Electrostatics is concerned with the field and potential of stationary electrical charges and electric charge distributions. Problems are this type are almost exclusively concerned with mathematics of geometries using the inverse-square law.

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Why do hydrogen atoms attract?

That is, why is the potential energy with the orbitals overlapping less than with the Hydrogen atoms 'independent'. Similarly, why is a noble gas configuration stabler than if an electron were to be ...
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163 views

Fields of Steady Currents Using Electrostatics

Suppose you have a uniform ring charge rotating at constant angular velocity so that you also have a uniform ring of steady current, and thus you can use the Biot-Savart Law to compute the magnetic ...
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1answer
427 views

Solving by using Gauss law [closed]

Task: find the vector $ \mathbf E $ in the center of the sphere with radius $R$, which has charge volume distribution $\rho$ , $$\rho = \mathbf a \cdot \mathbf r ,\qquad \mathbf a = ...
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913 views

Can two electrons never touch each other?

The Coulomb's force is given by $$ F = {k q^2 \over r^2} $$ When $ r \rightarrow 0 $, $ F \rightarrow \infty $ Does this mean two electrons never touch each other?
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1answer
296 views

What is discontinuity in Vector Fields

I am reading David J. Griffiths and have a problem understanding the concept of discontinuity for E-field. The E-field has apparently to components. (How does he decompose the vector field into the ...
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1answer
190 views

Gauss's Law in action

Need someone to tell me if I got this done correctly (a) Draw Gaussuian cylinder inside the black cylinder to find charge enclosed $Q_{en} = Q(\frac{r}{a})^2$ Apply Gauss's Law $E2\pi r \ell = ...
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100 views

What causes a spark to move along rods that are not parallel?

I took my son to a science museum where they had a gadget that many of us probably saw in movies involving a mad scientist. The gadget had two metal rods about two inches apart at the bottom. The rods ...
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343 views

Negative Mass and gravitation

Since Newtonian gravity is analogous to electrostatics shouldn't there be something called negative mass? Also, a moving charge generates electric field, but why doesn't a moving mass generate some ...
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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 ...
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928 views

How do I integrate the Poisson equation to determine the electric potential along a particular direction (e.g., $z$)?

This question is a sequel of sorts to my earlier (resolved) question about a recent paper. In the paper, the authors performed molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of parallel-plate supercapacitors, ...
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495 views

Proof of charge existence on a grounded conductor

A question regarding the existence of charge on grounded conductors is confusing me. Could there be charge on a grounded conductor? How does this not contradict Gauss's Law? Since every conductor ...
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175 views

The appearance of volume $V$ in the Fourier series representation of a periodic cubic system

In the textbook Understanding Molecular Simulation by Frenkel and Smit (Second Edition), the authors represent a function $f(\textbf{r})$ (which depends on the coordinates of a periodic system) as a ...
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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} = ...
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What are the units or dimensions of the Dirac delta function?

In three dimensions, the Dirac delta function $\delta^3 (\textbf{r}) = \delta(x) \delta(y) \delta(z)$ is defined by the volume integral: $$\int_{\text{all space}} \delta^3 (\textbf{r}) \, dV = ...
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3answers
1k views

When I connect two charged capacitors side by side, what will be the voltage across them?

Say, I have two charged capacitors, one 3mF and one 2mF. The voltage across them are 20V and 30V respectively. Now if I connect the two capacitors side by side as shown below, what will be the voltage ...
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1answer
161 views

Why does a point charge generate an electric field and why is an electric field represented by this formula?

Why does a point charge generate an electric field and why is an electric field represented by this formula $$E ~=~ \frac{q}{4 \pi \epsilon r^2},$$ where $\epsilon$ is permittivity of free space ...
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4answers
4k views

Will a charged capacitor discharge if one lead is connected to ground?

If I charge a capacitor and connect one lead to ground keeping the other lead floating, will the capacitor discharge ? ...
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5answers
189 views

Photoelectric effect without light rays

For electromagnetic waves we have the photon association, one imagines light as particles "flying around". What is the analogy for a constant electrical field, one which doesn't change in time ...
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1k views

Why does it seem that the potential difference dependence of capacitance and total energy stored in a parallel-plate capacitor are contradictory?

Consider a parallel-plate capacitor. Charge is stored physically on electrodes ("plates") which are flat and parallel to one another. If one electrode has charge $+Q$ and the other electrode has ...
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235 views

Explanation for $E~$ not falling off at $1/r^2$ for infinite line and sheet charges?

For an infinite line charge, $E$ falls off with $1/r$; for an infinite sheet of charge it's independent of r! The infinitesimal contributions to $E$ fall off with $1/r^2$, so why doesn't the total $E$ ...
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2answers
140 views

Question on conduction

I already know that a charged polyethylene plastic (done by rubbing it with paper) can be used to attract a cardboard. Now, can I 'charge' the cardboard by touching it with the plastic? Supposedly, ...
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1answer
49 views

Is the stress finite at the centre of a spherical continuous charge distribution?

At the centre of a spherical continuous charge distribution with no external electric fields, the electric field is zero from symmetry arguments. But does the stress at the centre remain finite?
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What is the difference between a battery and a charged capacitor?

What is the difference between a battery and a charged capacitor? I can see lot of similarities between capacitor and battery. In both these charges are separated and When not connected in a circuit ...
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1answer
225 views

Electric Field on Surface of Capacitor

If I have a dielectric (a piezoelectric, to be exact) sandwiched between two platinum plates (electrodes), and connect one end to positive potential of a battery and the other to ground (I don't even ...
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1answer
300 views

Faraday's law and superconductivity

According to Faraday's law of induction, volts = -Number of coils in a solenoid * change in strength of magnet / change in time. This doesn't take into account distance or speed, only time. If amps = ...
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4answers
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If something has zero resistance, does it have infinite amperage?

