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5
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3answers
7k views

What happens when we connect a metal wire between the 2 poles of a battery?

As I remembered, at the 2 poles of a battery, positive or negative electric charges are gathered. So there'll be electric field existing within the battery. This filed is neutralized by the chemical ...
4
votes
2answers
676 views

Why is the voltage drop across an ideal wire zero?

I'm having trouble conceptualizing why the voltage drop between two points of an ideal wire (i.e. no resistance) is $0~V$. Using Ohm's Law, the equation is such: $$ V = IR \\ V = I(0~\Omega) \\ V = ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

What does the complex electric field show?

We have a complex electric field. Is there any definition for absolute and imaginary part of a complex electric field? What do they stand for?
1
vote
2answers
902 views

Is there really no meaning in potential energy and potential?

I have been told all my physics life that potential energy between two mass/charge has no meaning and only their difference has meaning. The same goes for electric potential, only the difference ...
4
votes
3answers
14k views

In electrostatics, why the electric field inside a conductor is zero?

In electromagnetism books, such as Griffiths or the like, when they talk about the properties of conductors in case of electrostatics they say that the electric field inside a conductor is zero. I ...
10
votes
3answers
456 views

Current in a simple circuit

I was going over my notes for an introductory course to electricity and magnetism and was intrigued by something I don't have an answer to. I remember my professor mentioning, to the best I can ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

How does electricity flow in conductor when potential difference is applied?

Electrons move from higher potential to lower potential. When a conductor is connected to battery, electron move from negative terminal to positive terminal. But the battery itself forms a Electric ...
24
votes
1answer
876 views

Can lightning be used to solve NP-complete problems?

I'm a MS/BS computer science guy who is wondering about why lightning can't (or can?) be used to solve NP complete problems efficiently, but I don't understand the physics behind lightning, so I'm ...
2
votes
1answer
269 views

Would Beetee's electrocution plan work and kill the tributes in the lake?

In Catching Fire, the second episode of the Hunger Games trilogy, one of the characters (Beetee) proposes a plan to kill some of the remaining tributes. He proposes wrapping a special wire that he has ...
7
votes
2answers
660 views

Mechanism by which electric and magnetic fields interrelate

I read that force due to electric field on some particle in one reference frame can exhibit itself as force due to magnetic field in some other reference frame and that electric and magnetic fields ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

Electric field of a negative charge

How was it discovered that the electric field of a negative charge points towards the charge itself? Is it true? (Courtesy of wikipedia)
9
votes
3answers
473 views

How would charge be distributed in charged conductors if the Coulomb law was not ${1}/{r^2}$?

Would the excess charge on a conductor move to surface until the electric field inside become zero if the Coulomb law was for example $\frac{1}{r^3}$? If yes, would the distribution $\sigma(x,y)$ be ...
6
votes
5answers
795 views

Paradox with Gauss' law when space is uniformly charged everywhere

Consider that space is uniformly charged everywhere, i.e., filled with a uniform charge distribution, $\rho$, everywhere. By symmetry, the electric field is zero everywhere. (If I take any point in ...
4
votes
2answers
675 views

How does lightning “know” where to go?

If lightning comes down in, say, a large flat field with a lightning rod sticking out of the middle, the lightning will strike the rod. How does it "know" the rod is there? Will it always strike the ...
2
votes
1answer
102 views

Does there exist electric field around all the substances?

A system of two equal and opposite charges separated by a certain distance is called an electric dipole. Electric dipole moment ($p$) is defined as the product of either charge ($q$) and the ...
1
vote
1answer
535 views

Finding the electric field for a shell of charge

Suppose we have charge density defined $$ \rho(x,y,z) = \begin{cases} 0 & 0 \leq r < a \\ K & a \leq r\leq b\\ 0 & b< r \end{cases} $$ For some constants $K,a,b$ How would ...
-1
votes
1answer
512 views

What's the electric field with a point charge not in the center of the sphere? [closed]

That's a hollow conducting sphere link My charge is at P (10uC). R = 0.15m. PS = 0.05m. DS = 0.35m. What's the electric field at point D?
3
votes
2answers
195 views

Why doesn't the magnetic field polarize when polarizing light?

