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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What happens to 5 electrons on a sphere?

Let's suppose we put 5 electrons on a perfectly conducting (no resistance at all) sphere. There's no equilibrium configuration with 5 (though there is with 2, 3, 4 or 6). So will they keep moving on ...
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338 views

Gauss' law and an external charge

Gauss' law states that the net outward normal electric flux through a closed surface is equal to $q_{total, inside}/\epsilon_0$. However, I'm a bit confused of why the presence of an external charge ...
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301 views

Shape of electric charges on sphere in equilibrium state

When electric charges of equal magnitude and sign are released on a regular sphere (and assume that they stick to the surface of the sphere, but they are free to move along its surface), what is the ...
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459 views

Is this really how a capacitor works? Why doesn't it behave like a resistor?

My book says a capacitor is two conducts being connected by an insulator. Now let's take a parallel plate capacitor to simplify the problem I have. Suppose I got two parallel plate capacitor in ...
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478 views

Why doesn't a gaussian surface pass through discrete charges?

I have read that Gaussian surface cannot pass through discrete charges. Why is it so? I have even seen in application of Gauss' Law when we imagine a Gaussian Surface passing through a charge ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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203 views

Density of repulsive particles on a disk?

NB: the external circle (where particle or water is in it) is fixed ! It's a 2D theoretical problem (just for understand something in particular). Here, no gravity, no temperature. I put in a disk a ...
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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 ...
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Infinitely charged wire and Differential form of Gauss' Law

I have tried calculating the potential of a charged wire the direct way. If lambda is the charge density of the wire, then I get $$\phi(r) = \frac{\lambda}{4 \pi \epsilon_0 r} \int_{-\infty}^\infty ...
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How can a conductor be grounded yet there are induced charges on it?

A classic example for the method of images is the following, quoted from Griffiths's Introduction to Electrodynamics, page 121: "Suppose a point charge $q$ is held a distance $d$ above an infinite ...
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Charge distribution on conductors?

You have seen that the excess charge on an isolated conductor moves entirely to the conductor’s surface. However, unless the conductor is spherical, the charge does not distribute itself uniformly. ...
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How does positive charge spread out in conductors?

I know that when there are excess positive charges in a conductor, for example, a metal sphere, the positive charges will spread out over its surface. However, I am confused about how this excess ...
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Electric field and electric potential of a point charge in 2D and 1D

in 3D, electric field of a piont charge is inversely proportional to the square of distance while the potential is inversely proportional to distance. We can derive it from Coulomb's law. however, I ...
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Is the electric field at the edge of a uniformly charged disk infinite?

Consider a disk with a radius $R$ (I'll use $R=1$ at various points here) that has a constant surface charge density $\sigma$. Unlike the similar problem of the field in the vicinity of a infinitely ...
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88 views

How to find the equillibrium points using Jacobian and Hessian?

Given that I have Jacobian and Hessian matrices of three particles interacting with each other in a harmonic trap through Coulomb's law in a 2D plane, how do I find the equilibrium points of them (I ...
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1answer
351 views

Two electron beams exert different forces on each other depending on frame of reference?

I am sure there is a simple explanation for my confusion, but I am a little puzzled: We are dealing with two parallel electron cannons that each produces a straight beam of electrons. They are placed ...
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Dirichlet and Neumann Boundary condition: physical example

Can anybody tell me some practical/physical example where we use Dirichlet and Neumann Boundary condition. Is it possible to use both conditions together at the same region? If we have a cylindrical ...
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How does instant charging of one plate affect the potential of the other plate of a floating capacitor?

If I have an uncharged floating capacitor and I instantaneously connect one plate to some potential, then that plate will acquire some charge. In practice, the other floating plate will ...
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592 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 ...
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633 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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202 views

Can a super-extremal charged black hole be made out of electrons only?

In a previous Question it was argued that it would be impossible to add enough charge to a black hole to make it pass the extremal black hole limit since adding charge would increase the mass of the ...
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113 views

Weird consequence of Gauss's law

According to Gauss's Law, the electric field at a surface is the function of only the charge enclosed inside it. But that doesn't make sense. I mean, if I put the surface in an electric field, won't ...
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What defines the maximum charge a capacitor can store?

