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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Electric potential due to a point charge in Gaussian/CGS units

I learned electrostatics in SI units. In SI, the electrostatic potential due to a point charge $q$ located at $\textbf{r}$ is given by $\Phi(\textbf{r}) = \frac{q}{4 \pi \epsilon_0 |\textbf{r}|}$. ...
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646 views

Electrical flow in a simple parallel circuit

I'm having trouble understanding something in one of my text books: Let’s have a look at the implications of each circuit configuration. Figure 3.13 shows the Conventional representation of a ...
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205 views

Why does the superposition principle work in method of images?

Okay, let there be a conducting sphere having radius $a$ initially charged with $Q$ & insulated. Now, $q$ is brought in front of the conductor at $y$ from the center. Now, Jackson in his book ...
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1answer
247 views

Charging a capacitor (terminals)

When a battery is connected to a conductor electrons are repelled from the end of the conductor connected to the negative terminal of the battery and flow to the end of the conductor connected to the ...
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71 views

Is the electron's magnetic dipole moment influenced by the measurement method?

The electric charge of an electron at rest is a constant value and is not influenced by the measurement instrument. The measurement instrument by itself can give more or less accurate result, but does ...
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146 views

Confusion with Grounded Conductor: bringing in a point from infinity

Suppose, for sake of argument, we have a spherical grounded conductor at the origin. Additionally, let our reference voltage be at infinity. Now, I view the potential of a point in space as being the ...
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72 views

The separation between the two plates of a capacitor is increased

I had the following question on a quiz recently: A capacitor consisting of two parallel plates, separated by a distance $d$, is connected to a battery of EMF ε. What happens if the separation is ...
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1answer
76 views

Laser-induced electrical discharge

Attracting lightning with an ion beam has been done in a lab but how strong of a laser is needed to reach the clouds to redirect the lightning bolt?
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97 views

Charges on capacitor after full charge by battery

When the charging is finished what will be the charge on an ideal parallel plate capacitor ? To be specific what are the charges on different faces of the 2 plates ? All the books say, after 100% ...
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Gauss Law Question. Could anyone explain to me why does S3 is 0 in this lecture note example?

Why does S3 equal to 0 ? for E3 dot dA = 0? Could I also know why does dA1 and dA2 point up and down? while dA3 point to the right?
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176 views

Electric field in a non-uniformly charged sheet [closed]

So if we have a large sheet that is not uniformly charged and is NOT a conductor, how can I find an expression for the electric field everywhere? Things we know about the sheet: the width is 2b it ...
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1answer
248 views

Why is this electric field due to one plate of a capacitor $\sigma / 2 \epsilon_0$ when the capacitor plates are finite?

We know that electric field due to an INFINTE large sheet is constant and at INFINTY the electric field is not zero. But say if I take a finite sheet of length l and width w. Then the electric field ...
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Electric flux due to external charge

Why is electric flux due to external charge i.e a charge outside a closed surface equal to 0? P.S:Moreover I found this statement confusing:- Electric field appearing in the Gauss' law is the ...
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3answers
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Why does the area of the plates affect the capacitance?

Why does the area of the plates affect the capacitance? Lets say I have a parallel plate capacitor with a charge of 10C and a potential difference of 5V. By the definition $C=Q/V$, the capacitance is ...
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2answers
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Calculate force of electric charges “suspended” by strings [closed]

In a question: Two small plastic balls hang from threads of negligible mass. Each ball has a mass of 0.110g and a charge of magnitude q. The balls are attracted to each other, and the ...
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2answers
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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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1answer
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Why is the strong nuclear force > electrostatic repulsion?

In a nucleus there is a gravitational force between the nucleons and also electrostatic repulsion between the protons, and since electrostatic repulson >> gravitational attraction, it follows that ...
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4answers
173 views

Electrostatics and two electric charges [on hold]

How can two identical metallic objects have the same but opposite charges (one loses electrons and one gains electrons) when we know that metals have the ability to lose electrons only?
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4answers
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Is there a limitation on Gauss' law? [duplicate]

Recently I had a question to find the electric field at a distance $R$ from the origin, where the space is filled with charge of density $\rho$. I did this by assuming a Gaussian surface of radius ...
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3answers
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Is there a deep reason why springs combine like capacitors?

I was solving a practice Physics GRE and there was a question about springs connected in series and parallel. I was too lazy to derive the way the spring constants add in each case. But I knew how ...
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1answer
599 views

Confused medical student needs explanation of the electrocardiogram

From what I understand, as the heart depolarizes it turns into a lot of electric dipoles , the resultant of which can (somehow) be measured in the extremities. But how does this actually happen? How ...
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1answer
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How is capacitance of a cylindrical capacitor calculated?

I've just begun learning capacitance, and my lecture notes have a section on calculating capacitance for capacitors in vacuum of various shapes, e.g. two parallel plates and concentric spherical ...
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4answers
963 views

The maximum distance for which Coulomb's law has been verified?