If the magnetic field doesn't polarize does it follow the electric field path of propagation? or does it vanish?
3
votes
1answer
108 views

Are the axial electric field lines of a dipole the only ones that extend to infinity?

Consider an electric dipole and its electric field lines. There will be many field lines that do not extend to or originate from infinity, but rather begin at the positive charge and loop back ...
8
votes
2answers
5k views

What is the difference between an electric and a magnetic field? [closed]

This question is a consequence of another question of mine which is about spin. Here is my spin question. What is the difference between these two fields? How do they occur? Am I right if I say that ...
4
votes
6answers
5k views

Does a current carrying wire produce electric field outside?

In the modern texts of electromagnetism in the presence of stationary currents the electric field is assumed conservative $\nabla \times E =0 $. Using this we get $E_{||}^{out}=E_{||}^{in}$ which ...
11
votes
2answers
438 views

What is the nature of electric field? is it quantized? is it a wave?

What I seek here is to understand whether the electric field in its pure form as in between the electron and the proton is uniform or does it have some kind of wave/particle nature or both, does it ...
10
votes
6answers
7k views

What are the fields produced around a current carrying conductor?

If you consider a current carrying conductor, every instant an electron enters the conductor, another electron will be leaving the conductor. Thus, the current carrying conductor will not be charged ...
7
votes
7answers
740 views

Electric field lines density

When we're dealing with problems in electrostatics (especially when we use Gauss' law) we often refer to electric field lines density which is inversely proportional to radius in case of a single ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the penetration length of static electric field into conducting metals?

How large is the penetration length for static electric field into good conductors? I have two versions: (1) few atomic spacings $$a\sim n_{e}^{-1/3},$$ and (2) Debye length computed by Fermi ...
5
votes
3answers
237 views

Is it true that $\vec{E}\neq 0$ inside a 1- or 2-dimensional conductor?

It is known that when a conductor is placed in an electric field, the charges redistribute themselves such that $E=0$ inside the conductor. I was also told that the same is NOT true for the 2D and 1D ...
3
votes
5answers
951 views

What is the origin of the Dirac delta term in the dipole electric field?

I am a bit lost how one has deduced the formula for electric field with electric dipole because of some inconsistency between different sources. The Wikipedia article contains a delta function in the ...
1
vote
1answer
333 views

Why is the Maxwell Stress Tensor symmetric?

What is the physical meaning of the Maxwell Stress tensor symmetry?
1
vote
3answers
616 views

Is there is any difference between Electric Flux ($\Psi$) and Total number of Electric Field lines ($E\times$Area)?

Is there is any difference between Electric Flux ($\Psi$) and Total number of Electric Field lines ($E\times$Area)? $\psi = \Sigma Q$, and $\phi$ = Electric field intensity $\times$ Area where Area ...
0
votes
1answer
88 views

Why isn't resistance proportional to distance squared

Here we have a wire. At both ends there is an equal and opposite field caused by a chemical reaction. So, if we decrease or increase the distance between the two points, the strength of the field ...
5
votes
2answers
179 views

Could we run an electric car on electric eels?

Could we run an electric car on a tank full of electric eels? I've heard electric eels are around 400 to 500 volts and can keep shocking for up to an hour. They also have a 10 volt system to sense ...
5
votes
3answers
529 views

Influence of charged particle's own electric field on itself

I read this in my textbook: A charged particle or object is not affected by its own electric field. Since I find this completely unintuitive and my mind is yelling "wrong! wrong! how could a particle ...
3
votes
4answers
518 views

How can there be a Current and an Electric field in an idealized wire with no voltage drop?

