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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Local nature of a surface charge density

Boundary S of a cavity in a very large (perfect) conductor is a connected compact (smooth) surface. A positive point charge +q is placed inside this cavity. From Gauss' law we know that the total ...
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201 views

Information content of the electrostatic Maxwell equations vs Coulomb's Law vs Poisson's Equation

In electrostatics, we have Maxwell's equations: $\nabla \cdot E = \rho$ $\nabla \times E = 0$ These four equations (the second line standing for three equations) can also be written in terms of the ...
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151 views

Moving the plates of a charged capacitor to calculate energy density - where's the flaw in my argument?

For a charged air-dielectric capacitor, let the plates be parallel to the $xy$ plane, with the top carrying a positive charge $+Q$, the bottom a charge $-Q$. The force on an infinitesimal charge ...
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221 views

Coulomb potential

It is known that the Coulomb potential can be obtained by Fourier transform of the propagator from E&M. Is this because one of Maxwell's equations have the form $\nabla \cdot \mathbf{E}=\rho$?
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163 views

what is the electric field intensity inside a charged metallic shell if there is a point charge inside the shell?

What I know so far: - Charges (electrons) inside a conductor will repel (Coulomb's law). - The charges will experience repulsion which results in maximum separation distances between the charges. - ...
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584 views

Electric field a distance $z$ above the center of a circular loop. The Hard way [closed]

Problem 2.5: Find the electric field a distance $z$ above the center of a circular loop of radius $r$ which carries a uniform line charge $\lambda$. This problem is in refereced here (with ...
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1answer
685 views

What are the limits of applicability of Coulomb's Law?

Coulomb's law is formally parallel to Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation, which is known to give way to General Relativity for very large masses. Does Coulomb's Law have any similar limits of ...
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194 views

Make water droplets charged?

Normally water molecules are electrically neutral. But I have seen somewhere ideas about electric energy generators mentioning that water droplets might be used in some applications as they are ...
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133 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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148 views

What happens to this potential energy?

Let's say I turn on a Van de Graaff which creates a large positive charge. Now let's say I have an object with a positive charge in my hand and I start walking toward the Van de Graaff from $x$ meters ...
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278 views

Electric field lines

If electric field lines cannot terminate in empty space, in the simple example of two equal charges what happens to the line starting from one of the charges toward the other in the middle?
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1k views

What is the role of battery across a Parallel plate capacitor having equal charge?

Each plate of a parallel plate capacitor has a charge $q$ on it. The capacitor is now connected to a battery. Now, which of the following options are correct? a) The facing surfaces of the ...
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77 views

Unrolling electrolytic capacitors

If I take an electrolytic capacitor, remove the aluminium casing, unroll the foil/ electrolyte-soaked paper, if charged, will it still work? And what if I took of the cathode foil and wrapped the ...
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1k views

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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1answer
107 views

Scaling of Static Electric Field

The electric field of a point charge goes like $\displaystyle\frac{1}{r^2}$ The electric field of an infinite line goes like $\displaystyle\frac{1}{s}$ The electric field of an infinite plane is ...
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1answer
772 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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1answer
709 views

Given charge distribution find electric field

Given a charge distribution $\rho(\vec{r})$ where $\vec{r}$ is the position vector and that $\rho$ is a function of only $|x|$, Why is it that the corresponding electric field $E$ is necessarily of ...
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1answer
54 views

Does it really make sense to talk about field lines?

Field lines should only provide a visual representation of a field. There is a rule for their construction: take an object subject to a field, move it by d$\mathbf{r}$ and draw the direction of the ...
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59 views

Correct formula to express the potential generated by a single layer charge distribution

Assume that the closed surface $S$ encircles a volume $V$, and that a surface charge with density $\sigma$ ("single layer") is distributed over $S$. My question regards the electrostatic potential ...
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1answer
39 views

Polarization vector and bound charge

Why is it that the bound charge is $Q_b = - \oint_S{\mathbf{P} \cdot d\mathbf{S}}$? In particular, why is there a negative sign? Hayt's book on electromagnetism describes this as the "net increase in ...
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71 views

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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74 views

Are the axial electric field lines of a dipole the only ones that extend to infinity?

Consider an electric dipole and its electric field lines. There will be many field lines that do not extend to or originate from infinity, but rather begin at the positive charge and loop back ...
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3answers
173 views

Electric field intensity in a dielectric inside a capacitor

In the question A parallel plate capacitor is charged from a cell and then isolated from it. A dielectric slab of dielectric constant $K$ is now introduced in the left half region between the ...
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1answer
98 views

Realistic vs Idealistic capacitance

I am doing an investigation into the differences of calculating capacitance using the well know formula for an idealistic parallel plate capacitor, based on the assumption of a uniformly distributed ...
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177 views

Frank-Hertz experiment setup

The usual schematic representing the setup of Frank-Hertz experiment is the following: However, sometimes, you can see a bit different schematic: My question is: what function does $V_{G_1K}$ ...
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1answer
481 views

Electric Field due to a charged sphere

Suppose we have a spherical surface with a surface charge density varying as $cos(\theta)$. Apparently one can find the electric field both outside and inside such a spherical surface by superposing ...
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401 views

Conservation of Charge and Method of Images

Consider the typical problem, "You have a conducting sphere of charge $Q$ and a point charge q a certain distance away, what is the force on the point charge?". The solution is a simple application of ...
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582 views

Calculating the electric relative permittivity of fluid or medium?

