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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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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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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Schrödinger function: Separable wave function with even potential function of x

I have done the Problem 2.1 in Griffiths' quantum mechanics, and it seems not making sense to me. What if the wave function isn't symmetric at all? Then obviously the proof doesn't work. 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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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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How to interpret the magnetic vector potential?

In electromagnetism, we can re-write the electric field in terms of the electric scalar potential, and the magnetic vector potential. That is: $E = -\nabla\phi - \frac{\partial A}{\partial t}$, ...
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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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How does electricity flow in conductor when potential difference is applied?

Electrons move from higher potential to lower potential. When a conductor is connected to battery, electron move from negative terminal to positive terminal. But the battery itself forms a Electric ...
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1answer
264 views

Is there any potential associated with magnetism

Can anybody please tell me if magnetism is a conservative force or if there is a field associated with it? How to reason? One thing I know is that the work done by a magnetic force is $0$.
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Can we have discontinuous wavefunctions in the Infinite Square well?

The energy eigenstates of the infinite square well problem look like the Fourier basis of L2 on the interval of the well. So then we should be able to for example make square waves that are an ...
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2answers
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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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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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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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1answer
86 views

Bohr-Sommerfeld quantization for different potentials

Let's have Bohr-Sommerfeld quantization for one-dimensional case: $$ \int \limits_{a}^{b} p(x)dx ~=~ \pi \hbar (n + \nu ). $$ Here $p(x) = \sqrt{2m(E - U)}$, $a, b$ are turning points, and the area ...
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Why the statement “there exist at least one bound state for negative potential” doesn't hold for 3D case?

Previously I thought this is a universal theorem, for one can prove it in the one dimensional case using variational principal. However, today I'm doing a homework considering a potential like ...
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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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3answers
258 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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1answer
129 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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Would you die if you put your hands on a powerline?

You know how birds perch on powerlines without getting electrocuted? What if by some chance that I find myself falling and I grab on one of them? Let's say both of my hands are on the same line, would ...
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1answer
208 views

An Electric Potential Glued to a Cube-Shaped Insulator to Replicate a Point Charge: Charge Distribution

I have been going back over this problem with a friend for the better part of a day: A potential is glued to a cube-shaped insulator so that outside of the insulator the field is the same as a point ...
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2answers
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Electric potential due to a point charge in Gaussian/CGS units

I learned electrostatics in SI units. In SI, the electrostatic potential due to a point charge $q$ located at $\textbf{r}$ is given by $\Phi(\textbf{r}) = \frac{q}{4 \pi \epsilon_0 |\textbf{r}|}$. ...
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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 ...
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1answer
113 views

Locally every force admits a potential?

I have a little doubt about a force being or not conservative. Well, as I understood, some forces cannot be expressed as exterior derivative of some scalar potential because the work done by the force ...
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1answer
377 views

Why has the Higgs potential the form it has?

The potential for the Higgs field is a quartic one (Mexican hat). Is this done for simplicity or are there fundamental reasons for this choice? I can imagine further contributions to this potential ...
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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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Is there a time delay during tunnelling?

A particle hitting a square potential barrier can tunnel through it to get to the other side and carry on. Is there a time delay in this process?
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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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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 ...
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Electrostatic Potential Energy Derivation

How is the boxed step , physically as well as mathematically justified and correct ? Source:Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_potential_energy As work done = $- \Delta U $. for Conservative ...
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Infinite Wells and Delta Functions

In considering a delta potential barrier in an infinite well, I can just enforce continuity at the potential barrier-it doesn't have to go to zero. Why then does it need to go to zero at the walls of ...
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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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Why doesn't a quantum particle in an attractive 1D potential accumulate at the center?

I have two questions regarding (possibly counter intuitive results) Schrodinger equation and its application to two (strictly hypothetical) scenarios. Consider the 1D potential $V(x) = - ...
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2answers
858 views

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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Plotting $\psi$ for finite square well potential

Lets say we have a finite square potential well like below: This well has a $\psi$ which we can combine with $\psi_I$, $\psi_{II}$ and $\psi_{III}$. I have been playing around and got expressions ...
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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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395 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 ...
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How to find electric scalar potential of infinite wire with Poisson/Laplace equation?

I though it will be easier then calculating the electric field and then integrating, but I am stuck. lets say we have an infinite wire, charged $\lambda$ per unit of length and its located at the ...
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1answer
688 views

Force exerted on potential wall

A particle bound in an infinite potential wall at $x=0$ will apply a force on the wall. For a plane wave and imagining it as a fluid bouncing off the reflection wall at $x=0$, find the force in terms ...
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1answer
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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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139 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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How to formulate variational principles (Lagrangian/Hamiltonian) for nonlinear, dissipative or initial value problems?

Although this questions is very much math related, I posted it in Physics since it is related to variational (Lagrangian/Hamiltonian) principles for dynamical systems. If I should migrate this ...
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Higher order derivatives - Equation of motion

One possible starting point to create a physical theory is the Lagrangian $L$. There we assume that the variation of the action $\delta S = \delta \int_{-\infty}^\infty dt \ L = 0$. In classical ...
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Strong Newton's third law of action and reaction: Mathematical Interpretation

According to the strong law of action and reaction for internal forces(Goldstein): "$F_{ij}=-F_{ji}$ and the forces lie along the direction joining the particles." Now consider the statement If ...
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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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Potential Inside Conducting Cube

A cubical box with sides of length L consists of six metal plates. Five sides of the box { the plates at $x=0, x=L, y=0, y=L, z=0$ - are grounded. The top of the box (at z = L) is made of a separate ...
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Electric potential of sphere

(a) I am a little confused about this part. The point at A to B isn't radial. The electric field is radially outward, but if I look at the integral $$\int_{a}^{b}\mathbf{E}\cdot d\mathbf{s} = ...
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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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How can the potential on a cube's surface replicate the potential of a point particle?

If i have a cube (either hollow, or an insulating solid) and i want its surface have a potential such that it looks like a point particle outside of the box does that mean the exact potential on the ...
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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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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 ...