The graph of a 2D potential energy function is a potential energy surface that can be imagined as the Earth's surface in a landscape of hills and valleys. Then a potential well would be a valley surrounded on all sides with higher terrain, which thus could be filled with water (i.e., be a lake) without any water flowing away toward another, lower minimum (i.e. sea level).
In the case of gravity, the region around a mass is a gravitational potential well, unless the density of the mass is so low that tidal forces from other masses are greater than the gravity of the body itself.
A potential hill is the opposite of a potential well, and is the region surrounding a local maximum.
US Patent Issued to National University Corporation Shizuoka University on Nov. 27 for "Solid-State Image Pick-Up Device and Pixel Signal Readout Method Having Dual Potential Well, Dual Transfer Gate Electrode and Dual Floating-Diffusion Region for Separately Transferring and Storing Charges Respectively" (Japanese Inventor)
Nov 28, 2012; ALEXANDRIA, Va., Nov. 28 -- United States Patent no. 8,319,166, issued on Nov. 27, was assigned to National University...
WIPO PUBLISHES PATENT OF NOVELLUS SYSTEMS FOR "CREATION OF MAGNETIC FIELD (VECTOR POTENTIAL) WELL FOR IMPROVED PLASMA DEPOSITION AND RESPUTTERING UNIFORMITY" (AMERICAN INVENTORS)
Apr 03, 2012; GENEVA, April 3 -- Publication No. WO/2012/040158 was published on March 29. Title of the invention: "CREATION OF MAGNETIC FIELD...