# Tagged Questions

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

315 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 ...
89 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): ...
488 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 ...
6k views

### 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 ...
146 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 -$1/r$. ...
91 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 ...
277 views

### 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, ...
3k views

### 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 ...
145 views

### 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 ...
130 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 ...
461 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 ...
206 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. ...
1k 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 ...
92 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 ...
50 views

### 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 $V\left(\phi\right)$ ...
68 views

### 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 ...
417 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 ...
108 views

### 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" ...
269 views

180 views

### Potential generated by a hollow sphere with a hole

The sphere has radius $R$ and is missing its "pole" - meaning that in the area $\theta\leq\alpha$ there is nothing. The object has a homogenous charge density $\sigma=\frac{Q}{\pi R^2}$ I'm trying to ...
1k views

### Storing kinetic energy instead of potential energy - practically possible?

One of the big problems today considering energy is its storage (e.g. batteries are not that efficient, very expensive and polluting). Energy is classically mostly stored as some kind of potential (in ...
321 views

### Potential at Center of Earth

If using the surface of the earth as a reference point how much work is needed for gravity to pull me to the center. Is it negative infinity or am I wrong? Also is a single value of potential ...
297 views

### Meaning of “Grounded”

In my opinion, "grounded" means having the same potential as the potential at infinity, which is usually set to zero. Now if we consider a conductor inside a uniform electric field, what is the ...
498 views

### Grounded conductor inside a uniform electric field [duplicate]

I am working on a textbook problem of a grounded conductor inside a uniform electric field. The textbook states that "grounded" means potential = 0. In my opinion, "grounded" should mean "same ...
299 views

### Derive force from the pair-wise potential equation [closed]

How can we calculate the force exerted on particle $i$ by particle $j$ given a general potential function $V(d)$? Let's discuss this genenal question with a concrete example below. To simulate the ...
304 views

### Quick question on sketching wavefunction in well

Usually for an infinite well, the sketch for n=3 level is this: Now I think if one side of the potential barrier is higher, the particle will be more likely to spend time on the left side than the ...
129 views

### Integration over $S^2$ in electrostatics

I'm studying for a test in electrostatics and I'm always failing on putting up the correct integrals. In one problem I have the surface of a sphere with radius $a$ and an opening angle of $2\theta$. ...
292 views

### How to measure vector potential such as that of magnetic field?

If we want to measure gravitational potential energy of a body-earth system, we can simply do it by measuring the body's height from ground. How could we can measure vector potential such as that of ...
578 views

### How the electric potential of a charged body depends on the surface area of the body?

I have studied in the book that electric potential of a body depend on the surface area of the body, that is as the surface area increases potential decreases keeping the charge as constant and vice ...
297 views

### Dielectric sphere placed in another dielectric medium with uniform external field: is there a surface charge density?

Consider a dielectric sphere placed within a dielctric medium. There is a uniform electric field $E_0$ present throughout in the medium. Would there be surface charge on the sphere?
578 views

### Find the points where potential is null

Let's say we have two charges called $q_1$ and $q_2$, respectively $20 \, C$ and $-40\,C$, at a distance $d=1\,m$ We want to find all the points where electric potential is null. I solved the ...
4k views

### Particle in a 1D Box with Symmetric potential: How find solutions?

I am working on a problem in which I shall find the normalised solution to the 1D particle in a box. Solving for the particle in an asymmetric potential is quite straight forward, but I run into ...
911 views

### Child-Langmuir space charge law for non-zero cathode potential (non-zero initial electron velocity)

I'm trying to reconcile some conflicting results that I've found in publications that address the idea of the current in a vacuum diode in the case where the cathode has a non-zero potential, in other ...
2k views

### Why do electrons move towards regions of lower potential?

Can someone explain why electrons move from high to low potential regions in quantum mechanics? By the way, what is the very definition of this potential? Moreover, how does this generalize to other ...