|WikiProject Physics||(Rated Start-class, High-importance)|
The articles on potential and [scalar potential]] seem to be substantially the same. Worse, the article on potential is filled with cruft and inaccurate remarks that should be deleted or heavily edited. Thus I propose a merge, and a disambiguation....Oh, never mind, I'll just do it. linas 17:30, 7 July 2006 (UTC)
- Please keep the scalar potential.
- I'm a phyisicist. I do think too that it is important to keep the scalar potential separated from the potential.
- For. I'd be for merging Potential into scalar potential. There's no difference between potential and scalar potential (in this context at least, vector potential etc has it's own entry). --H2g2bob
Sub-Section Edit Button
If this discussion is about the mathematical (scalar) potential shouldn't the - sign in the definition go away? In physics we write that, e.g. E = - grad(V), but this is the physical definition to get the signs there in the "natural" way. In math we usually define it as E = grad(V) only.
Ravn-hawk (talk) 15:58, 23 July 2009 (UTC) Agree. I asked a Professor in Engineering Mathematics and he told me that the mathematical concept doesn't contain the negative sign , but for a physical phenomenon , the negative sign is sometimes added for physical considerations Melnakeeb (talk) 09:55, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
- Is that true? In Helmholtz decomposition for instance there is a minus sign. (This article seems quite math-centric to me.) There is an advantage from a pure mathematical perspective in having the minus sign. The scalar potential yielding a vector field A is used when rotA=0 in which case divA=f(x,y,z) is the quantity of interest. If V is defined such that -gradV=A, the the solution for V in terms of f will have a positive sign which is symmetric with the equations for the solenoidal (divA=0) case.
- As a physicist having the negative sign is strongly preferred. If there is a valid mathematical reason to not have it I will defer, but if there isn't or if there is some ambiguity in math then I want to use the negative. TStein (talk) 19:59, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
Calculating the scalar potential
Not all symbols are defined in the equations that are presented in the "Calculating the scalar potential" section. What is R(tau) for example? Also, no references are given. So, neither the equations nor the claim that "This formula is known to be correct if"... can be verified. This section really needs a reference to the information source or to further information. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Pms549 (talk • contribs) 23:36, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
[Relatively Minor] Conservation conditions
It should be made clear that the three conditions for a vector field to have a potential are one (you can think of them as being like different tests for the same thing). The second is a corollary of the first (this is obvious by single-valuedness – P(x)–P(x) = 0) , and the third is implied by the second (by Stokes' theorem).
Pressure as buoyant potential
In the above mentioned chapter, the definition "The surfaces of constant pressure are planes parallel to the ground." is used. This might well be true for volumes with even ground, but regarding a lake, the definition should be "The surfaces of constant pressure are planes parallel to the surface, which represents the plane of zero pressure". Nevertheless, also this definition only holds true for undisturbed systems, in line with the example of the vertical vortex described a few lines further down. If I am not mistaken, a similar effect can be observed within any flowing liquid such as water in a river. If someone could justify to prefer to use of the "parallel to the ground." definition, it would be great. Otherwise, I'd like to alter the definition according to that described above.