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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

16
votes
3answers
965 views

Why is the shape of lightning or an electric spark a zig-zag line?

Why is the shape of the lightning (or an electric spark) always of a zig-zag nature? Why is it never just a straight line? Image source.
0
votes
1answer
35 views

The Electric field & Coulomb's law [closed]

A point charge is moving in an electric field at right angles to the lines of forces .Does any force act on it ? Please explain why.
1
vote
1answer
26 views

Two charged spheres connected with a conductor

I have a problem with a electrostatics problem: there are two spheres, each one of the same size carrying the same amount of charge, but of different sign. They are connected by a conducting wire, ...
0
votes
0answers
11 views

What's the difference between electrostatic potential and electrochemical potential along a (semi)conductor?

According to wikipedia: the electrochemical potential, $\bar{\mu}$, sometimes abbreviated to ECP, is a thermodynamic measure of chemical potential that does not omit the energy contribution of ...
0
votes
0answers
20 views

Calculate the potential induced by beam

This exercise is from Plasma Physics and Fusion Energy by Freidberg. A cylindrical conducting vacuum chamber of radius $r=a$ is filled with a uniform plasma of density $n_0$ and temperature ...
6
votes
5answers
27k views

Why 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, why not negative charge? It ...
3
votes
2answers
111 views

Electric flux through nonspherical surphace

Here's an explanation from a book that I read: Now, I have a few problems with this explanation as well as with the "cone method". I guess that all my problems boil down to the concept of ...
0
votes
0answers
14 views

electric charges of metals in electrostatics

In electrostatics does metal gain electrons to be an ion or it conduct electrons in form of gaining them to have a negative electric charge
1
vote
1answer
273 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} ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

Force per unit length between two long parallel wires, one of which is insulated

Suppose we have two very long parallel wires of radius $a$ and distance between their axes $d$ ($d>>a$). The first wire if is carrying charge of linear charge density $\alpha$ and is insulated ...
1
vote
1answer
575 views

Electric field from conductive to dielectric media

I am interested in the main difference between transitions from electric fields from Conductive to Conductive/ Dielectric to Dielectric and Dielectric/Conductive media. What are the boundary ...
0
votes
1answer
21 views

Thomson problem vs. maximizing sum of distance

Given $N$ equally charged points lying on the unit sphere ("electrons"), the Thomson problem consists of finding the configuration of these points such that the electrostatic potential energy $$ ...
3
votes
3answers
84 views

How would you define electrostatics and magnetostatics starting from Maxwell's equations?

I'm reading Griffith's text, and he starts by defining Electrostatics as requiring the source charges don't move. I've seen a few slightly different definitions of electrostatics and magnetostatics. ...
2
votes
3answers
734 views

How can I find the potential created by spherical capacitor with dielectric material?

If we have a spherical capacitor with inner radius or r1 and outer radius of r2, with charges (+/-)q on them and there is a dielectric material (with constant e) in between them with. What kind of a ...
1
vote
1answer
240 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
6k views

Determine Charge With Electroscope?

You have three separate glass rods, and you know one is positive, one is negative and one is neutral. You also have an electroscope that is positively charged. How can you determine which rod is ...
2
votes
1answer
32 views

Disturbing a line of infinite alternating charges

Consider a line of infinite number of alternating charges. All are point charges having charge of same magnitude and are placed in a line. Neglect the effect of gravity here. Consider one of the ...
1
vote
1answer
29 views

Finding the potential between two spherical shells [closed]

How to find the potential in region $a<r<b$ I know that the general solution for Laplace's equation is $$V(r,\theta)=\sum_{l=0} \left[A_l r^l +\frac{B_l}{r^{l+1}} \right]P_l(\cos{\theta}).$$ ...
0
votes
1answer
17 views

Why an undoped heterojunction causes potential barrier?

In this image (source) a potential double-barrier was created using GaAs and AlAs lattices (undoped). Why would any potential barrier be formed, if all the bonds are electrostatically balanced (i.e. ...
1
vote
1answer
382 views

Dielectric slab counter-intuitive formula?

For the calculation of force on one of the two equal(in magnitude, opposite in sign) point charges separated by $r$ with a dielectric slab of dielectric constant $K$ and width $d$ in between, the ...
0
votes
1answer
17 views

Charge density on a plate of a realistic capacitor

Suppose we have a realistic capacitor,connected to a constant voltage source, with plates at some distance $d$ and a varying charge density across plate due to edge effects. Is it correct to assume ...
3
votes
1answer
49 views

Flashing a fluorescent light bulb with high voltage

My son and I built a Wimshurst machine (our second try) over the last couple of weekends. It works -- not terribly well, as it only makes 2cm sparks with 20 cm disks (something like 60 kVolt when it ...
1
vote
1answer
116 views

How is the electostatic field propagated by the vacuum? How does a charge feel the presence of another charge when there is NOTHING between them?

Is the word "vacuum" equal to "nothing"? Imagine two charges of opposite sign, far from one another in vacuum, and moving with constant velocity - s.t. none radiates energy, none emits photons. At ...
1
vote
1answer
79 views

How to find the electric field of a charged tube?

