# principle of superposition

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## principle of superposition

[′prin·sə·pəl əv ‚sü·pər·pə′zish·ən] (electricity)

The principle that the total electric field at a point due to the combined influence of a distribution of point charges is the vector sum of the electric field intensities which the individual point charges would produce at that point if each acted alone.

The principle that, in a linear electrical network, the voltage or current in any element resulting from several sources acting together is the sum of the voltages or currents resulting from each source acting alone. Also known as superposition theorem.

(mechanics)

The principle that when two or more forces act on a particle at the same time, the resultant force is the vector sum of the two.

(physics)

Also known as superposition principle.

A general principle applying to many physical systems which states that if a number of independent influences act on the system, the resultant influence is the sum of the individual influences acting separately.

In all theories characterized by linear homogeneous differential equations, such as optics, acoustics, and quantum theory, the principle that the sum of any number of solutions to the equations is another solution.

McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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