frac{V_0y}{a^2} \vec{i_y} $ where $V_0 $ and $a$ are known constants, $\vec{i_x}$ and $\vec{i_y}$ unit vectors of ...
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Inconsistency in the delta potential

I encountered an inconsistency in the one-dimensional delta potential. Suppose we have a one-dimensional infinitely deep square well from $-L$ to $+L$. We know the eigenstates are sine and cosine ...
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366 views

1D Infinite Square Box Discrete Energy levels but Continous Momenta?

In the 1d particle in the box the energy of the particle should be completely determined by the momentum of the particle that you observe correct? So how can you have discrete energy levels and a ...
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What is the physical meaning of electric potential, potential difference, and voltage?

When resembling the electricity flow through a wire to people walking through a street: electrons are people, current is the number of people, resistance is the barriers on the way. But what is the ...
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75 views

Introductory Quantum, trouble with this boundary condition and potential

Working on problem 2.40 from Griffiths but can't seem to understand the first boundary condition. We are given the potential $V(x) = \left\{\begin{matrix} \infty & x < 0\\ ...
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155 views

Scattering and bound States

So from my understanding, as long as $E>0$ you will have scattering states and these scattering states will always result in an imaginary $\psi$, but bound states can also have an imaginary ...
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204 views

Railguns and Gauge Invariance

Paul J. Cote and Mark A. Johnson of Benet Laboratories, Army Research, Engineering and Development Command wrote a series of short papers on the vector potential arising from their attempts to solve ...
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183 views

What is a Hulten potential?

What is the Hulten potential? (also spelled Hulthén, Hulthen, and Hultén.) When is it used? How is it derived? I vaguely heard about in the context of neutron synthesis / quantum mechanics.
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435 views

Is the Gibbs-Duhem equation always valid?

The derivation of the Gibbs-Duhem equation from Wikpedia uses: As shown in the Gibbs free energy article, the chemical potential is just another name for the partial molar (or just partial, ...
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Help regarding understanding derivation of electrostatic potential in a solution to a problem

I was looking at the solution of finding the energy stored in a charged solid sphere in which the electric field was and then later stated the electrostatic potential is I understand that to ...
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162 views

How come we talk about gravitational potential energy and not gravitational potential?

With regards to gravity the equation learned is $$U=-\frac{GMm}{r}$$ And the relationship to force is $$F=-\frac{dU}{dr}$$ In electrostatics we instead talk about electric field and electric ...
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223 views

Particle Outside the Box

What prohibits, mathematically, that a particle cannot be found outside the box ? Here, I am referring to particle in a box problem (infinite potential on both ends & zero potential along the ...
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51 views

What is “W external” and “W internal” in Energy conservation law?

When I solve the energy conservation problem, I am confused when I have to make the term positive or negative. For example, someone throws a ball right up to the ground with velocity, $v$. The ball ...
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106 views

System without ground state is not real in nature?

We know that Coulomb force is real phenomena in nature and with Coulomb potential $V(x) \thicksim -\frac{1}{|x|}$ lowest energy is bounded in hydrogen atom. But it's mathematically clear that if ...
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774 views

Degeneracy in one dimension

I'm reading this wikipedia article and I'm trying to understand the proof under "Degeneracy in One Dimension". Here's what it says: Considering a one-dimensional quantum system in a potential ...
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63 views

What is the functional shape assumed by a flexible rod?

