Electrostatics is concerned with the electrical fields and scalar potentials of stationary electrical charges and charge distributions. Use this for questions about electromagnetic situations in which currents and magnetic fields are absent, otherwise use [tag:electromagnetism] and/or ...

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Electric Field and Neutral Objects

Due to electrostatic induction, when a charged object gets closer to a neutral object, sides of the neutral object can get charged. Thus, a charged object can attract a neutral object. However, is ...
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777 views

Why does Hauksbee's electrostatic machine produce light?

I'm reading on the history of the discovery of electricity and the electron, and I've went from reading about Rutherford's gold leaf experiment all the way back to Francis Hauksbee's spinning glass ...
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Electrostatic notion of voltage as it applies to circuits

I have a question that's been bothering me about electric fields, voltage, and circuit analysis. Initially, I came to understand voltage as it was taught in the context of electrostatics - through ...
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2answers
4k views

Why is the electric field perpendicular to every point on the surface of a conductor?

I am reading Berkeley Physics Course, Volume 2 (Electricity and Magnetism by Edward M. Purcell). I am in chapter $3$, page $92$, and the book discusses conductors. The following is from the book: ...
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Why is the conductor an equipotential surface in electrostatics?

Since the electric field inside a conductor is zero that means the potential is constant inside a conductor, which means the "inside" of a conductor is an equal potential region. Why do books also ...
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2answers
146 views

Why do electric field lines start and end at 90 degree at the surface of a conductor? [duplicate]

There is one property of electric lines of forces which states that: Electric field lines start and end at 90 degree at the surface of the conductor. But why is that so? Is there any proof for ...
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Why does a glass rod when rubbed with silk cloth aquire positive charge and not negative charge?

I have read many times in the topic of induction that a glass rod when rubbed against a silk cloth acquires a positive charge. Why does it acquire positive charge only, and not negative charge? It ...
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Why we cannot use Gauss's Law to find the Electric Field of a finite-length charged wire?

One of my physics books has a nice example on how to use Gauss's Law to find the electric field of a long (infinite) charged wire. However, at the very end of the example, the author ends by saying ...
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Charged particle inside a hole in a charged layer

The layer $-a\le x \le a$ is homogeneously charged with a electric charge density $\rho \gt 0$ and on the x-axis a thin hole is made. A particle with mass $m$ and charge $q \gt 0$ move on the ...
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3answers
25 views

Path followed by a free test charge in an electric field region represent the electric lines of forces?

As we know that if we put any free test charge in an electric field which is moving horizontally then it will experience an repulsive force and move in that direction so by that we can say that for ...
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2answers
38 views

Electric field due to a finite line charge [on hold]

I was wondering what would happen if we were to calculate electric field due to a finite line charge. Most books have this for an infinite line charge. In the given figure if I remove the portion of ...
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0answers
47 views

Where should five charges be placed inside a hollow sphere so as the system has the lowest potential energy? [on hold]

I want to know the configuration where the system would be most stable. But I cannot think of a way to start solving the problem. I've solved it for 4 charges and 6 charges and they have a symmetric ...
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1answer
48 views

Where should five charges be placed inside a hollow sphere so as the system has the lowest potential energy? [duplicate]

I want to know the configuration where the system would be most stable.I only know basic Physics & Maths and cannot start solving the problem.I can understand it for 4 charges and 6 charges as a ...
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1answer
73 views

Gauss's Law of Electric Field how it actually works? & How Gauss derived it?

I want to know how Gauss derived his equation of Electric Field. Did he derive it from Coulomb's law? I don't think so. Please tell me some details about how this law works? inside a Gaussian ...
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2answers
33 views

How does friction product heat?