In an ideal circuit, How can there be a current b/w points a & b, when there is no potential difference and thus no electric field between a & b? If there is no current, then where does ...
3
votes
1answer
538 views

Electric field caused by magnetic field

Does electric field caused by time varying magnetic field form closed loops(electric field starts from a positive charge and ends at a negative charge)? and are they conservative or non-conservative ...
2
votes
3answers
106 views

Calculating the Potential from the E-Field

I find that often times I'll be tripped up by questioning whether or not I can do something mathematically, and be unable to come up with a satisfying answer. This is, unfortunately, one of those ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Electric Field Between Two Parallel Infinite Plates of Positive Charge and a Gaussian Cylinder

Is the electric field between two positively charged parallel infinite plates one with a charge density twice the other effect the electric field on the outside of the plates? I am thinking no, ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Calculating the field of an infinite flat sheet of charge using the superposition principle

I am trying to calculate the field of an infinite flat sheet of charge (a plain with uniform charge density $\sigma$) using the superposition principle. I know that the field of an infinite line ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Minimizing potential energy of a dipole in an electric field

My test paper asked me which way a dipole should be orientated in an electric field to minimize its potential energy. My answer was that the dipole should lie parallel to the electric field with the ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Electric field due to a solid sphere of charge

I have been trying to understand the last step of this derivation. Consider a sphere made up of charge $+q$. Let $R$ be the radius of the sphere and $O$, its center. A point $P$ lies inside the ...
2
votes
2answers
834 views

Electric potential of sphere

(a) I am a little confused about this part. The point at A to B isn't radial. The electric field is radially outward, but if I look at the integral $$\int_{a}^{b}\mathbf{E}\cdot d\mathbf{s} = ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Is the electric field zero inside an ideal conductor carrying a current?

By an ideal conductor, I mean one with zero resistance. Inside an ideal conductor with no current, the electric field is zero, but is the electric field still zero with the ideal conductor carrying a ...
2
votes
2answers
104 views

Origin of field deduced from potential

Related: Tubelights+power lines pictures? I would've edited this into the above question, but I realized that there' enough to it to qualify as a new one. Plus this seems to be a confusion of ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

how does an electric field comes inside a conducting wire inside the circuit? [duplicate]

This has been a really great confusion for me now .... Many places i have read in books that when a potential difference is applied across the ends of a wire a constant electric field is generated ...
1
vote
1answer
155 views

Potential of a dipole with actual physical extension?

I think everybody here knows the equation that gives the potential of a point like dipole, but how does the field look like if you have e.g. a metal sphere with radius $R$ and a certain dipol moment, ...
1
vote
1answer
120 views

Maximum separation when 2 unlike charges shot apart

I want to compute the maximum separation when 2 unlike charges are shot apart from each other ...
1
vote
2answers
873 views

Electric vs. Gravitational shielding [duplicate]

There are great similarities between electric and gravitational fields and, furthermore, a room can be electrically shielded so that there are no electric fields simply by surrounding it with a ...
1
vote
2answers
380 views

In which cases is it better to use Gauss' law?

I could, for example calculate the electric field near a charged rod of infinite length using the classic definition of the electric field, and integrating the: $$ \overrightarrow{dE} = \frac{dq}{4 ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Electric field due to nonconducting sphere

For calculating electric field outside a nonconducting sphere with a hollow spherical cavity. When I use the rule (Charge density= $dQ/dV$), I don't know exactly what is $dV$, is the volume here ...
0
votes
1answer
247 views

Tubelights+power lines pictures?

I've come across many pictures like these, sometimes in chain emails reporting the dangers of power lines. Another claim is that they run on "wasted" energy. The explanations given are that the ...
-2
votes
2answers
417 views

Gauss's (Divergence) theorem in Classical Electrodynamics

How does divergence theorem holds good for electric field. How does this hold true- $$\iiint\limits_{\mathcal{V}} (\vec{\nabla}\cdot\vec{E})\ \mbox{d}V=\mathop{{\int\!\!\!\!\!\int}\mkern-21mu ...