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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Why do grapes in a microwave oven produce plasma?

Some of you may know this experience (Grape + Microwave oven = Plasma video link): take a grape that you almost split in two parts, letting just a tiny piece of skin making a link between each ...
3
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1answer
666 views

Dielectric slab inserted into a constant voltage capacitor

I was told that a dielectric slab inserted into a capacitor connected to a battery (constant voltage) will be repelled, because the energy stored in the capacitor increases when the dielectric is ...
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0answers
80 views

Elementary electromagnetism problem - Electric field generated by points that form an equilateral triangle

I am a newbie at physics and i just started learning electromagnetism at the university. Some help would be very welcome on the following questions (my question and/or result and/or partial work will ...
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1answer
345 views

What happens to the energy of a capacitor after a dielectric is inserted?

Consider a parallel plate capacitor having capacitance $ C$ and charge $Q$. then the energy of the capacitor will be $\frac{Q^2}{2C}$. Now if a dielectric is inserted, then $C $ increases and thus the ...
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2answers
2k views

Curl of Electrostatic Field

In Griffith's EM text he calculates the curl for the E field of a point charge (at the origin). He shows that the line integral of an arbitrary closed loop is zero: $$ \oint E\cdot dl = 0 $$ and ...
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2answers
519 views

Wouldn't $D = \epsilon E$ mean that a higher permittivity constant gives a higher electric flux? (And what exactly is the displacement field?)

A quote from the Wikipedia page for Permittivity: More electric flux exists in a medium with a low permittivity (per unit charge) because of polarization effects. This makes sense to me. My ...
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3answers
36k views

Why is Energy = Voltage x Charge, and how to prove that?

As you know the equation $\mathbf{E=V\times Q}$. Where: $\mathbf E$ is the energy measured in joules, $\mathbf V$ is potential difference (Voltage), $\mathbf Q$ is the charge. So my qustion is: ...
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1answer
87 views

How two electric charges know about each other? [duplicate]

Suppose we have two electric charges $q_1$ and $q_2$ a distance $r$ apart in euclidean three-space. Coulomb's force law states that there's a force $$\mathbf{F}_{12} = \dfrac{1}{4\pi\epsilon_0} ...
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1answer
59 views

Potential energies of charges and spring

I wonder if someone could sanity check this very simple calculation. Consider a pair of charges $+q$ at rest separated by a spring of length $d$ and stiffness $k$. The spring provides the force that ...
0
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2answers
312 views

Electric field 0 everywhere inside Gaussian surface

Gauss's Law shows that the electric field everywhere inside a spherical shell of uniform charge density is $0$. Suppose we have a surface which divides space into two disjoint regions (an interior and ...
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0answers
147 views

Dipole moment of a specific charge distribution

A negative charge cloud distribute as a ellipsoid and a positive point charge situated at the centre of the ellipsoid.What should be the dipole moment of charge distribution.I mean, if the negative ...
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2answers
359 views

Using a charged capacitor to charge two others [closed]

Here is the homework question in question: The figure (below) displays a 13.1 V battery and three uncharged capacitors of capacitances C1 = 4.08 μF,C2 = 6.19 μF and C3 = 3.30 μF. The switch is thrown ...
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2answers
366 views

Confused about Gauss's Law for parallel plates

I am having trouble understanding Gauss's Law. Suppose we wish to find the electric field strength between two parallel plates with charge density $\sigma$. I know it should be ...
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2answers
667 views

Coulomb's law and Gauss' Law

Which of these laws is more fundamental or forms the basis of electrostatics? I started off with Coulomb's law and then I studied Gauss' law. I was wondering which one is more universal? My professor ...
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2answers
96 views

Calculating the electric field of an infinite flat 2D sheet of charge

I was trying to calculate the electric field of an infinite flat sheet of charge. I considered the sheet to be the plane $z=0$ and the position where the electric field is calculated to be ...
0
votes
1answer
319 views

Green function solutions in electrostatics

I have a conducting plate on $x$-$y$ plane. So I have a boundary condition at $z=0$ $\Phi=0$ but, for $z>0$ I have a point charge at z=a which is expected to create a potential. $$ ...
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2answers
87 views

Paradox in electrostatics in relation to Gaussian surfaces?

