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 [tag:magnetic-...

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Zero of Electric Potential Energy

When you have a positive charge and a negative charge, the line that cuts perpendicularly between their separation distance is an equipotential line of 0 volts. The math indicates that at that point, $...
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Do permanent magnets have an electric current surrounding them?

Permanent magnets seems to have different properties to electromagnets, such that electromagnets can be used for induction and energy transfer if a conductor is placed within their changing magnetic ...
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Electic potential due to finite rectangular plate

I am trying to find the potential at any point (x,y,z) due to a rectangular plate with a constant surface charge density. Let's assume the plate is centered on the X-Y plane and extends from -n to n ...
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105 views

How do I get the angle for the $x$ and $y$ component of the electric field for four equidistant particles?

Four particles form a square of edge length $a= 5.00\ cm$ and have charges $q_1= +10\ nC$, $q_2=-20\ nC$, $q_3=20\ nC$, and $q_4=-10\ nC$. In unit vector notation, what is the net electric field the ...
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129 views

Interpretation of a term in the Maxwell stress tensor

With no magnetism, the $xx$ component of the Maxwell stress tensor $T$ is $$T_{xx} = \frac{1}{2}(E_x^2 - E_y^2 - E_z^2)$$ I can see why there should be a $+E_x^2$ term, but intuitively I don't see why ...
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118 views

Coulomb's law with an $r^3$, not $r^2$, in the denominator [duplicate]

I am reading an older physics book that my professor gave me. It is going over Coulomb's law and Gauss' theorem. However, the book gives both equations with an $r^3$, not $r^2$, in the denominator. ...
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3answers
142 views

How does the conductor knows which side is outside?

For a electrostatic equilibrium state, we know charges only stay on the outer surface of the conductor. But, how does the conductor know which side is outside? If it's about the curvature, then ...
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335 views

Principle of superposition and QED

For finding a net force on a charge when it is in influence of many charges we simply do vectorical addition of all individual interaction of that charge with others. That's what is principle of ...
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171 views

What is the strength of the magnetic field required to penetrate an average human body?

Introduction Suppose you are an experimental nanobot researcher trial-ling a new form of medication that involves activation and control of nanobots within the cells of the interior of the human body ...
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230 views

Why are excess charges in a conductor at the surface?

I’ve been told that coulomb repulsion pushes excess electrons to the surface of a conductor (i.e. sphere) electrostatic equilibrium, and this symmetry causes the net electric field inside to be zero. ...
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Gauss's law in a uniform charge distribution extending infinitely in all directions

Let us assume the universe filled with positive charge. About a particular point, all the positive charged particles will be symmetrical. Now consider a sphere of radius $r < \infty$ and apply ...
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321 views

Resistance of hollow metal sphere

A hollow metallic sphere has inner and outer radii $a$ and $b$ respectively. How to calculate its resistance between two a points $A$ (on the inner surface) and a point $B$ (on the outer surface)? The ...
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65 views

How to calculate the potential energy of an $H_2$ molecule

From left to right, electron $e_1$, $e_2$ and proton $p_1$, $p_2$. $r_0=0.529nm$ The total energy is sum of energy require to bring each particle to its place. Take the place of $e_1$ is zero ...
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137 views

Is the electric field at a single point inside a charged sphere zero?

Many physics textbooks say, Gauss' law shows that the electric field inside a sphere with uniform charge distribution on the surface equals zero. What I want to know is, do they mean total, i....
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542 views

Work done by battery and potential energy of a capacitor

I have a doubt about the work done by a battery and the potential energy of a capacitor? 1- Consider a circuit where the capacitors are connected to the terminals of a battery. Through calculations ...
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576 views

Does a point charge exert force on itself?

