Sun April 22, 2012 By: Smita Bhardwaj

what is the electrostatic potential gradient and how is it related to electric field?

Expert Reply
Mon April 23, 2012
the electric field gradient (EFG) measures the rate of change of the electric field at an atomic nucleus generated by the electronic charge distribution and the other nuclei. The EFG couples with the nuclear electric quadrupole moment of quadrupolar nuclei (those with spin quantum number greater than one-half) to generate an effect which can be measured using several spectroscopic methods, such as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR, ESR), nuclear quadrupole resonance (NQR), Mössbauer spectroscopy or perturbed angular correlation (PAC). The EFG is non-zero only if the charges surrounding the nucleus violate cubic symmetry and therefore generate an inhomogeneous electric field at the position of the nucleus.
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