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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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1answer
162 views

Slight variation to method of images

Suppose a point charge $q$ is located at $(x=0,y=0,z=d)$, and that along the $x$-$y$ plane is a infinite plate of potential $V = 0$. Then the method of images solves Laplace's equation for the ...
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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): $\mathbf F_\mathrm {ij}=-\mathbf F_\mathrm{ji}$ and the forces lie along the direction joining the particles. ...
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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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1answer
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Gradient of the potential originated from two similar magnetic vector potentials is not the same

The magnetic vector potential $\textbf{A}$ can be defined up to a gradient of a field. Adding or subtracting such gradient should not change the physics of the problem. The same reasoning is applied ...
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Canonical momentum Velocity dependent Lagrangian

I have a homework problem wich I think I'm on the verge of solving but need help with some relations: Show that if the potential $U$ in the Lagrangian contains velocity-dependent terms, the ...
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1answer
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Transparence of an infinite square well? [closed]

What does it mean by an infinite square well being transparent? I have been doing the calculation of the infinite square well and I came up with an answer $T = 1$ where $T$ for Transmission ...
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1answer
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How does charge flowing between emf terminals reduce voltage difference?

I'm currently learning what electromotive force is and while reading my book's description of an ideal source of emf, I had difficulty understanding what these sentences mean: The nonelectrostatic ...
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1answer
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How to find the wavefunction that solves an infinite square well with a delta function well in the middle?

Solutions for the wavefunction in an infinite square well with a delta function barrier in the middle are easily found online (see here for an example). I am wondering what the wavefunction is for an ...
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Quantum Mechanics and the Airy Function, the physics of the turning point

I'm working with the Airy function, and the book states at $x=0$ is a turning point, and there are two very different behaviors on either side. In general what a does a turning point mean in ...
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QM Question about the Dirac Delta Potential

I just wrote down the solution for the bound state of the Dirac delta potential well, for $E<0$, and apparently there is only one specific energy for the bound state, and it is negative. I solved ...
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When Eigenfunctions/Wavefunctions are real?

When the Hamiltonian is Hermitian(i,e. beyond the effective mass approximation), generally under which conditions the eigenfunctions/wavefunctions are real? What happens in 1D case like the finite ...
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2answers
746 views

Stable equilibrium given force

If a particle moves under the influence of a resistive force proportianal to velocity and a potential $U$, $$F(x,\dot x)=-b\dot x-\frac {\partial U}{\partial x}$$ Where b>0 and $U(x)=(x^2-a^2)^...
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Quantum mechanics potential barrier problem [duplicate]

While reviewing some quantum mechanics, I cam across a very interesting situation. For a potential barrier, if a particle has an energy $E$ less than the potential barrier $V_0$, it is possible to ...
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2answers
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Deriving the Lorentz force from velocity dependent potential

We can achieve a simplified version of the Lorentz force by $$F=q\bigg[-\nabla(\phi-\mathbf{A}\cdot\mathbf{v})-\frac{d\mathbf{A}}{dt}\bigg],$$ where $\mathbf{A}$ is the magnetic vector potential and ...
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Why is the electric field perpendicular to every point on the surface of a conductor?

I am reading Berkeley Physics Course, Volume 2 (Electricity and Magnetism by Edward M. Purcell). I am in chapter $3$, page $92$, and the book discusses conductors. The following is from the book: ...
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Does the Lennard-Jones force equation give its answer in Newtons?

I'm trying to do the dimensional analysis of the Lennard-Jones force to work out what units are being used in my MD simulation. The lennard Jones force is given as the negative derivative of the ...
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How does one prove that Energy = Voltage x Charge?

We know $$E = q V$$ where $E$ is the energy (in Joules), $V$ is the potential difference (in Volts), and $q$ is the charge. Why is this equation true and how we prove it?
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Potential of arbitrary charge distribution

Imagine this: You have a sphere of air where you have no charge and around this sphere you have a charge distribution $\rho(r,\theta,\phi)$. (For instance, this could be $\rho(r,\theta,\phi)=e^{-r}$)...
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Wavefunction as a combination of two stationary states - how to find those states?

Lets say we have a particle in a infinite square well which has a wavefunction like this ($A$ is some constant and $d$ is the width of the well): \begin{align} A\left[ \sin \left(\frac{2 \pi x}{d}\...
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1answer
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Dirac Delta Potential and bound/scattered states

Why does the attractive Dirac Delta distribution (function) potential $V = \alpha\delta$(x) (for negative $\alpha$) yield both bound AND scattered states? Is this due to the definition of the Dirac ...
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exponential potential in physics

given the differential equation $$ -\hbar^{2}D^{2}y(x)+ae^{bx}y(x)=E_{n}y(x) $$ here $ D=d/dx $ derivative are there examples in physics where this potential appears ??, i know how to solve it but ...
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1answer
619 views

Understand equations of a conducting sphere

Can somebody explain to me, when the following two equations (equations 2.48 and 2.50 in this document) are applicable and what $\Phi_s$ and $\Phi$ actually are? The thing is, I want to find general ...
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1answer
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Frank-Hertz experiment setup

The usual schematic representing the setup of Frank-Hertz experiment is the following: However, sometimes, you can see a bit different schematic: My question is: what function does $V_{G_1K}$ serve? ...
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1answer
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Conditions of applicability of potential flow about an airfoil

In many cases the flow about an airfoil is calculated by solving the Laplace equation, (for example in the Hess-Smith panel method). If the velocity field is irrotational and its divergence its zero, ...
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1answer
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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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Is electron volt an alternate unit for electric potential? [closed]

My question is: Can an electron volt be considered an alternate unit for electric potential?
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Is there an equivalent of a scalar potential for torques?

