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Dumb quantum mechanics question

  1. Nov 12, 2013 #1

    Physics_UG

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    so I received a physics degree and finished a quantum mechanics course. I plan on entering grad school in physics. However, I have a dumb question. When referring to a "potential" in QM (such as if you solve the wavefunction for an electron in a periodic potential) does it always refer to an electrical potential? Can it refer to, for instance, gravitational potentials too?

    Thanks.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 12, 2013 #2
    I would say yes. Any potential that effects the energy...
     
  4. Nov 12, 2013 #3

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    I think it depends on the problem: for electrons gravity is very small compared to electric field so the potential is primarily from the electric field and we discount gravity. For particles concerned with the nuclear forces then the potential would be from the strong nuclear force and we'd discount the electric field...
     
  5. Nov 12, 2013 #4

    atyy

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  6. Nov 12, 2013 #5

    strangerep

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  7. Nov 13, 2013 #6

    Physics_UG

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    great! thanks guys!
     
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