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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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### 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}\...
916 views

### 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 ...
821 views

### 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 ...
622 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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### 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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### 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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### 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?
528 views

### 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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### 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: $$V(x) ~= ~-a\delta(x) , \qquad a>0.$$...
655 views

### 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 ...
436 views

### 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 ...
1k views

### 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 ...
939 views

### 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 ...
16k views

### 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 ...
2k views

### 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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### 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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### How to find Electrostatic Potential Difference?

I have a really simple doubt about finding the potential difference in electrostatics. Well, first of all, the definition of potential difference is very clear to me: we take a path between the points ...
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### Potential of a conductor depends on the size and shape of the conductor. How?

1) When a charge 'q' is given to an isolated conductor, its potential will change. 2) The change in potential depends on the size and shape of the conductor. I could understand the point no. 1. ...
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### Work done in an equipotential surface is zero?

An equipotential surface is one in which all the points are at the same electric potential. If a charge is to be moved between any two points (say from point A to point B) on an equipotential surface, ...
331 views

### Potential in Relativistic Scalar Field Theory

My intention is to establish a Soliton equation. I have cropped a page from Mark Srednicki page no 576. I have understand the equation (92.1) but don't understand that how they guessed the ...
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### Wave equations for two intervals at Potential step

Lets say we have a potential step as in the picture: In the region I there is a free particle with a wavefunction $\psi_I$ while in the region II the wave function will be $\psi_{II}$. Let me take ...
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### How to superimpose Wood-Saxon and Coulomb potential?

I have just written a simple simulation that models the tunnel-effect of alpha-particles for $^{212}$Po and $^{238}$Ur. In this simulation, I approximate the potential of the nucleus by a simple ...
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### Is it easier to determine the number of states with raising/lowering operators or using scattering?

A particle is bound by $$V(x) = \begin{cases}\infty,& x <0 \\ \frac{-32\hbar^2}{ma}, & x\le a \\ 0, & x \le a\end{cases}$$ a) how many states are there? i'm attempting to ...
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### Why does a capacitor discharge?

Suppose a charged capacitor (parallel plates), the negative and positive charges on two plates attract each other. Which force cause the negative charge carriers (electrons) move through the circuit ...
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### Energies and numbers of bound states in finite potential well

Hello I understand how to approach finite potential well (I learned a lot in my other topic here). However i am disturbed by equation which describes number of states $N$ for a finite potential well ( ...
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### Plotting $\psi$ for finite square well potential

Lets say we have a finite square potential well like below: This well has a $\psi$ which we can combine with $\psi_I$, $\psi_{II}$ and $\psi_{III}$. I have been playing around and got expressions ...
I have a finite square well like the one on the picture below: I have done some calculations on it and got a transcendental equation for even solutions which is like this:  \boxed{\dfrac{\mathcal{...
Lets say we have a finite square well symetric around $y$ axis (picture below). I know how and why general solutions to the second order ODE (stationary Schrödinger equation) are as follows for the ...