I have encountered something that is very confusing. My problem is this. I am assuming two infinite cubical Gaussian surfaces sharing a common side. One of the cubes contains a charge $q_1$ at a ...
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5answers
25k views

Electric potential vs potential difference

What is the difference between electric potential and potential difference? In our course book, they are given as separate topics but their definition is given the same.
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2answers
93 views

How can I use volume charge density to find charge density constant knowing charge Q

I have an insulating sphere of radius R that has a total charge Q. It is distributed as $\rho$= $\rho_0*r^4$. I know that the charge is equal to Q and I'm trying to solve for $\rho_0$. I've tried to ...
0
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1answer
192 views

Electromagnetism and static electricity

What is the difference between electromagnetism and static electricity? Also electromagnetic waves are mediated by photons , what mediates static electricity?
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0answers
104 views

Potential due to infinite plate carrying a finite charge

I've solved many problems where something is grounded and you've to figure out the charge distribution. The general strategy is to set the potential of the grounded thing equal to zero and solve. ...
5
votes
3answers
192 views

Is the charge distribution for an electric field unique?

If the electric field and boundary conditions are known exactly for a region of space, is it true that there exists only one charge distribution in that region of space that could have produced it? ...
0
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0answers
48 views

What are some open problems in classical electrodynamics? [duplicate]

I am about to finish reading 'Introduction to Electrodynamics' by David Griffiths. Throughout the textbook, Griffiths makes frequent references to current literature (mostly articles from American ...
3
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2answers
83 views

What is the potential field of an ion near the Bohr radius?

I figure that at large enough distances, the potential field of an ion is just the Coulomb potential for its net charge. But what happens at scales comparable to the ion's Bohr radius? Could there be, ...
0
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1answer
63 views

What's the Relation between Potential of mechanics and electricity?

As we know that for a conservative force field, there is associated a Potential with the force. But we know there is a potential in electricity (That's voltage). My question is that is there any ...
0
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1answer
754 views

Electric field and charge density outside two coaxial cylinders

I am working on a problem of electrostatics, and I am having troubles in trying to figure out one part of it. It consists of an inner solid cylinder of radius $a$ with a voltage $V_A$, and an outer ...
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1answer
30 views

Accelerating an electron to a high speed

Suppose there are two vertical metal plates. They are separated apart by a small distance. While one is grounded, the other one has a potential of some $V$. Now suppose electrons are produced at the ...
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0answers
254 views

Resistance of a cylinder contacted by two smaller circular faces

Suppose we have a solid homogeneous cylinder with radius $a$, heigth $h$ and conductivity $\sigma$. The top and the bottom face is contacted with a smaller circular face with radius $b$. How can I ...
0
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0answers
48 views

Anyone know of a flow chart or list of common/useful consequences of Maxwell's equations?

I just recently started to appreciate the Maxwell equations. I had never really take the time to study them but I feel like I'm finally more familiar with them. I've noticed that it seems like a lot ...
2
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1answer
162 views

Is it equivalent to derive Gauss's law from discrete and continuous source distributions?

I've seen two derivations for Gauss's law in electrostatics. The first assumes a discrete charge distribution, the second a continuous one: Use superposition $$\vec{E}=\sum_{i=1}^n\vec{E}_i,$$ so ...
0
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1answer
29 views

Plastic and Iron - static and magnetic

I'm wondering if when you have a ball that is made out of plastic but has an inner core of metal. Would that ball if given friction produce static? Or would the static from the outerside of the ...
0
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2answers
2k views

How can I split a resultant force into its $x$ and $y$ components?

Point charge 3.5μC is located at x = 0, y = 0.30 m, point charge -3.5μC is located at x = 0 y = -0.30 m. What are (a)the magnitude and (b)direction of the total electric force that these charges ...
0
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0answers
341 views

Electric Flux through cube from point charge

"A point charge is located at the origin. Calculate the flux of E through a cube centered on the origin and aligned with the Cartesian axes. Evaluate the surface integral directly and verify that the ...
13
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6answers
722 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
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2answers
934 views

Why does excess of charge in an isolated conductor move to the surface?