Let's say there is a charged tube(cylinder with no top or bottom) with radius $a$, length $l$ and charge $q$ and a point which is collinear with the centre of the charged tube. Anyway, since we can ...
0
votes
1answer
234 views

Apply Gauss' Law to find Electric Field around nonconducting plastic sheets

The question: Two very large, nonconducting plastic sheets, each 10.0 cm thick, carry uniform charge densities $\sigma_1$,$\sigma_2$,$\sigma_3$ and $\sigma_4$ on their surfaces, as shown in the ...
-1
votes
1answer
40 views

Capacitance of two non parallel plates

What is the formula for capacitance of two non parallel plates at an angle with each other?If the plates were parallel then the value can be calculated as (PermittivityX area of one plate)/distance ...
0
votes
1answer
65 views

Why does the earth suck both positive and negative charges?

If the earth is a bit negatively charged, it is understood that it can take away the positive charges of a positively charged body when grounded. Why does it take away the extra electrons of a ...
2
votes
1answer
170 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
541 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

How can you calculate (or convert) the Wh of a capacitor whose energy is given in Farads

When trying to compare the energy in a battery to the energy in a capacitor, the units don't match up. How can one compare a battery whose Ah are 10 and Voltage is 3 (for a total of 30 Wh) to a ...
12
votes
5answers
433 views

What keeps electrons on a negatively-charged conductor from leaving?

Imagine a negatively charged conductor in a vacuum. The excess electrons will be spread out over the surface such that the net electric field inside the conductor is zero. What keeps these extra ...
0
votes
0answers
11 views

Determining range of integration for electric filed of a semi-circle contour

Suppose we have a semi-circle contour in $xy$ plane ( it is oriented so that all of it lies at $y<0$) , and an arbitrary point on $z$ axis. It has linear charge density $\alpha$ and radius $a$ The ...
1
vote
3answers
101 views

Where are exactly the charges of charged capacitor?

If a capacitor is connected to a battery and is charged, are there charges inside the wires or do they just accumulate on the surfaces of capacitor?
0
votes
0answers
15 views

electrostatic charge distribution in geometrically arbitrary shape

If I have a small point charge Q suspended into the cavity of a bowl, then obviously it will induce some negative charges onto the surface of the cavity, but will the induced charge be equal to -Q in ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

Help understanding the solution to a problem regarding kinetic energy of a group of point charges

The problem provided by my professor goes as follows: "Now consider a situation in which all charges are equal to q and they simultaneously become "unglued". What speed will each charge have when a ...
0
votes
2answers
66 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Want to know about divergence [duplicate]

Can anyone please explain how to know whether a vector field has divergence or not by seeing its diagram? I have read that a vector field must change for having divergence but why is divergence zero ...
2
votes
1answer
121 views

Static electricty and fields inside of the conductor?

I have a few related questions about static electricity and conductors. 1. when we say static electric field inside a conductor is zero, let us take an example of two concentric conductors, outer one ...
2
votes
3answers
78 views

Measurements from inside conductors

We have known for some time now that when electric field is applied across any conducting shell, then electric field inside it would be zero. It also has some fantastic applications such as ...
1
vote
1answer
195 views

Two spherical cavities hollowed out from the interior of a conducting sphere. At the center of each cavity a point charge is placed

From Griffiths: Two spherical cavities, of radii a and b, are hollowed out from the interior of a (neutral) conducting sphere of radius R. At the center of each cavity a point charge is placed – ...
3
votes
0answers
101 views

Green's function for a dielectric with a charge [closed]

Suppose there are two infinite planes, one in $z=a$ and the other in $z=b$, with $a<b$. Between the planes, there is a dielectric medium with constant $\epsilon_1$. The differential equation for ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

Energy of a charge inside spherical conducting shell

A point charge $q$ is at the center of an uncharged conducting spherical shell of finite thickness, with inner and outer radii $a$ and $b$ respectively. Find the work done on the system when $q$ is ...
0
votes
2answers
153 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, ...
43
votes
11answers
8k views

Why does dust stick to rotating fan propeller?

Why does dust stick to rotating fan propeller? Intuitively, most people (including I) think of the dust will not stick to rotating fan propellers. EDIT 1: Thank you for the great explanations. I am ...
1
vote
1answer
32 views

Electric Potential-can anyone give the concept behind this?

Three points A, B and C lie in a uniform electric field (E) of 5 x 103 NC-1 as shown in the figure. Find the potential difference between A and C. I think there is some trick? How can the pd ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Electric field and insulator or dielectric

I have a uniform electric field $E$ projected from left to right and I placed an insulator or dielectric right in the middle of it. To the left of the insulator, the $E$ is the original $E$. Inside ...
0
votes
1answer
17 views

Electrostatic Potential-I tried many times ,but failed

A positive charge Q is placed at point O. Is the potential difference (Va-Vb) positive,negative,or zero,if Q is (i)positive,(ii)negative? Can anyone give the concept behind this?
0
votes
1answer
31 views

Derivation of a work done by forces on charge

Feynman claims is his lectures the following statement: Suppose we have two charges $q_1$ and $q_2$ separated by the distance $r_{12}$. There is some energy in the system, because a certain ...
0
votes
2answers
48 views

How does the force between two charges becomes zero?

In case of Coulombs law, $$ F=k\frac{q_1q_2}{d^2} $$ So, if $F=0$, then $q_1q_2$ must be 0. Is this true?
1
vote
3answers
164 views

Why the electric field $\vec{E}$ is constant (=position independent) for an infinite 2D sheet of constant charge?

So I'm reading a text on electricity and it talks about using the integral to compute the total charge of a collection of points, which I mostly understand. But then we get to finding the electric ...