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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943 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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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Why is EMF equal to PD when circuit is “open”?

I understand that the set up of a battery consists of very good, but not ideal conductor, and therefore, some internal resistance exists. Also, I get that emf is the PD that would exist if the ...
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1answer
3k 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 ...
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Voltage and potential

I just need a confirmation I've understood this concept and help in a particular problem. So, what I understand under "voltage" is basically a difference between two electrical potentials (positions)...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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Birds sitting on electric wires: potential difference between the legs

We have seen birds sitting on uninsulated electric wires of high voltage transmission lines overhead without getting harmed, because sitting on only one wire doesn't complete any circuit. But what ...
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What is the correct way to take out equivalent capacitance here?

So here I have a capacitor with two plates , one positively charged and one negatively, as shown in the figure. Now the material between them is $k_1$ for thickness d/2 and $k_2$ for the other d/2. ...
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223 views

Calculating electric potential from a changing electric field

Assuming that I calculated the electric field in a single point between a uniform charged positive sphere and an infinite long wire charged positive uniformly. Now, I want to calculate the velocity of ...
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974 views

Sign convention for EMF

When we define the field generate by EMF, why there is not negative sign in $\mathcal{E} = \oint \vec{E} \cdot d\vec{l}$? Usually we talk about potential, there should be a negative sign, right?
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A zero gravitational potential and non zero gravitational field

Give an example of a situation in which there is a non-zero gravitational field and a zero gravitational potential at the same point? $$dV=-\vec E\cdot d\vec r.$$ The above equation implies that ...
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Force on a point charge $q$ inside a cavity in an uncharged conductor

This is problem 2.40 from Introduction to Electrodynamics by D. J. Griffiths: A point charge $q$ is inside a cavity (not necessarily spherical or anything similarly regular) in an uncharged ...
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Interaction energy between dipole and potential

It is known that interaction energy = $-\vec{p}.\vec{E}$ where $\vec{p}$ is dipole moment and $\vec{E}$ is the electric field. I have to calculate the interaction energy of a system whose dipole ...
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How will a particle with energy less than $V_{\rm min}$ behave?

Consider e.g. the finite square well: $V = -V_o$ between $x=-a$ and $x=a$, $V=0$ elsewhere Now for scattering states, $E$ must be $> 0$. For normalizable bound states, $E$ must be $< 0$ and $&...
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Calculating the Reflection Coefficient of a Potential Step Explicitly

So I'm using the following definition for the Reflection coefficient, $R$ : $$R=\frac{\left\rvert\ \vec{j}_{reflected}\right\rvert}{\left\rvert\ \vec{j}_{incident}\right\rvert}$$ where $j_{reflected}...
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Clarification of multipole expansion for a point charge

In Griffith's electrodynamic: 3.4.2 He pointed out that the monopole term is the exact potential for a single point charge. However I was under the impression that different configuration of a ...
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Origins of many-particle interactions

The internal potential energy of an $N$ particle system is a general function of the coordinates of the particles: $U(r_1,...,r_N)$. In some approximations and expansions - e.g. virial expansion - it ...
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587 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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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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1answer
141 views

Reflection of an evanescent matter wave within a finite barrier?

To my understanding if I have a finite barrier with potential $V(x)>E$, then to the left of the barrier, the wavefunction can be represented as two exponentials: $$\psi= e^{(ik_{left} x)} + e^{-(...
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Argument for symmetry of potential

Consider the following electrostatic charge configuration of a spherically symmetric, perfect conductor with total charge $Q = 2q$, where $q > 0$. A point charge $q$ is placed at the position shown....
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Taylor expansion term equals zero?

I have to Taylor expand an effective potential $U_{eff}$, which is given by: $$U_{eff}(r)=-\frac{Gm_{1}m_{2}}{r}+\frac{l^{2}}{2\mu r^{2}}$$ I then expand it and get: $$U_{eff}(r)=U_{eff}(r_{min})+\...
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What is the relationship between keV and kVp?

On X-ray topics we get used to talk about "energy", but what is keV? and what is the relationship between keV and kVp?
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Field inside a wire?

This answer gives a great explanation of why the field inside a wire connected to a battery must be equal at all points: Why doesn't the electric field inside a wire in a circuit fall off with ...
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Why the electric potential of Earth is zero?