If amps = volts / ohms, and ohms is 0, then what is x volts / 0 ohms?
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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 ...
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What is the answer to Feynman's Disc Paradox?

[This question is Certified Higgs Free!] Richard Feynman in Lectures on Physics Vol. II Sec. 17-4, "A paradox," describes a problem in electromagnetic induction that did not originate with him, but ...
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929 views

How can electric displacement vector field is equivalent to flux density on free space

Wikipedia states that "In free space, the electric displacement field is equivalent to flux density, a concept that lends understanding to Gauss's law". Doesn't that meant that at free space ...
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1answer
631 views

Could someone remind me of what we mean by zero electric field “inside” a conductor?

If I have a spherical conductor (perhaps a shell) and "inside", as in the hollow area there is nothing. The electric field is 0. But what happens if there is a charge "inside" (not like inside the ...
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2answers
670 views

Simulator for electrostatics [closed]

I am searching for a tool that visualizes the electric field/potential for simple electrostatic configurations like conducting/polarized sphere in an uniform electric field conducting/polarized ...
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2answers
77 views

Permitivity $\mathcal{E}$ as a function of Voltage across a medium

What I wanted to Know was is there a change in Dielectric Permitivity constant as the voltage increases. My question arose from the fact that for a breakdown voltage to be reached the Permitivity ...
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1answer
217 views

Force due to combination of free space and dielectric

I will make a generalized form of my question. There are two point charges $q$, $x$ distance apart. And there is a dielectric slab of thickness $t$ and of dielectric constant $K$. Should the force ...
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What are electromagnetic fields made of?

I am trying to understand electromagnetic fields so I have two question related to them. What is a electromagnetic field made of? Is it made of photons / virtual photons? How about a static electric ...
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When I connect in series two floating capacitors, one charged and the other not charged, does current flow?

Suppose I energize one capacitor by connecting it across a battery, allowing it to achieve some potential difference V0 across its plates, then disconnect it and allow both of its leads to float in ...
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519 views

Linear charge density, surface charge density and volume charge density

What is the difference among: linear charge density, surface charge density, and volume charge density?
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8k views

How is calculated the potential between two capacitors in series?

Suppose to have two capacitors in series: The voltage in the middle point will be: $$ V_X = V_1 \frac{C_1}{C_1+C_2} $$ How can this be explained? It's been asked in electronics, and explained in ...
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2answers
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Charge distribution on a plate of Capacitor with Dielectrics .

I had this Homework Problem with a capacitor (parallel plate) that has a group of 3 dielectrics between it like so : Now We were asked to find the equivalent capacitance and the distance of ...
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1answer
106 views

Gaussian Unit of Charge and Force

I just read that in the Gaussian Units of charge The Final equation in Coulomb's law is as simple as $$\boldsymbol{F}=\frac{q_1q_2}{r^2}$$ No $\epsilon_0$ no $4\pi$ like you have in the $\mbox{SI}$ ...
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Electrostatic Pressure Concept

There was a Question bothering me. I tried solving it But couldn't So I finally went up to my teacher asked him for help . He told me that there was a formula for Electrostatic pressure ...
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1answer
304 views

Residual Resistivity in alloys and metals

Residual Resistivity I saw that the graph of resistivity to temperature of alloys like nichrome is like so Meaning that even at 0 K it has some resistivity just like copper : I read some where ...
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2answers
299 views

A Question From Jackson Electrodynamics

I have a question regarding Jackson's Classical Electrodynamics. Consider the equation $$\varphi \left ( x\right )=\tfrac{1}{4\pi\epsilon _{0}} \int_V \frac{\varrho ( x )}{R}d^{3}x+\tfrac{1}{4\pi} ...
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Voltage and current of positive lightning

For a physics issues investigation I chose to investigate what effects lightning could have on an aeroplane while in flight if it was struck and then go on to discuss some possible implications of ...
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253 views

Is a uniformly charged conducting plate the same as a uniformly charged conducting sheet?

Is it correct that a uniformly charged conducting plate is made up of two charged conducting sheets, that is, a charged conducting plate consists of four surfaces?
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53 views

Why isn't the force modelled which confines excess charge to remain inside a conductor?

Excess charge placed on a conductor distributes itself on the surface of a conductor. But why isn't the force which confines the charge to remain there, modelled in some way?
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1answer
545 views

Trajectories using Polar Coordinates

Once I asked my teacher how to find the trajectory of any particle that is acted upon any force.(Generally) He Told me that I couldn't do it as I did not know polar coordinate geometry as of then but ...
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1answer
401 views

Dielectric in a parallel plate capacitor

Uniform charge: each atom has charge $q$. Magnitude of dipole moment is $q s$, where $s$ is the distance the nucleus is shifted. According to my notes, the charge on the surface of a dielectric in ...
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1answer
257 views

Existence Of Electric Field Lines [closed]

Can an Electric Field with field lines Like So Exist: One Of my friends said it couldn't as the field lines here are not conservative ; so it cannot exist ; Is he right? Or can it be made to ...
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2answers
671 views

Meaning of the phrase “dipole moment of the combination”

Here is a question I came across in a book: Three point charges $-q$,$-q$ and $2q$ are placed on the vertices of an equilateral triangle of side length $d$ units.What is the dipole moment of the ...
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1answer
292 views

Equipotential Contour mapping and making it 3D [closed]

I have seen Contour diagrams for Equipotentials . That are drawn like so: I also saw One image for these contours that was in 3D (Negative Point Charge) : I was Wondering If there's any ...