Suppose there are two similar particle-like objects attempting to "bump" against each other to create friction, they are prevented from colliding against one another due to either electrostatic ...
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21 views

Electric field calculation and its graph vs x [on hold]

Electric field along the line passing through two point charges, A point charge $Q_1= +3 \mu C$ is placed at the origin and a point charge $Q_2= -7\mu C $is placed at $x=0.4 m$ on the $x$-axis of a ...
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3answers
83 views

Electrostatics and two electric charges

How can two identical metallic objects have the same but opposite charges (one loses electrons and one gains electrons) when we know that metals have the ability to lose electrons only?
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2answers
2k views

The electric field of a conductive sphere containing a charge - grounded vs not grounded

Let's suppose we have a sphere but unlike theoretical ones it'll have some thickness say $\Delta r$ and inner radius $R$. What I was wondering about is how will it behave if we place some charge $q$ ...
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Electric circuit question [on hold]

A 100W bulb is connected in series with a room heater.If now 100W bulb is replaced by a 40W bulb,the heater output will (Decrease) (Increase) (remain same)? And explain why?
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1answer
88 views

Does charge of a metal charged by induction determine by which ends of the metal is grounded to?

Does charge of a metal charged by induction determine by which part of the metal is ground to? I draw a diagram to make it simple to understand: Right diagram: When ground is touched with the ...
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1answer
385 views

What determines how much electrical charge an object can hold?

What determines how much electrical charge an object can hold? Does increase voltage force more electrical charge to be store in an object (Van de Graaff generator), since electric field increase as ...
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0answers
14 views

Electric Flux through a lamina

I was wondering what the electric flux would be through a square (or any planar lamina for that matter) if I placed a charge at the centre of the square. I think that it will be 0 since none of the ...
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1answer
36 views

The influence of electric potential of a planet to a spaceship

How does the electric potential of a planet influence a spaceship? If a distant planet is at very high potential compared to Earth. A spaceship is sent from Earth to land on the planet. Is the mission ...
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2answers
46 views

Induction in Electrostatics

While solving some problems on electrostatics, I came across this question : Two balls carrying charges of +3 $\mu C$ and -3$\mu C$ attract each other with a force $F$. If a charge of +3$\mu C$ is ...
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39 views

What is the dimension of the solution for Laplace's equation between two cylinders?

Calculate the $\phi$, satisfying $\nabla^2 \phi=0$ between the two cylinders $r=a$, on which $\phi=0$, and $r=b>a$, on which $\phi=V$. I calculate it and found the solution is ...
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2answers
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How can plants rooted on the ground become charged?

According to a quote on the physics forum "Plants are usually charged negatively and emit weak electric fields." Reference However this seems to contradict the fact that plants are grounded and any ...
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Physical intuition for quadrupole source

In his Theory of Vortex Sound M. S. Howe defines sources "mathematically" (i.e. dipole is a source that could be described as a vector and than there is proved that it's equivalent to a two point ...
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Voltage between conductors in single phase line [on hold]

I am trying to understand capactiance between conductors in a single phase line, but I am stuck, I am following this ...
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0answers
39 views

Calculating the electric charge of two spheres knowing their potential

I have a system of two spheres, the first one is at a potential of $ V_1 = 1 V $ and the second one is at a potential of $ V_2 = 0 V $ The distance between them is $d$ and the radius are respectively ...
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1answer
298 views

Boundary conditions in Electrostatics

If I have a grounded conducting material, then I know that $\phi=0$ inside this material, no matter what the electric configuration in the surrounding will be. Now I have a conducting material that ...
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1answer
32 views

Potential of a sphere induced by a charged sphere

I am trying to solve what seems like a simple problem but something is bothering me: Imagine we have a sphere (1) with a charge $Q_1$ and at a distance $d$ we have another sphere (2) which is a ...
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0answers
14 views

Net charge in a conductor

Why does the net charge in a conductor with a cavity becomes zero although we find that the field line from the cavity having a charge +q reaches to the surface of the conductor?
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72 views

How can electric field representation be obtained from Enge representation using Maxwell's equations?

Suppose we have a long electric capacitor. Let $L$ be its length ($z$ coordinate), $W$ its width ($y$ coordinate), and $D$ its full height (full aperture; $x$ coordinate). Let $L\gg W\gg D$. The ...
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20 views

Why must the belt in a van de Graaff generator be insulating?

