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Why potential difference is not a vector

Discussion in 'General Electronics' started by electronics_newbeee, Jan 8, 2004.

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  1. I am a beginner in Electronics.
    can anyone give me the most accurate explanation for why Potential
    difference is a scalar, whereas electric field is ?
  2. no_one

    no_one Guest

    what is the direction of the potential difference? If there is a direction
    you can have a vector; a la velocity vector.
  3. Robgeez

    Robgeez Guest

    It is like this: dV = -E(vector) dot dS(vector)

    When you take the dot product of the electric field vector with the
    direction vector you get a scalar quantity and that is the voltage.
    Basic vector calculus,
    the dot product of two vector quantities is a scalar quantity.

  4. Mantra

    Mantra Guest

    In short because the mathematics of the physics required it. :)

    If the question is regarding scalar electric potential, V, vs. vector
    magnetic potential, A, it can probably be attributed to the extra
    degrees of freedom that come from magnetism being nothing more than a
    relativistic correction of electrostatics. Because relativity
    includes velocity, a 3-D vector quantity, magnetic potential probably
    is vector simply because velocity is added into the mix.

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