A remark in my textbook goes as follows: "If an excess charge is placed on an isolated conductor, that amount of charge will move entirely to the surface of the conductor. None of the excess charge ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Charge outside Gaussian Surface doesn't contribute to Flux?

I roughly understand the explanation for this: any electric field line that enters the surface, must leave it, since field lines can't terminate abruptly in space. My question is, what if you have a ...
0
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2answers
89 views

Is work needed to bring a test charge from a higher potential to a lower potential?

I don't understand whether work is needed to bring a test charge from a higher potential to a lower potential. It seems that no work is needed because the positive test charge will be under the ...
0
votes
1answer
114 views

Calculating flux of axisymmetric electric field through a sphere [closed]

The following problem and its solution is taken from I. E. Irodov's book basic laws of electromagnetism : I do not understand how the fact that field is axisymmetric leads to the conclusion that ...
2
votes
0answers
71 views

What is the essential concept behind the difference in the fundamental solutions of the Stokes and Poisson equations?

The fundamental solutions, i.e., the solution with a point source, of the Poisson's equation and the Stokes equations in 3D are: $$\nabla^2 f=\delta(\boldsymbol x) \ \Longrightarrow\ G(\boldsymbol ...
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1answer
523 views

Rigorous proof of Gauss' law for an arbitrary charge distribution from Coulomb's law

Most of the books about electromagnetism prove Gauss' law for a point charge in vacuum: $$ \Phi = \int_{\Sigma} \mathbf{E} \centerdot d \mathbf{S} = q/\epsilon_0 $$ and then simply state that for ...
0
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2answers
109 views

Relativity Paradox involving two charged particles

Suppose there are two charged particles separated by some distance $d$ both with an equal positive charge of $q$. The particles also have equal masses of $m$. $m$ and $q$ are chosen so the ...
1
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2answers
168 views

Using Electric Potential to Float an Object

I've been trying to answer the following question but I'm stuck at one step. The question essentially states that a magician is trying to perform a "floating objects" act, for which she has a thin ...
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0answers
24 views

Energy density in electrostatics

Imagine two hollow spheres with radius $R$ with charges $q$ and $-q$. $L>2R$ is distance between them. Potential energy of the each sphere is \begin{equation*} W_1=\frac 1{8\pi \epsilon_0}\frac ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

How should I interpret the math in showing that the potential difference and the emf in an ideal battery are the same?

I was reading Griffiths' Introduction to Electrodyamics where he says that in order to have the same current through out a circuit there are two force per unit charges acting on the circuit, $f=f_s+E$ ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

Divergence of a vector field, going through the math [closed]

The example I'm working on has this given identity: $\bigtriangledown \cdot \mathbf{\bar{r}}=3$. The question is: find the divergence of a vector field $\bar{\mathbf{E}}=\frac{\mathbf{r}}{r^{3}}$. ...
0
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0answers
73 views

Why does charge build up at the boundary surface of two media?

On a homework problem, we are asked to to use the first two Maxwell equations, $$\nabla\cdot \mathbf{B} = 0$$ $$\nabla \cdot \mathbf{D} = \rho$$ to show that along the boundary surface of two ...
0
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1answer
94 views

Energy density what volume?

In a derivation of energy density for an electric field (see here) We get rid of the $$\epsilon_0\oint(V \vec E \cdot d\vec a)$$ term by choosing a surface sufficiently far away so that this term ...
0
votes
2answers
46 views

Is it inevitable to compute the quadruople tensor in components? Why? [closed]

I was trying to determine the quadrupole tensor for a given charge distribution in one go from this equation: $$\overleftrightarrow{D}=\int d^3r \varrho(\vec{r})\left(3\vec{r} \circ ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

How should one interpret $\vec{f}=0$ in an ideal battery?

In a circuit there are two forces that act on the charges to keep the current uniform through out,$\vec{f}=\vec{E}+\vec{f_s}$, where $\vec{E}$ is the electrostatic field and $\vec{f_s}$ is the ...
1
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3answers
18k views

Why is electric field zero inside a hollow metal sphere ?

The figure below shows a hollow metal sphere with a positive point charge $Q$ sitting outside it. What is the electric field at the center of sphere ? The answer is zero (look at here at the beginning ...