Some Relationships between Different Uses of the Electrostatic Potential

  • Donald G. Truhlar


The electrostatic potential at a point \(\vec r\) in the vicinity of an atom or molecule is (in a.u.):
$$v^{ES} \left( {\vec r} \right) = \sum\limits_A {\frac{{Z_A }} {{\left| {\vec r - \vec R_A } \right|}}} - \int {\frac{{\rho \left( {\vec r} \right)}} {{\left| {\vec r - \vec r'} \right|}}} d\vec r'$$
where ZA is the charge on nucleus A, located at \({\vec R_A}\) A, and ρ(\(\overrightarrow {r'}\) ) is the electronic charge density. As is clear from equation (1), the electrostatic potential represents the net electric potential field at point \(\vec r\) caused by the unperturbed, i.e., static, charge distribution of an atom or molecule. As such the electrostatic potential determines the classical coulombic component of the interaction energy of a static target with anything. In this chapter a few relationships and differences between various kinds of uses of the electrostatic potential are discussed.


Interaction Energy Impact Energy Electrostatic Potential Electrostatic Molecular Potential Coulombic Energy 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald G. Truhlar
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and Chemical Physics ProgramUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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