Can a point charge feel the force of its own electric field? In various texts it is always mentioned about the force on a point charge in an external electric field. I think the particle does feel ...
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294 views

Grounding a capacitor

When one of the plates of an isolated capacitor is grounded, does the charge become zero on that plate or just the charge on the outer surface become zero?
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From where do charges come to equify the potential of the sphere having less potential- through the wire or the sphere having higher potential?

Say, you have two different charged spheres having different potentials on their surface. Now you connect two of them by a wire. So, after sometimes, both of them will have the same potential on their ...
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982 views

A point charge near a conducting sphere

I was reading about method of images for a point charge near a conducting sphere. There(Feynman Lectures) I found this: What happens if we are interested in a sphere that is not at zero ...
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188 views

Force acting on a charge between parallel plates

When a charge (say positive) is placed between an upper positively charged plate and a negatively charged plate, it should experience a repulsive force from the top plate and an attractive force to ...
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201 views

Why does the charge on the outer surface cancel the external field inside a conductor having a cavity filled with certain charge?

Let us take an arbitrary conductor having a weird-shaped cavity inside it. Let $+q$ charge be inserted inside the cavity. The field of $+q$ attracts negative charge & repels positive charge; ...
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141 views

Finding Magnitude and Direction of Dipole's Electric Field at a Point

This question pertains to finding the magnitude and direction of a dipole's electric field. Specifically, I am trying to figure out why we are using both the hypotenuse and $\sin\theta$, and not the ...
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1k views

Why, when and where is Gauss's law applicable?

Why is it said that Gauss's Law is mainly applicable for symmetric surfaces/bodies? Why not for asymmetric surfaces? I want a logical explanation! BTW my teacher said that Gauss's law is ...
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Why charge density is higher in the sharp edges of conductor? [duplicate]

If we have a conductor which is in electrostatic equilibrium, then the charge distribution over this surface $\sigma$ is greatest at the sharp edges of that surface. Why is this the case? It is ...
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107 views

Electric field of a plate with homogenous charge density

As an example for Gauß Law's application, one can find the calculation of an electric field of a plate with homogenous charge density in nearly every textbook: $$E = \frac{\sigma}{2\epsilon_0}$$ I do ...
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Do electrostatic fields really obey “action at a distance”?

In an electromagnetic theory class, my professor introduced the concept of "action at a distance in physics". He said that: If two charges are at some very large distance, and if any one of the ...
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274 views

Charge enclosed by a Gaussian surface inside an uniformly charged thin sphere [duplicate]

Why is the electric field due to a charge enclosed by a Gaussian surface inside an uniformly charged thin spherical shell, zero?
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75 views

How are charges formed in clouds during lightning?

How are charges formed in clouds that are responsible for lightning?
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122 views

electric field inside hollow conducting bodies

Let's say that there's a hollow conducting sphere placed in the presence of an external electric field and there's a + ve charge placed inside the sphere at a point other than the centre of the sphere,...
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1answer
995 views

Force acting on a dipole placed in a non-uniform electric field

Why does the net force acts in the direction of increasing electric field when an electric dipole is placed in a non-uniform electric field?
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13k views

Electric field due to an electric dipole at a point on the equatorial line

According to [tamilnadu][1] textbook Electric field due to an electric dipole at a point on the equatorial line is given as The direction of E is along PR,...
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1answer
136 views

question about Gauss law

If I have an infinite plate with the surface charge of sigma. I know that my electric field is constant $2\pi\sigma$ (using Gauss's law). If I build the Gaussian surface above the plate the charge ...
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Electric field scalar quantiy or vector quantity

I cross referenced some website yahoo answers, wikipedia & some other websites. They were providing different answers. I know that electric field intensity is a vector quantity. But what abt ...
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113 views

Can two charges with same sign atrract?