Be L a flexible rod. Say that it is very difficult to significantly stretch it, so that we can uniquely identify a point on it by a parameter $l \in [0, L]$ where $L$ is its length. Be $C$ a set of ...
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111 views

Potential that is proportional to distance

Does anybody know of a treatment of the case where a potential field is proportional to the distance, i.e. in 3 dimensions: $$V(\vec{r}) ~\sim ~ |\vec{r}|~?$$ Essentially the question is: What are ...
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Why airports are generally near sea? [closed]

The generic way to measure the height is from the sea-level. If the airport is near the sea i.e. not at a very height from the sea, then the fuel required to make the air-plane above the sea level ...
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76 views

General potential of rotating system

I'm new here at the physics site, and not really that deep into the area of which i'm going to ask a question about now. Therefore please feel free to ask clarifying questions. I'm trying to deal ...
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33 views

Electrohydrodynamics: How will electric potential develop in a fluid when potential is applied from ends

Lets say, I have a fluid in a rectangular enclosure (2D). I apply electric potential $U=U_1$ at left boundary and $U_2$ at right boundary. In the lower and upper boundaries, the potential varies ...
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142 views

Definite energy states for a single non-relativistic particle with a time dependent potential

Do definite energy states exist for a single particle when its potential itself changes with time? I tried solving it and the equations seem to show that they do not exist. But then i am confused as ...
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389 views

How is electric field strength related to potential difference?

I was looking at the derivation of drift velocity of free electrons in a conductor in terms of relaxation time of electrons. Here a metallic conductor XY of length $\ell$ is considered and having ...
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84 views

What is the physical meaning of the norm of the electromagnetic four-potential?

In SI units this would be $\frac{1}{c^2}\phi^2 - A_x^2 - A_y^2 - A_z^2$. Is this just not a physically meaningful quantity at all because it's not gauge invariant?
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58 views

Mass of small fluctuation around vacuum

For a potential $V$, how do we define the mass of a small fluctuation around its vacuum? For example I have the potential $$ V_\mathrm{eff}(\phi) = \frac{1}{2} \left(\frac{\rho}{M^2} - \mu^2\right) ...
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Bound states in 1D & 2D [duplicate]

Why does Mother Nature allow bound states in arbitrarily weak attractive potential in 2D but not in 3D? See, for example, this article, arXiv:math-ph/0208011.
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698 views

What does raising voltage do?

If I raise the voltage of a wire from 0V to 1000V and then to 5000V, am I merely packing it with more and more electrons (with those electrons being trapped there until they find a path off the wire)? ...
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Potential difference between point on surface and point on axis of uniformly charged cylinder

Question: Charge is uniformly distributed with charge density $ρ$ inside a very long cylinder of radius $R$. Find the potential difference between the surface and the axis of the cylinder. Express ...
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Nonlocal interaction effects on bose-einstein condensates

I'm studying an interacting bose-einstein condensate using the energy functional proposed in this paper K. Huang, C.N. Yang, Phys. Rev. 105 $$ E\left[\phi\right] = \int d^3\vec{r} ...
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454 views

The Effect of Tortoise Coordinates

Referring particularly to http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/9909056 in regard to the wave equation for Schwarzschild-AdS black holes (p.4), I'm trying to understand tortoise coordinates. So starting ...
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302 views

Special case of work done by two opposing forces of equal magnitude on a body possesing inertial motion

Consider an elevator moving upward with constant velocity. The constant velocity is maintained by an upward tensional force equal to weight. If we add the total work done on the elevator it will be ...
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84 views

Why is electric potential positive?

If there is a positive charge $q$ at the origin of a coordinate system, the electric potential $\phi$ at a distance $r$ from $q$ is (by definition, if we take the point of zero potential at infinity): ...
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460 views

Name of battery voltage when load connected/disconnected

If I had a 3V battery, and when no load connected it reads 3.2V, and with a load 2.8V (just a hypothetical example), what is the name for these two terms, with a load or no load? I know the voltage ...
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Potential energy of a dipole in a uniform electric field convention?

When finding the potential energy of a dipole in a uniform electric field, I was told by my lecturer that the convention is that the potential energy is 0 when the dipole moment and electric field ...
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141 views

Modeling a potential well

I attempted to simulate the interaction of a moving particle and a potential well in Mathematica. The particle should experience a force of -$1/r^2$, if the equation for the potential well is -$1/r$. ...
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90 views

Is the “Force” of Gravity Simply Hamilton's Principle on a Curved Spacetime?

