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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

3
votes
1answer
804 views

Time-Dependent Potentials in Quantum Mechanics

A potential that depends on time is usually solved using the time dependent perturbation theory in standard undergraduate textbooks in quantum mechanics. The reason usually mentioned is that time ...
1
vote
2answers
136 views

Equivalence between Differential Geometry and Mechanics?

Given a metric $$ ds^{2}~=~ g_{a,b}dx^{a}dx^{b}. $$ Here Einstein's summation convention is assumed for $a$ and $b$. Then given the Laplacian over that metric, can then we find a metric $ ...
4
votes
3answers
6k views

Force as gradient of scalar potential energy

My text book reads If a particle is acted upon by the forces which are conservative; that is, if the forces are derivable from a scalar potential energy function in manner $ F=-\nabla V $. I ...
3
votes
2answers
240 views

Alternative definitions of potential?

I hope this question is simple and can be quickly cleared up. In a 1D conservative dynamical system, I've always been taught that the potential function is the function $V(x)$ such that: ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

If electric charges accelerate towards lower potential energies, why do opposite charges attract?

I know my logic must be wrong but I can't figure out why. I know that charges must accelerate towards lower potential energies simply because that's a general rule of nature. However, when you release ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the potential difference between point X and point Y?

Here is the problem: In the above figure I want help on finding the potential difference between X and Y. It is getting quite confusing due to the battery in the middle. I found the current in both ...
11
votes
3answers
417 views

Motivation for Potentials

This is a hypothetical question about "pedagogy". Let's say I am trying to take someone who has just a very small amount of knowledge about Newtonian mechanics and convince them that the Lagrangian ...
12
votes
9answers
11k views

What is the difference between electric potential, potential difference (PD), voltage and electromotive force (EMF)?

This is a confused part ever since I started learning electricity. What is the difference between electric potential, potential difference (PD), voltage and electromotive force (EMF)? All of them have ...
1
vote
4answers
5k views

What is the electric potential at a point?

1) What does the electric potential at a point exactly mean? My teacher tells me that current flows from higher potential to lower potential but when I ask him the reason, he fails to give me a ...
25
votes
4answers
1k views

In quantum mechanics, given certain energy spectrum can one generate the corresponding potential?

A typical problem in quantum mechanics is to calculate the spectrum that corresponds to a given potential. Is there a one to one correspondence between the potential and its spectrum? If the ...
18
votes
6answers
2k views

Why can we treat quantum scattering problems as time-independent?

From what I remember in my undergraduate quantum mechanics class, we treated scattering of non-relativistic particles from a static potential like this: Solve the time-independent Schrodinger ...
4
votes
0answers
1k views

Solution for the Finite 2D Potential Well - Rotational Symmetry [closed]

I was searching for the eigensolutions of the two-dimensional Schrödinger equation $$\mathrm{i}\hbar \partial_t \mid \psi \rangle = \frac{\mathbf{p}^2}{2m_e}\mid \psi \rangle + V \mid \psi ...
4
votes
2answers
609 views

Potential functions

Can someone please explain what a potential is? Example. velocity potential in ideal flows, acoustic potential (gradient of which gives the particle velocity in a sound wave). Whenever I see potential ...