1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Scalar potential and line integral of a vector field

  1. Feb 28, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data


    2. Relevant equations

    Given above.

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I attempted this problem first without looking at the hint.

    I've defined F(r) as (B+A)/2 + t(B-A)/2, with dr as (B-A)/2 dt . Thus F(r)dr = ((B+A)/2)*((B-A)/2)+((B-A)/2)^2 dt

    When I integrate this from -1 to 1 I get 1/2*(B^2-A^2).

    When I then looked at the hint, I saw it mentioned another (B^2+A^2)/2 term and another "c," neither of which I have, and my integrand has no "tau" squared element either. Is there a point where I went wrong here?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 28, 2010 #2


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    I'm guessing that you don't get to define F(r) but instead have to use the one given to you in problem 4.01, whatever that is.
  4. Feb 28, 2010 #3
    The idea is to used the derived formula to solve the next problem, which is find a scalar potential function phi(r) such that the line integral F(B,A) (as in 4.02) = phi(B)-phi(A). So it's clear I need to solve this in terms of B and A.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: Scalar potential and line integral of a vector field