The formula for a capacitor discharging is $Q=Q_0e^{-\frac{t}{RC}}$ Where $Q_0$ is the maximum charge. But what property defines the maximum charge a capacitor can store? If it depends on ...
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How do aspherical gravitational monopoles look like?

I was recently pointed by laboussoleestmonpays to a beautiful paper from some time ago, Aspherical gravitational monopoles. Alain Connes, Thibault Damour and Pierre Fayet. Nucl. Phys. B 490 no. ...
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How can I prevent being zapped by static electricity every time I touch a doorknob or handle in the office?

I don't know what it is about this office, but it seems everything I touch (doorknob, bathroom faucet, edge of kitchen sink in the break room), I get zapped by static electricity. It's getting old. ...
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364 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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141 views

Electric Field One-Form

I know for instance that we can interpret the electric field as the one-form that given a vector gives the change in potential in the direction of the vector, however I'm very unsure about how to ...
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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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860 views

Trying to understand Laplace's equation

I'm struggling here so please excuse if I'm writing nonsense. I understand that the gravitational potential field, a scalar field, is given by $$\phi=\frac{-Gm}{r}$$ where $\phi$ is the ...
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3answers
100 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 ...
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228 views

Coulomb interaction as virtual particles exchange?

I've been reading about virtual particle exchanges in physics books and in Physics SA posts, where a particle interpretation of gravity and Coulomb interaction is established. The Feynman Diagram ...
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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, ...
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517 views

Potential Inside Conducting Cube

A cubical box with sides of length L consists of six metal plates. Five sides of the box { the plates at $x=0, x=L, y=0, y=L, z=0$ - are grounded. The top of the box (at z = L) is made of a separate ...
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175 views

Electrostatic charge leakage

What are the ways electrostatic charged objects leak charge in humid conditions? Can airborne particles pick up charge by contact, then be repelled hence removing charge? If so would it be a ...
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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 ...
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409 views

What is the energy of interaction between a point charge and an infinite cylinder?

I don't remember enough from my electromagnetism course and I can't find any simple, full example on this subject. I know, that I can consider the cylinder as a wire with the same charge density ...
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1answer
145 views

electrostatic potential, analytic properties

An electrostatic potential associated with some delocalized charge $\int \rho(\mathbf{r}) d{\mathbf{r}}$ is given by: $$v_H(\mathbf{r}) = \int ...
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825 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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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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109 views

How can the potential on a cube's surface replicate the potential of a point particle?

If i have a cube (either hollow, or an insulating solid) and i want its surface have a potential such that it looks like a point particle outside of the box does that mean the exact potential on the ...
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1answer
124 views

Charging the plates before making the capacitor

Basically, a simple capacitor will consist of 2 plates and a dielectric material between them, what if i took 2 plates, charged one with a +ve charge and the other with equal -ve charge, then i put ...
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73 views

Can a liquid insulator be electrically charged by touching a charged conductor?

Can a liquid insulator be electrically charged by touching a charged conductor? I understand that solid insulator will only be charge on the surface where it is touch, but the case is different ...
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1answer
154 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, ...
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1answer
172 views

What happens if we give a single electron charge to a hollow metal sphere?

I found this related question: What happens to 5 electrons on a sphere? But this question describes the case when there can only be 5 electrons on that sphere at all times. The answer linked to the ...
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1answer
119 views

Dielectric modification of electrostatic equations?

I have learnt that in cases of electrostatic fields inside a dielectric of any source charge, the field is reduced by a factor of K( if K, the dielectric "constant", is taken everywhere to be same). ...
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189 views

Battery and current confusion?

How exactly does a battery produce a current in the circuit connected across its ends? I dont want to know the chemical reactions in the battery core, but just the essence of it. I believe it doesn't ...
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201 views

Potential for charge distribution, finiteness

Consider a potential for charge distribution: $$v_H(\mathbf{r}) ~=~ \int \frac{\rho(\mathbf{r'})}{|\mathbf{r}-\mathbf{r'}|}d\mathbf{r'}$$ where $\rho(\mathbf{r'})$ is the charge density. This ...
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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 ...