# 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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### 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 ...
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 ...
1k views

### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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 ...
160 views

### 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?