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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Infinitely charged wire and Differential form of Gauss' Law

I have tried calculating the potential of a charged wire the direct way. If lambda is the charge density of the wire, then I get $$\phi(r) = \frac{\lambda}{4 \pi \epsilon_0 r} \int_{-\infty}^\infty ...
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3D Delta Potential Well

The 1D delta potential well $V(x) = -A\delta(x - a)$ always has exactly one bound state. The same is true for the 3D delta potential well $V(\vec{r}) = -A\delta(\vec{r}-\vec{a})$. I can show this for ...
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142 views

Loopless voltage measurement

I think we are all very well familiarized with the classical voltmeter. Classical voltmeter has two conducting wires that bring two potentials into the box. In the box we have well controlled ...
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Why do we like gauge potentials so much?

Today I read articles and texts about Dirac monopoles and I have been wondering about the insistence on gauge potentials. Why do they seem (or why are they) so important to create a theory about ...
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Origin of field deduced from potential

Related: Tubelights+power lines pictures? I would've edited this into the above question, but I realized that there' enough to it to qualify as a new one. Plus this seems to be a confusion of ...
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1answer
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Formula for potential for 2 coaxial tubes

Could someone remind me of the formula for potential function for a system consisting of 2 coaxial tubes maintained at a fixed potential difference and the in between medium has uniform conductivity ...
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1answer
260 views

Tubelights+power lines pictures?

I've come across many pictures like these, sometimes in chain emails reporting the dangers of power lines. Another claim is that they run on "wasted" energy. The explanations given are that the ...
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1answer
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How to calculate the charge and the potential across a charged capacitor charging an uncharged capacitor?

Initially, there is a single capacitor $A$ attached to a power source that charges it to a certain voltage $V$. Once it is charged, it is instantaneously removed and placed in a circuit with an ...
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How to solve Schrodinger Equation - Tunnelling

I have to solve analitically the Schrodinger equation in one-dimension with a barrier of potential (tunnel effect): $$ih \frac{d}{dt} U(x,t) = \left[ \left(-\hbar^2 \frac{d^2}{dx^2} \right) + q V(x) ...
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The energy of electric interaction between these dipoles?

I'm a physics tutor. This is not a homework problem. I'm unable to solve this problem. The energy of electric interaction between these dipoles will be: Choose the correct answer from: I tried ...
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1answer
468 views

Can we solve the particle in an infinite well in QM using creation and annihilation operators?

The particle in an infinite potential well in QM is usually solved by easily solving Schrodinger differential equation. On the other hand particle in the harmonic oscillator oscillator potential can ...
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Image charges, laplace equation and uniqueness theorem

Consider a well-known problem of the electric field generated by a system composed of a point charge in proximity of a large earthed conductor. It is said that the potential due to an image charge ...
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Why can't we ascribe a (possibly velocity dependent) potential to a dissipative force?

Sorry if this is a silly question but I cant get my head around it.
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How is capacitance defined for three concentric spheres?

If we have a configuration of metal concentric spheres (each of negligible thickness) of radii $r_1,r_2,r_3$ respectively and $r_1<r_2<r_3$, and we are given the potentials of the spheres to be ...
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Potential at a point

What is the electric dipole moment of the charge distribution with $q$ at $(0,0,1)$, $q$ at $(0,0,-1)$ and $-2q$ at $(0,0,0)$? I would think that it is $\vec{0}$ by the definition ...
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Show that the energy levels of a particle in a specific potential are $E_n=(n+\frac{1}{2})h\omega-\frac{1}{2}\frac{F^2}{m\omega^2}$ [closed]

A particle of mass m moves on the x-axis under the influence of the potential $$V(x)=\frac{1}{2}m\omega^2x^2+Fx$$ Can anyone help me, using Schrödinger's equation in one dimension that the energy ...
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Differences In Potential Equations

Could someone please describe the differences between the uses each of these potential equations: Potential due to a point charge: $V = \frac{k \cdot q}{r} - \frac{k \cdot ...
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How does instant charging of one plate affect the potential of the other plate of a floating capacitor?

If I have an uncharged floating capacitor and I instantaneously connect one plate to some potential, then that plate will acquire some charge. In practice, the other floating plate will ...
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Symmetries of separable potential

For separable potential, say $x^4+y^4$, its symmetry are degenerate. Is that a generic case to every separable potential? I will explain my question: The potential $x^4+y^4$ has $A_1, B_1, A_2, B_2, ...
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Complex Potentials, Potentials and Fields

Suppose an electric field $E=-\nabla \psi$ where $\psi=-Q\ln r$ where $Q$ is just some constant and I have found its harmonic conjugate to be $-Q\theta+c$ where $c$ is some constant. What does it say ...
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How to calculate the electric field at a point in space

Let's say I have a uniformly-charged wire bent into a semi-circle around the origin. How can I find the electric field (magnitude and direction) I'm not even sure if I should use Coulomb's or Gauss' ...
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About constructing potential energy functions

There are many classical systems with different potential functions. My problem is that I do not understand how one can construct a certain potential function for a certain system. Are there any ...
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1answer
280 views

Infinite quantum well width $L$ to $2L$ adiabatic process

If we change width of the infinite quantum well $L$ to $2L$ slowly enough, how it does change energy levels.
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1answer
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How to calculate time evolution of a wave function in an 1D infinite square well potential?

A particle in an infinite square well has an initial wavefunction $$\psi (x,0) ~=~ Ax(a-x) \qquad \mathrm{for}\qquad 0\leq x\leq a.$$ Now the question is to calculate $\psi (x,t)$. I have ...
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1answer
351 views

A quantum particle in a box (with a catch)

I am reading Shankar's Quantum Mechanics and I am looking at the case where there is one particle inside a box, where the potential is zero inside the wall and abruptly goes to infinity outside the ...
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Why do two ends of a long conducting wire have the same electric potential?

I am not seeing the "big picture" here. If I have two conducting spheres separated by a long conducting wire, why would the spheres share the same electric potential? I think of the spheres as point ...
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1answer
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Current against the inverse of resistance graph, $I = V/R +c$

If I have a plot of current ($y$ axis) against 1/Resistance ($x$ axis). The circuit it is measured from is a simply 2 resistors connected in parallel to battery, where the potential across the ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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2answers
137 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 $ ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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241 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: ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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9answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...