# Questions tagged [potential]

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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### Difference Between Plasma Potential and Floating Potential in a Plasma

I'm learning about Langmuir probes and I'm confused about the difference between the plasma potential $V_p$ and the floating potential $V_f$. From my understanding, when a plasma is in contact with a ...
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### How Can there be a Gravitational Potential when there is NO Gravitational Field? [closed]

How does it make any logic that there exist a potential when there is no net field for example when we have a Hollow Sphere with mass we can find out the the gravitational *potential inside the sphere ...
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### Voltage: work to move a charge, or difference of electric potential?

Let's say I have a single positive charge inside of an electrostatic field. I want to move this charge from point A to point B and determine the voltage between the two points. Points A and B are the ...
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### Why is my idea of voltage drop wrong?

when battery is connected to 2 ends of a wire, potential difference is created, this causes electric field causing electrons to move, the field gives the electron electric potential and the thus ...
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### When Can a Set of Surfaces Be Equipotentials?

The question on the title is the name of the section 5.0.0. of Smythe's book on electromagnetism. He explains this question very briefly, but i genuinely do not understand the argument. The page in ...
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### In layman’s language what is the difference between stopping potential and work function?

In layman’s language what is the difference between stopping potential and work function? It feels like both the things mean the same thing, if I am wrong please explain the things to me.
1 vote
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### I don't understand Green's derivation of the Laplace/Poisson equation inside an electrically charged body

I am currently reading George Green's "An Essay on the Application of Mathematical Analysis to the Theories of Electricity and Magnetism"Green's essay to gain some insight into the original ...
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1 vote
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### From where does this equation of quadrupole potential of a quadrupole mass filter derive from?

Quoting from thesis "Chip-scale quadrupole mass filters for a Micro-Gas Analyzer" (page 23): As I am solving quadrupole mass filter equation, I am stuck from where quadrupole potential ...
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1 vote
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### Charge distribution in two concentric conducting shells connected by a thin wire

Above is the content of the problem in the title and I'm confused about the solution. I'm not sure whether it is correct or not. The two shells are conducting and connected, so the difference in ...
59 views

### Alternative potentials in the context of spontaneous symmetry breaking

Consider a one-dimensional real scalar field $\phi$. Usually when spontaneous symmetry breaking (SSB) with such field is discussed, the following potential is assumed: $$V=-\mu^2\phi^2+\lambda \phi^4$$...
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### Self-Energy of a Conducting Shell based on Surface Charge Distribution

If a charge $q$ is given to a shell of radius $r$ (conducting or non-conducting) it's self-energy is $kq^2/2r$, $k$ being Coulomb's constant. But if the shell is conducting and the charge on the inner ...
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### When is minimum potential energy in simple harmonic motion not zero?

We know that in simple harmonic motion, potential energy is minimum at the mean position and it is zero since displacement is zero. So what are some cases in which minimum potential energy is not zero?...
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### How does 1D Schrödinger equation arise out of the postulated 3D Schrödinger equation and solving 1D particle using 3D Schrödinger equation?

I've stumbled upon this question when I was trying to solve the Schrödinger equation for a particle confined to a 1D line with some given time independent potential $V(x)$. The energy eigenstates ...
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### Equipotential surface of Hemispherical charge distribution

I was attempting a question of electrostatics from the book Pathfinder for Olympiads and Jee advanced Physics. In a solution of certain question, the base of a uniform hemispherical charge ...
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### Hydrogen atom energy: $n$ vs $l$ (QM)

I've come across a problem that states the following: let two (separate) particles be subject to a central potential $V(r)$. Their reduced radial function is depicted in the following image: Which ...
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### Method of images and the zero potential of the conductor

I was reading the method of images in Griffiths' electrodynamics book. He uses the classic image problem to explain the significance of the uniqueness theorem suppose a point charge $q$ is held a ...
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### Series Solution of Laplace Equation in Spherical Coordinates

I was recently Studying Griffiths Electrodynamics after a long time and there I saw the Laplace equation. Because it was my second time going over Griffiths so I thought maybe I should try to derive ...
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### Time evolution of scalar potential using Huygens principle

Huygens principle states that every point in space acts as a source of spherical waves. The amplitude for potential (scalar and vector) will be given by $V(r,t)=f(t-r/c)/r,$ where $f$ is a function ...
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1 vote
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### The electrostatic potential due to a pair of oppositely charged infinite thin conducting plates

The electric field in region A and C (outside the pair of sheets) is 0. The electric field in region B (between the plates) is given by: $$E = \frac{\sigma}{\varepsilon}.$$ The distance between the ...
1 vote
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### Electric field due to plane at constant potential and a cylinder with no flux on surface

There is a plate at a constant potential V and potential equal to zero far away. the problem is two-dimensional. For this case, the electric field lines will simply be straight lines. Now let there be ...
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### Potential attained by a sphere under illumination

A silver sphere of radius 1 cm and work function 4.7 eV is suspended from an insulating thread in free-space. It is under continuous illumination of 200 nm wavelength light. As photoelectrons are ...
1 vote
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### Potential on concentric shells not making sense?

Suppose you have 2 concentric spherical shells, radius $A$ (inner) and $B$ (outer). Now suppose the inner shell has $+Q$ charge and the outer one has $-Q$ charge. Through integration, we get that the ...
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### Is work done by a charged particle not gauge invariant?

Work done by a charged point particle with charge $q$ in an external electric field derived from a scalar potential $\phi$ is given by $$W=q \phi.$$ Even if we add a magnetic field the definition ...
1 vote
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### What is the potential of a conductor between two eletrically-charged plates?

Let's say I have two plates. One is at +20V, the other is at +10V, and they are separated a meter apart. I place an uncharged conductor that's 10cm wide into the gap between them, 20cm from the plate ...
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### Electric potential energy, Electric potential and self-energy of a body

The total work done to bring all the charges constituting a body from infinity to the body one by one is called the electrostatic potential energy of the body. And if I divide the expression of ...
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### Gravitational potential due to arbitrary shape

Outside the uniform sphere, the potential is expressed as if all the masses are concentrated in the center of the sphere. Is it also true for arbitrary shape? That is, outside any body, is potential ...
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### Can a positive charge have a negative potential?

I'm studying about electrostatic potential due to a point charge and was wondering - can a positively charged point have negative electrostatic potential? V=Kq/r for a positive point charge. Assume B ...
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### What does 0 volts mean for a Van de Graaf generator?

I am trying to understand how two different definitions of zero-voltage reconcile in the experimental setup of a Van de Graaf generator, or at least how I understand that it is being described. ...
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