For a given scalar potential $V$, it is known that the corresponding force field $\mathbf{F}$ can be computed from $$ \mathbf{F} = -\nabla V $$ Suppose a rigid body is placed inside this potential....
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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) = - \frac{\alpha}...
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Dimensions in lagrangian potential

According to Mankowski flat space dimensions We can write, $$L= \int \text{dt} \text d^d{x} \left[ \frac{1}{2} \dot\phi^2 - \frac{1}{2} \left(\frac{\partial \phi}{\partial r} \right)^2 -V(\phi)\...
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Solving a time independent Schrödinger equation with a given potential

I'm trying to rework this old homework problem, and I am having problems arriving at the same solution on the answer sheet: Let $$V(x)=\begin{cases}\infty &\text{ if } x < 0\\ \alpha\delta(x-...
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1answer
176 views

Finding out Energy value

A Lagrangian is given by, $$L= \left(\frac{\pi}{2}\right)^2 R^d \left[\frac{1}{2}\dot A^2 - V(A_{max})\right]$$ $$E=\left(\frac{\pi}{2}\right)^2R^d V(A_{max}) $$ where V (A) now includes nonlinear ...
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Where does the Pauli Repulsive Force come from that counteracts the attraction between atoms and ions? [duplicate]

I'm learning about such things as ionic and covalent bonds, and the reason given for the ionic bonds is electrostatic attraction. However, if that were true, then the two ions would accelerate toward ...
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4answers
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Capacitors' working in a circuit

Does charge in a capacitor containing circuit stop flowing when the potential of the capacitor becomes equal to the potential of the battery??
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What is the meaning of a constant magnetic scalar potential?

Let a spherical shell of inner radius $a$ and outer radius $b$ have a uniform magnetization $\mathbf{M}=M\,\hat{\mathbf{z}}$, $\hskip2in$ I've found that the magnetic scalar potential $\varphi^\...
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1answer
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Problem from Sakurai about a delta-function potential [closed]

Can you help me with this problem from Sakurai: A particle of mass m in one dimension is bound to a fixed center by an attractive delta-function potential: $$V(x) ~= ~-a\delta(x) , \qquad a>0.$$...
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Vector plus vector equals scalar ? (Nabla operator)

A quick question that is currently bothering me. I have the following equation: $\mathbf{E}+\frac{\partial \mathbf{A}}{\partial t} = -\nabla V$ My question is, how can the right side, being a ...
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How does current flow in a irregularly shaped heterogeneous resistor?

The motivation for my question is understanding how electricity gets through your skin as opposed to running along it, and how the presence of things like water on the skin affect the relative ...
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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 equal to $0$.
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How does symmetry allow a rapid determination of the current between $A$ and $B$?

The following was originally given to me as a homework question at my physics 2 course: Consider the following circuit The difference of potentials between the point $V_{1}$and the point ...
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How charge distribution takes place when a battery is connected to a conductor?

When one terminal of a battery say of 1.5 volt connected to a short length wire, few electrons get transferred from battery terminal to the wire raising the potential of the wire also to 1.5 volt. We ...
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Quantum tunneling and a football permeating a wall

I was wondering if I can say to a layman that "upon throwing the ball on a wall an enormously large number of times, there is a small probability that the ball will go through the wall", while ...
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4answers
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Potential Difference Between Capacitors in Series

I am struggling to find an answer to this, hopefully relatively simple, question. I had a search on stackexchange but couldn't find anything helpful. We are learning about capacitors in Physics and I ...
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Hexadecapole potential using point particles?

We can get monopole $1/r$, dipole $1/r^2$, quadrupole $1/r^3$ and octupole $1/r^4$ potential falloff by placing opposite point charges at the corners of a point, line, square and cube, respectively. ...
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1answer
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Why should a battery not give current in order to measure EMF?

Emf is the "potential difference (PD) across the terminals of a battery when it is giving no current to the circuit." What does "when it is giving no current mean"? Will the PD across the terminals ...
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5answers
276 views

The potentiality of the electric field

Could you please explain using just words why electric the field is potentially? I know the proof using integral: $$A = \int_{12}q\vec{E}\cdot{d}\vec{r} = qQ\int_{12}\frac{\vec{r}\cdot{d}\vec{r}}{r^3} ...
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Electron in an infinite potential well

Does this problem have any sense? Suppose an electron in an infinite well of length $0.5nm$. The state of the system is the superposition of the ground state and the first excited state. Find the ...
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2answers
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Convolution kernel of poisson equation by FFT

I'm trying to solve poisson equation using FFT. In genral it is a convolution of the charge density with potential well of point charge ( Green's function of laplace equation ) which is $1/r$ I'm ...
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1answer
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In the Lennard-Jones potential, why does the attractive part (dispersion) have an $r^{-6}$ dependence?

The Lennard-Jones potential has the form: $$U(r) = 4\epsilon\left[ \left(\frac{\sigma}{r}\right)^{12} - \left(\frac{\sigma}{r}\right)^{6} \right]$$ The (attractive) $r^{-6}$ term describes the ...
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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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2answers
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Electrostatic Potential Definition

In the book, Introduction to electrodynamics by David J. Griffiths, he introduces potential separately as a function and potential energy through that function. How can potential be defined before ...