For a localized charge distribution the potential is set to zero far away from the charge distribution (at infinity) Now, when grounding a conductor, i.e. connecting it to Earth, it is said that we ...
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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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1answer
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Relating Schrödinger's Wave Equation and Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

A homework question that I don't conceptually understand: A quantum particle of mass M is trapped inside an infinite, one-dimensional square well of width $L$. If we were to solve Schrodinger's wave ...
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Schrödinger's Equation and the depth of a finite potential well

Before I ask my question, I have to stress: I have absolutely no idea what the math is going on. I've read my textbook, several Wikipedia articles, scoured the internet, and don't feel anymore ...
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Sign of Potential Energy

The mass is released at height $h$ above the spring, how far will the spring move? $E_i=mgh, E_f= kx^2/2+mgx$...why the second equation isn't $ E_f= kx^2/2-mgx$? Since it is below the "zero".
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How to derive the expression for the electric field in terms of the potential?

How can I derive that $$\vec{E}=-\vec{\nabla}\phi-\frac{\partial \vec{A}}{\partial t}$$ where $\phi$ is the scalar potential and $\vec{A}$ the vector potential?
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Infinite and Finite Square Wells

For the infinite square well in the first region, outside the well: $$\frac{-\hbar^2}{2m}\frac{d^2 \psi}{dx^2} + V(x) \psi (x) = E \psi (x),$$ where you set $V = 0$. Rearranging gives $$\frac{d^2 \...
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How electron movement produces current,instead of having a slow drift speed

Just need a clarification here, how the current is produced due to the movement of electrons, in an external circuit,having a very slow drift speed. Normally in a battery there is high potential ...
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Definition of quantum anharmonicity

I have been reading research papers in mathematical physics for some months now, and I've seen the the term "anharmonic oscillator" quite frequently. At first I assumed that given a Schrodinger ...
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Question related to Equipotential Surface

How will you show that equipotential surface is always directed perpendicular to electric field?
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1answer
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Intuitive explanation of difference in $r$-dependence between dipole and monopole

For an electric monopole, its potential scales with $\frac{1}{r}$, where $r$ is the distance from the point of interest to the charge. However, for a dipole, its potential scales with $\frac{1}{r^2}$. ...
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Particle in a higher-dimensional box with an attractive delta potential

Suppose you have a particle in the box $[0,L]^d$, with an attractive Dirac delta potential $-\delta_{\vec w}(x)$ at $\vec w$. How do you solve the Schroedinger equation for this system? In the case $...
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Electrical Potential Energy and Electric Force [closed]

Under certain circumstances, potassium ions $(K+)$ move across the $8.0 nm$ thick cell membrane from the inside to the outside. The potential inside the cell is $−70 mV$ and the potential outside is $...
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Electric potential and maximum charge on a conductor

Does increasing the amount of electric charge on a conductor cause an increase in its electric potential to a point at which it becomes maximum; where it can hold no more extra charge? Is it true? ...
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Increasing potential in a voltage doubler

When I use a sinusoidal input AC-voltage from -1 Volt to +1 V , the potential between the diode and the capacitor is increasing. But why do I reach a value of 2 Volt over the diode? I deliberately don'...
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In a positively biased PN junction, where do the injection carriers come from?

I am not quite understand i-v character of PN-junction diode. Here is the model in textbook. The PN junction diode can be divided into three regions. They are One depletion region near the PN ...
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Solving quantum radial equation for infinite potential spherical annulus for $l=0$

There is a mass $m$ in a potential such that $$ V(r) = \left\{ \begin{array}{lr} 0, & a \leq r \leq b\\ \infty, & \text{everywhere else} \end{array} \right. $$ ...
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1answer
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Transmission + Reflection coefficients >1 For Potencial Barrier with Negative Complex Part Contradicts Paper

I am studying reflection and transmission coefficients for a barrier consisting of a a step potencial defined by: $$V(x):=\begin{cases}0&{\rm if}\,|x|>a/2 \\ V_0+iW_0 & {\rm if}\,|x|<a/...
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1answer
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Infinite potential square well solutions

My question is about understanding the different solutions of the potential square well. Imagine a square well defined this way: $$ V(x) = \begin{cases} ∞&\,{\rm if} x<0 \\ 0&\,{\rm if}\,...
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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 a potential (e.g. a potential described by a ...
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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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1answer
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Energy and time evolution of a particle in a potential well

Hoping this is not a silly and stupid question let me ask for help in this problem. I have a particle in an infinite square well (the box is from 0 to a), in the state described by the function $\...
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1answer
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Vector and scalar potentials of plane wave

Consider a simplest 3D solution of Maxwell's equations: $$\vec B=\vec e_z \cos\left(\frac{2\pi}{\lambda}(ct-x)\right),$$ $$\vec E=\vec e_y\cos\left(\frac{2\pi}{\lambda}(ct-x)\right),$$ and ...