It's my understanding that General Relativity abstracts away the concept of gravity as a force, and instead describes it as a feature of spacetime by which massive objects cause curvature. Then it ...
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What is physical meaning of $|\phi|^2$ in quantum field theory and pedagogical spontaneous symmetry breaking?

If wavefunction is $\phi$, we know that $|\phi (x)|^2$ represents probability of finding a particle at $x$. Now let us talk about some pedagogical example in spontaneous symmetry breaking in QFT, ...
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When to use method of images in Electrostatics?

I am a bit confused about when to use the method of images in E&M? For example, in Griffith's Electrodynamics Example 3.2, the problem reads: A point charge $q$ is situated a distance $a$ from ...
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Basics of Current Electricity

I have certain questions which confuse me a great deal. I want to have a very basic and clear idea about some concepts. Here it goes: 1) I am really confused on how a battery actually works. The very ...
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127 views

If batteries are a source of energy, would not lower-valued resistors cause a violation of the conservation of energy?

Here's the conundrum I have been facing. Yesterday I asked the question: how can batteries constantly motivate electrons to complete a circuit? (What maintains constant voltage in a battery?) After ...
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441 views

How to solve the Laplace Equation in the hollow square region?

Suppose the values of $a$, $b$, $V_1$ and $V_2$ is given. I want to find the solution of the Laplace equation, $$\frac{\partial^2 \phi}{\partial x^2}+\frac{\partial^2 \phi}{\partial y^2}=0$$ in the ...
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200 views

Argument for symmetry of potential of a spherical capacitor filled with dielectric

A spherical capacitor with inner radius $r_1$ and outer radius $r_2$ is filled with dielectric material with permittivity $\epsilon=\epsilon_0+\epsilon_1\cos^2\theta $. $\theta$ is the polar angle. ...
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908 views

What maintains constant voltage in a battery?

I know there's lots of questions that address similar situations, (Batteries connected in Parallel, Batteries and fields?, Naive Question About Batteries, and the oft-viewed I don't understand ...
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90 views

Justification of discrete spectrum for V(x) unbounded at $\pm \infty$ in Pauling and Wilson

In Pauling and Wilson, Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, they offer the following intuitive reason for the discrete spectrum of a potential which is unbounded at $\pm \infty$: This is ...
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Units and missing constants in quintessence expressions?

In cosmology, quintessence is an alternative to the cosmological constant. In this approach (described here), we consider a scalar field $\phi$ and its self-interacting potential $V\left(\phi\right)$ ...
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Surface potential resulting from the charge transfer between insulator and conductor

Common non-contact electrostatic voltmeters are used to measure the surface potential. Imagine we place a charged insulator on top of the conducting plate (insulated from the surrounding) and measure ...
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401 views

Finite Square Well Inside an Infinite Square Well

Ok here's a potential I invented and am trying to solve: $$ V(x) = \begin{cases} -V_0&0<x<b \\ 0&b<x<a \\ \infty&x>a \\ \end{cases}$$ and $V(-x) = V(x)$ (Even ...
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Is there some quantum potential producing exponential eigenvalues?

Usual central potentials produce quantum spectra with energy levels going as $n$, $n^2$, $n^3$ and so on, being $n$ the quantum number of the orbit. In the other extreme we have "dirac-delta" ...
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261 views

Finite potential well, parity of solutions

I'm working through some problems for a QM exam and I've realised I don't really understand the concept of parity of solutions. I'm looking at a simple finite potential well problem: $$V(x)=0, \quad ...
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WKB approximation in two dimensions

Does anybody know how to implement the WKB approximation for the two-dimensional Schrodinger equation with a harmonic oscillator potential: $\frac{1}{2}\Biggl[-\biggl(\frac{\partial^2}{\partial ...
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758 views

Initial condition for Fourier transformed Schrödinger equation

I asked in this thread Time-dependet Schrödinger equation how to solve the Time-dependent Schrödinger equation. One of JamalS' recommendations was the Fourier transform, which is why I want to quote ...