We know that Coulomb's law, $F_{12} = \frac{kq_1q_2}{r^2}$, was experimentally verified for small distances by Coulomb himself at the and of the XVIII century. The question is what is the maximum ...
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480 views

Distribution of point charges on a line of finite length

How will $N$ freely moving charges confined to a line with length $L$ be distributed? What are their equilibrium positions?
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Force between two charged rods?

Suppose that we have two rods of length $l_1, l_2$ connected at one end but free to rotate. These rods have charge density $\lambda$ uniformly distributed, so the total charge of rod $i$ is $\lambda ...
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Why isn't there a potential difference across a disconnected diode?

I know this question sounds silly, as if there was a potential difference a current would be created when the terminals are connected together and this would mean energy has come from somewhere. The ...
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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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Do we know why the field produced by charge extends to infinity?

Do we have any model to show why charge field or magnetic field extends till infinity. Edit: I agree that according to coulombs law $1/r^2$ cannot be 0 but do we know why this happens.I think I am ...
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1answer
211 views

Gauss's Law of Electric Field how it actually works? & How Gauss derived it?

I want to know how Gauss derived his equation of Electric Field. Did he derive it from Coulomb's law? I don't think so. Please tell me some details about how this law works? inside a Gaussian ...
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2answers
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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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1answer
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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 ...
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6answers
717 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 ...
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5answers
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Why isn't there a centre of charge?

When determining the gravitational attraction between 2 solid bodies, we can simplify computations by taking their masses to be concentrated at their respective centres of mass. However, had they been ...
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4answers
5k views

Divergence of a field and its interpretation

The divergence of an electric field due to a point charge (according to Coulomb's law) is zero. In literature the divergence of a field indicates presence/absence of a sink/source for the field. ...
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1answer
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The formula of the force exerted on an electric dipole by non-uniform electric field

When an electric dipole of moment $\mathbf{P}$ is located in a non-uniform electric field $\mathbf{E}$, there is an net force exerted on it. However, the formula of the force in some books is read ...
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6answers
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What is the origin of the Dirac delta term in the dipole electric field?

I am a bit lost how one has deduced the formula for electric field with electric dipole because of some inconsistency between different sources. The Wikipedia article contains a delta function in the ...
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1answer
328 views

Gauss Law for a Modified Coulomb's Law

A problem out of a certain popular book on electricity and magnetism dealt with the resulting electrostatic theory if Coulomb's law was replaced with the following equation: $$ \mathbf{F} = ...
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2answers
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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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857 views

Metal sphere and charged ring

I think this is an interesting question, to which I don't really know the answer to. (Also, not a homework question.) Say you have an uncharged metal sphere constrained to move in the z-axis. There ...
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4answers
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Electric field outside a capacitor

I know that the electric field outside of a capacitor is 0 and I know it is easy to calculate using Gauss's law. We create cylindrical envelope that holds the same amount of charges (of opposite ...
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2answers
466 views

Why do electric field lines start and end at 90 degree at the surface of a conductor? [duplicate]

There is one property of electric lines of forces which states that: Electric field lines start and end at 90 degree at the surface of the conductor. But why is that so? Is there any proof for ...
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1answer
2k views

How to choose Gaussian surfaces while solving problems?

I have a doubt regarding this problem: Two large identical flat metal plates are placed parallel to one another, seperated by a small distance compared to their linear size. One plate is given a ...
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1answer
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How to find electric scalar potential of infinite wire with Poisson/Laplace equation?

I though it will be easier then calculating the electric field and then integrating, but I am stuck. lets say we have an infinite wire, charged $\lambda$ per unit of length and its located at the ...
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1answer
266 views

Concrete example of the application of complex analysis in electrostatics [closed]

I've heard complex analysis can be useful in solving electrostatics problems, but despite doing some research I was unable to find any concrete examples. Would anyone be able to provide a simple ...
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3answers
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Electricity & Magnetism - Is an electric field infinite?

The inverse square law for an electric field is: $$ E = \frac{Q}{4\pi\varepsilon_{0}r^2} $$ Here: $$\frac{Q}{\varepsilon_{0}}$$ is the source strength of the charge. It is the point charge divided ...
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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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1answer
33 views

Does a conductor in an external electric field have a positive charge density and electric field inside?

I'm thoroughly confused by conductors. Let's say you have a round(ish), perfect conductor. Solid and uncharged. Some distance from it, we place a point charge $q$, giving rise to a field $\vec{E}$. ...
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6answers
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Electrostatic Potential Energy Derivation

How is the boxed step , physically as well as mathematically justified and correct ? Source:Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_potential_energy As work done = $- \Delta U $. for Conservative ...
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Why does electric force depend on the medium?

Comparing the equations for the gravitational and electric force $$\vec{F}_g=-\frac{Gm_1m_2}{r^2}$$ and $$\vec{F}_e=\frac{Kq_1q_2}{r^2}$$ I noticed the only major difference between them is that ...
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Why does 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, and not negative charge? It ...