Opportunity vs. Potential

By Jaxson

  • Potential

    Potential generally refers to a currently unrealized ability. The term is used in a wide variety of fields, from physics to the social sciences to indicate things that are in a state where they are able to change in ways ranging from the simple release of energy by objects to the realization of abilities in people. Examples include:

    In linguistics, the potential mood.

    The mathematical study of potentials is known as potential theory; it is the study of harmonic functions on manifolds. This mathematical formulation arises from the fact that, in physics, the scalar potential is irrotational, and thus has a vanishing Laplacian — the very definition of a harmonic function.

    In physics, a potential may refer to the scalar potential or to the vector potential. In either case, it is a field defined in space, from which many important physical properties may be derived.

    Leading examples are the gravitational potential and the electric potential, from which the motion of gravitating or electrically charged bodies may be obtained.

    Specific forces have associated potentials, including the Coulomb potential, the van der Waals potential, the Lennard-Jones potential and the Yukawa potential.

    In electrochemistry there are Galvani potential, Volta potential, electrode potential, standard electrode potential.

    In thermodynamics potential refers to thermodynamic potential.

  • Opportunity (noun)

    A chance for advancement, progress or profit.

  • Opportunity (noun)

    A favorable circumstance or occasion.

    “Having a holiday is a great opportunity to relax.”

  • Opportunity (noun)


    “The Court questioned the opportunity of introducing these measures in such an uncertain economic climate.”

  • Potential (noun)

    Currently unrealized ability (with the most common adposition being to)

    “Even from a young age it was clear that she had the potential to become a great musician.”

  • Potential (noun)

    The gravitational potential: the Newtonian potential or the gravitoelectric field.

  • Potential (noun)

    The work (energy) required to move a reference particle from a reference location to a specified location in the presence of a force field, for example to bring a unit positive electric charge from an infinite distance to a specified point against an electric field.

  • Potential (noun)

    A verbal construction or form stating something is possible or probable.

  • Opportunity (noun)

    a time or set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something

    “the night drive gave us the opportunity of spotting rhinos”

    “increased opportunities for export”

  • Opportunity (noun)

    a chance for employment or promotion

    “career opportunities in our New York headquarters”

Oxford Dictionary

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