# 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.

1,563 questions
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### Some Questions regarding the Potential Difference

I have some questions regarding the potential difference : Question (1) : The potential difference is defined as the negative of the integral of E.dl with the lower limit being a and the upper limit ...
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### Potential Flow integration (no-voice and very beginner!)

Let's say I managed to compute a velocity field that is divergence-free. How do I integrate it over time? meaning, I created a potential function, set v to be curl of potential function, so I have now ...
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### Can we define potential for all conservative forces?

I know that defining potential for non-conservative forces is not possible and we can define potential and potential energy for conservative forces only. But can we define it for all conservative ...
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### Electric potential inside a solid conducting sphere, next to other charges

The way I initially justified the potential inside a charged conductor to be $\frac{kQ}{R}\ for\ \ 0\le r\ <R$ was that from Gaus's law, you could determine that when you were a distance $r$ away ...
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### Summing up very basic terms in basic electricity [closed]

My attempt to define following terms as per my understanding. I am currently at high school. Electromotive force (EMF): Potential between two terminals when open circuited. Wikipedia's ...
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### Why does Jackson ignore the surface term in this integration by parts, in the electric potential of a polarized dielectric?

In Jackson's electrodynamics Page (153), it is given that the total potential is the sum of potential due to free charge and potential due to dipole. Therefore, \begin{align*} \phi(x) & = \frac{1}{...
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### Potential in open branch of a parallel circuit with grounding [closed]

If the switch is still open, what will the electric potential at Q be, i.e. negative, positive or zero? Is there a potential difference across the grounded point and point Q, or R3, even though the ...
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### Why is the magnetic potential inside the centre of a square wire zero?

Given a wire of square configuration, I found that the magnetic potential at the centre of that square is 0. I am a bit confused as to why this is the case, given that the magnetic field at the centre ...
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### Thermistor IV characterisitc

The circuit is a potential divider circuit with a NTC thermistor and fixed resistor. I know generally the IV characteristic for the thermistor however, I was given values of resistors voltage at given ...
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### How does back emf occur if a system can’t do work on itself? [closed]

If a coil is connected to a battery and the current starts up, the electrons have to be moving at a certain speed through the wire and therefore have a certain kinetic energy. But if they are moving ...
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### Why is the singularity not taken into account?

In this article "Reflections on Maxwell’s Treatise", Section 4.2, it says: He replaces $\mathbf{m}$ with a volume element of magnetization $\mathbf{M}\ dV$ , integrates over $V$ , and lets the same ...
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### Why isn't electric potential infinite?

In my textbook, I've read that electric potential is the work performed to carry one unit of positive charge to electric field from infinite distance. We know that, W = Fs So here the distance is ...
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### What is the physical meaning of a pseudo-vector potential in a Dirac equation?

Consider a Dirac action with a pseudo-vector potential: $$S = \overline{\psi}(\gamma^\mu(\partial_\mu + i\gamma_5 A_\mu) + m_e)\psi$$ i.e. exactly like a Dirac equation with an electromegnetic ...
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### Physics of Neuroscience - Action potential

I am confused about how to understand action potential in the context of physics. Are action potential and potential difference synonymous? If so why is it stated that an action potential 'travels' ...
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### Sphere half-submerged on a dielectric

This is a classic problem in electrostatics with a twist, so I thought it could be useful for others here. I did have a problem with the integration at the end, but on general I think the idea can ...
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### Relativistic Electric Potetnial

Suppose you have a particle of charge q circling the z axis in the xy plane. The orbit is centered at the origin and has a radius of $r_0$. The angular frequency of the orbit is $\omega$. Position of ...
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### Relationship between potential and electric field

There are a number of ways to solve this problem but was interested in doing it via the formula: $$∇V = -E$$ However the potential on the line due to -q is  \frac{-q}{4\pi\epsilon_0((0.5d)^2+y^...
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### General Definition of Potential in Circuits with Time-dependent Fields?

Electric potential is a very common observable to measure (especially in electro-engineering fields). It is measured using a multimeter, and thought of as the energy per charge that one charged ...
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### Calculating the potential of a uniformly charged spherical shell

This question only really has to do with how to get the correct denominator in the integral. The object in question is a uniformly charged sphere of radius $R$. I'm going to choose as my reference ...
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### Is a *difference* of potential energy relative to a frame of reference?

If we consider an electrical field, or a gravitational field, and two points in this field, is the difference of potential between this two points depending of a frame of reference ? It seems to me ...
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### Arriving at the Quantum Mechanial Potential From The Energy Eigenvalues [duplicate]

In Quantum Mechanics, we know that given a potential we can solve the eigen value problem to find out the energy eigen values and eigen functions. Now suppose in an experiment we have information only ...
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### Understanding conformal mapping in electrostatics

I'm trying to understand the use of conformal mapping to solve problems in electrostatics. To better understand the idea, I'm trying to learn how to solve this example (but you can propose any other ...
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### Why do electrostatic potentials superimpose?

I've been trying to convince myself that the assertion that I've read in basic E&M books (Halliday & Resnick, Purcell), and even Griffiths, that the electrostatic potential at a point in space ...
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### Calculation of Gravitational Potential at the centre of the cube [closed]

I came across this problem in a test and have been able to come up with a solution however I am unsure if it is correct. I started by building a cube of twice the initial dimensions to bring point P ...
We know that a body under the action of a Newtonian/Coulomb potential $1/r$ can describe an elliptic orbit. On the other hand, we also know that a body under the action of two perpendicular Simple ...