| at each point of a given space region, scalar φ the negative of the gradient of which is the vector U of a given field|
U = −grad φ
Note 1 to entry: The vector field U is a conservative field and is said to be derived from the scalar field φ.
Note 2 to entry: The scalar potential is not unique since any constant scalar can be added to a given scalar potential without changing its gradient.
Note 3 to entry: Examples of potential are the electric potential and the potential in mechanics (see IEV 113-03-19).
Note 4 to entry: The term "scalar potential" is only used in place of the term "potential" to distinguish it from the term "vector potential".