Can two charges with same sign (++/--) separated by some finite distance attract each other ?
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147 views

How do you know when you need to use distributions to represent charge densities? [closed]

I tried to solve a problem using Gauss' law in the following way. Let's assume we have a spherical shell of radius $R$ with a charge $Q$ being homogenously distributed on its surface. I am trying to ...
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123 views

Confusion in understanding the proof of Uniqueness Theorem

I am having problems in comprehending the proof of contradiction used by Purcell in his book; ...We can now assert that $W^1$ must be zero at all points in space. For if it is not, it must have a ...
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1answer
63 views

Doesn't Laplace's equation describe the local property of space?

$$\nabla^2 \phi = 0$$ is Laplace's equation used "wherever $\rho = 0$, that is in all parts of space where there is no electric charge.". However,how can Laplace's equation be used outside a conductor ...
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Variations in electric field of a light speed charged particle

From the question " Is there a travelling speed of for electric field? If yes, what is it?" I get to know electric field propagates at speed of light. What if a charged particle which creates this ...
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168 views

Charge between parallel plates given voltage

When you connect a parallel-plates capacitor to a voltage source, why is it assumed that the plates will have equal but opposite charge? According to the formula, the voltage only fixes the charge ...
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250 views

Electric potential between two infinite plates

Below is a solved exercise from Griffiths' Electrodynamics. I don't understand why it's directly assumed that the configuration is independent of $z$. Shouldn't there be a contribution from it since ...
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1answer
72 views

Why is the y-component of electric field of a uniformly-charged disk near its center the same as that of infinite sheet of charge?

This is an excerpt from Edward M. Purcell's Electricity & Magnetism: As $y$ approaches zero from the positive side, $E_y$ approaches $\dfrac{\sigma}{2\epsilon_0}$. On in the negative side of ...
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164 views

Why is energy associated with the electric field given as $U = \dfrac{\epsilon_0}{2} \int E^2 dv$?

This is an excerpt from Edward M. Purcell's Electricity & magnetism: Suppose a spherical shell of charge is compressed slightly, from an initial radius of $r_0$ to a smaller radius. This ...
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Why doesn't $\vec{E} =\frac{1}{4\pi\epsilon_0} \int\frac{\rho \hat{r}\;dxdydz}{r^2}$ blow up at $r=0$, when $\rho$ is finite?

Electric field at $(x,y,z)$ produced by a continuous distribution of charges is given by:$$\mathbf{E}(x,y,z) =\dfrac{1}{4\pi\epsilon_0} \int\dfrac{\rho(x',y',z') \mathbf{\hat{r}} \;\mathrm{d}x'\mathrm{...
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How would a closed conductor with only 1 layer of (atoms/molecules) behave if a charge is placed inside it?

I have quite a few questions actually related to this . Is it possible to have such a situation practically? If theoretically possible, how would the system behave?
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1answer
154 views

Proving assumptions used in 'method of image charges'

While studying the method of images for an infinite grounded plate, I came upon two assumption I can't seem to find the logic for: The test charge doesn't induce a charge density on the plate which ...
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1answer
81 views

What does multiplying of charges means?

Today I learned Coulomb's law, and I didn't get what does this multiplication $q_1 * q_2$ gives? I want to understand this visually.
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2answers
128 views

Force on a layer of charge: How can electric field impart force on the charges which created the field?

This is an excerpt from Berkeley Physics: Electricity & Magnetism by Edward M. Purcell: The Force on layer of charge: The sphere has charge distributed over its surface with uniform ...
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Distribution of fragments in fission reactions

What decides the mass and charge distribution of fission fragments? are these factors decided at or before the saddle point? and how? Why does the valley in the distribution function become shallow on ...
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203 views

Can lightning actually weld fillings in your teeth?

So, I remember sometime in my childhood, someone was teaching me about lightning safety, and they explained that it was important to crouch low but keep as little contact with the ground as possible, ...
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2answers
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“Rotating any system of charges causes a corresponding rotation of the electric field.”- What is the proof?

While I was reading 'symmetry' from wikipedia, then I came to this statement: ...For example, an electric field due to a wire is said to exhibit cylindrical symmetry, because the electric field ...