I'm unsure of how to calculate the permittivity of a fluid. Permittivity differs from one fluid to another: $$\varepsilon=\varepsilon_r\varepsilon_0$$ Since it is an electrical property combined ...
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370 views

Electrostatic notion of voltage as it applies to circuits

I have a question that's been bothering me about electric fields, voltage, and circuit analysis. Initially, I came to understand voltage as it was taught in the context of electrostatics - through ...
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225 views

Why do hydrogen atoms attract?

That is, why is the potential energy with the orbitals overlapping less than with the Hydrogen atoms 'independent'. Similarly, why is a noble gas configuration stabler than if an electron were to be ...
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1answer
3k views

Force from point charge on perfect dipole

Have a point charge and a perfect dipole $\vec{p}$ a distance $r$ away. Angle between $\vec{p}$ and $\hat{r}$ is $\theta$. Want to find force on dipole. I'm having more than a little difficulty ...
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212 views

What force is acting on the charge in the dielectric?

For example I have a dielectric solid with a small charged ball in it. And I have external electric field $E$. So what force is acting on this ball? The field in dielectric is $\frac{E}{\epsilon}$, ...
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45 views

Electric field in a sphere with a cylindrical hole drilled through it

Suppose that you have a sphere of radius $R$ and uniform charge density $\rho$; a cylindrical hole with radius $a$ ($a\ll R$) is drilled through the center of the sphere, leaving it like a "necklace ...
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1answer
48 views

Can Gauss' Law in differential form apply to surface charges?

I'm calculating the electric field outside a coaxial cable using only Gauss' Law in differential form. The charge density on the interior solid conducting cylinder is exactly cancelled by the surface ...
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101 views

A dielectric sphere in an initially uniform electric field and representation theory of SO(3)

I learned recently that the highest order spherical harmonic required to represent the spatial distribution of decay products of a particle can be used to determine its spin, by using arguments ...
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90 views

Is the system of equations of electrostatics underdetermined or overdetermined? [duplicate]

The following equations are equations of electrostatics: $$\nabla \times \vec E=0$$ $$\nabla\cdot\vec E=\dfrac{\rho}{\epsilon_0}.$$ These are 4 independent equations, while $\vec E$ has only 3 ...
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Electrodynamics and induced EMF question [closed]

A very long straight wire carries a current I. A plane rectangular coil of high resistance, with sides of length $a$ and $b$, is coplanar with the wire. One of the sides of length $a$ is parallel ...
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161 views

How to set up Schrodinger's equation for an electron (as a charge distribution) under its own electrostatic field

After reading about the hydrogen atom and understanding how Schrodinger's equation explains most part of the atomic spectrum of an hydrogen atom, and also came to know that, it explains most of the ...
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185 views

Method of images tutorial?

I'm having an exam in Electrodynamics soon. I think I have most of it under control, but the method of images I'm not quite sure about. There is not much in my book about, so I was thinking some of ...
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54 views

Modeling the formation of a stellar system and matter accretion

I am trying to figure out what do I need to know to properly simulate the creation of a solar system from a particle cloud with random distribution of hydrogen atoms. Being more of a programming ...
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42 views

Nature of electricity [duplicate]

Suppose a lightning strikes and there is an iron rod and a coconut tree. How does the electricity know that rod is the least resistant path before hand.
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191 views

Electron hopping among molecules - Marcus equation

I'm running out of professors to talk to, and I need to clarify a couple of things for the sake of making a realistic model of electron travel through a mesh. This is about calculations of electron ...
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2answers
576 views

Electrostatics:Basic question on electric current

I've got two questions for you. Electric current is the flow of electrons across a conductor.Why has it always got to do with electrons and not with protons? (I know neutrons are not eligible for ...
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2answers
689 views

Do electric and magnetic lines of force physically exist?

As per my imagination any thing can't impose force on the other by not giving even a touch(i,e action at a distance). So I thought there must be some physical existence of lines of force. Although ...
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3answers
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Delta Dirac Charge Density question

I have to write an expression for the charge density $\rho(\vec{r})$ of a point charge $q$ at $\vec{r}^{\prime}$, ensuring that the volume integral equals $q$. The only place any charge exists is at ...
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4answers
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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 ...
2
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4answers
292 views

Gauss' law - changes in the magnitude of E field inside the closed surface

Gauss's law says that the flux through a closed surface which contains neither a sink nor a source will be zero. It's quite clear that all field lines will have to exit somehow, but the strength of ...
2
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2answers
119 views

2D Gauss law vs residue theorem

I used to have a vague feeling that the residue theorem is a close analogy to 2D electrostatics in which the residues themselves play a role of point charges. However, the equations don't seem to add ...
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My conundrum with Gauss’ law in electrostatics

If I use Gauss’ law to calculate the electric field outside of a charged (conducting or insulating) sphere or a point charge, the fields are the same. However, as a test approaches a point charge, the ...
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Why does the electric field perpendicular to every point on the surface of a conductor?

I am reading Berkeley Physics Course, Volume 2 (Electricity and Magnetism by Edward M. Purcell). I am in chapter $3$ pg $92$, and the book discusses conductors. The following is from the book: ...