If it were conducting then it would not be required to be constantly driven over the pulley; the positive charge gained at the bottom could just flow directly to the large sphere.
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28 views

Lower limit value of electric force [closed]

What is the lower limit value to the electric force between two charges separated by a fixed distance?
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9 views

Electromagnetics [closed]

the electric potential V(z) between two transmission lines is 6000KV, calculate the electric field the two transmission lines exert on each other,If the electric field is vertically downwards and V1 ...
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1answer
30 views

How to calculate Electric Field near a charged conducting surface without Gauss' law?

I have two problems : In every textbook I find the use of Gauss' law in calculation of Electric Field near a charged conducting surface. Can it be calculated without Gauss' law? Suppose while using ...
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In Gauss's law, why do we use an infinte long wire or long plane to calculate electric field intensity?

In the NCERT textbook of class 12, in the section on applications of Gauss's law, there are three applications. The first application is to calculate the electric field intensity around an infinitely ...
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2answers
59 views

Electric field due to a uniformly charged FINITE rectangular plate

I was teaching kids about how to find electric field using the superposition principle for continuous charge distributions, I thought may be I should derive the formula for electric field due to the ...
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0answers
59 views

Understanding Millikan's oil-drop experiment

This is quoted from A.P. French's Newtonian Mechanicsabout Millikan's oil-drop experiment: The droplets randomly produced in a mist of oil vapor are of various sizes. The ones that Millikan found ...
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1answer
364 views

Finding Green function using eigenfunction expansion method

Given the Dirichlet boundary condition, I am to show that the functions that satisfy $$(\nabla ^2 + k_{lmn}^2) \psi_{lmn} (x,y,z) = 0$$ are given by $$\psi_{lmn} = (\frac{\pi}{2x})^{1/2} ...
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1answer
30 views

How to find the distribution of charge on two spheres connected by a conducting wire?

A solid metal sphere of radius $R$ has charge $+2Q$. A hollow spherical shell of radius $3R$, concentric with the first sphere, has net charge $-Q$. What would be the final distribution of the charge ...
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5answers
447 views

Electric potential and maximum charge on a conductor

Does increasing the amount of electric charge on a conductor cause an increase in its electric potential to a point at which it becomes maximum; where it can hold no more extra charge? Is it true? ...
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1answer
29 views

Physical meaning of the separation constants in Laplace's Equation for Electrostatics

In Electrostatics, if we consider a region without charges the electrostatic potential $V$ obeys Laplace's Equation $\nabla^2 V = 0$. We can tackle this with separation of variables. In cartesian ...
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61 views

Force when distance between charge is zero

According to coulomb law $$ F = \frac{q_1q_2}{r^2} $$ I want to know what happens to force when $r=0$. If $F \to \infty$ then the charges can't be separated! But if an unlike charge of higher ...
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1answer
93 views

Physical interpretation of single layer potential in the plane

Let $\Omega\subset\mathbb{R}^2$ be a bounded domain with smooth boundary $\partial\Omega$. The single layer potential with charge density $f$ sitting on $\partial\Omega$ is defined by ...
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2answers
684 views

How do I express the interaction energy between two charged spheres?

Consider two identical insulating spheres each with radius $R$ and uniform charge $Q$ through their volume. They are separated from their centers by a distance of $d>2R$. Here is my general ...
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64 views

Electric potential inside a conductor

I just began studying electrostatics in university, and I didn't understand completely why the electric potential due to a conducting sphere is $$ V(\vec{r})=\begin{cases} ...
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0answers
23 views

Is there a way to calculate the surface charge density on an infinite plate without using the method of images?

This is the problem: A point charge $q$ is located at a distance $l$ from the infinite conducting plane. Determine the surface charge density induced on the plane, as a function of the distance ...
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115 views

Two capacitor plates with equal positive charges $q$

I read in a book that if both the plates of a parallel plate capacitor are given equal positive charges $q$, then the charges on the facing surfaces will be zero and the charge on the outer surfaces ...