# potential function

potential function
Potential Po*ten"tial, n. 1. Anything that may be possible; a possibility; potentially. --Bacon. [1913 Webster]

2. (Math.) In the theory of gravitation, or of other forces acting in space, a function of the rectangular coordinates which determine the position of a point, such that its differential coefficients with respect to the co["o]rdinates are equal to the components of the force at the point considered; -- also called {potential function}, or {force function}. It is called also {Newtonian potential} when the force is directed to a fixed center and is inversely as the square of the distance from the center. [1913 Webster]

3. (Elec.) The energy of an electrical charge measured by its power to do work; hence, the degree of electrification as referred to some standard, as that of the earth; electro-motive force. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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• Potential function — The term potential function may refer to:* A mathematical function whose values are a physical potential. * The class of functions known as harmonic functions, which are the topic of study in potential theory …   Wikipedia

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• Potential (disambiguation) — Potential may mean:In mathematics and physics: * a Potential: ** Scalar potential ** Vector potential * A potential function, that is, a harmonic function studied in potential theoryIn physics and engineering: * Potential energy * Magnetic… …   Wikipedia

• Potential — Po*ten tial, n. 1. Anything that may be possible; a possibility; potentially. Bacon. [1913 Webster] 2. (Math.) In the theory of gravitation, or of other forces acting in space, a function of the rectangular coordinates which determine the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

• Potential game — A game in game theory is considered a potential game if the incentive of all players to change their strategy can be expressed in one global function, the potential function. The concept was proposed by Dov Monderer and Lloyd Shapley. Games can… …   Wikipedia

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• potential — [pō ten′shəl, pəten′shəl] adj. [ME potenciall < ML potentialis < L potentia: see POTENT] 1. that has power; potent 2. that can, but has not yet, come into being; possible; latent; unrealized; undeveloped 3. Gram. expressing possibility,… …   English World dictionary

• Potential energy surface — A potential energy surface is generally used within the adiabatic or Born–Oppenheimer approximation in quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics to model chemical reactions and interactions in simple chemical and physical systems. The… …   Wikipedia