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 [tag:magnetic-...

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Fluctuation interaction between two uncharged spheres

TL;DR: The problem is to determine force, acting between two uncharged conducting spheres, induced by correlated fluctuations of charge densities in these spheres. I've got stucked along the way and ...
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2answers
994 views

What is charge actually? How to define it? [closed]

Is charge of something for (e.g.) an electron related to electromagnetic space if it exists due to energy, due to which it may have mass? I don't know about quantum mechanics or advanced particle ...
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614 views

Where does the smell of electrostatic charge come from?

Everybody knows you can produce electrostatic charge rubbing two different materials together. But have you ever smelt e.g. at the plastic after charging it? There actually is a distinct ...
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5answers
1k views

Why is the electric field of an infinite insulated plane of charge perpendicular to the plane?

I'm studying Gauss' Law, and I came across a section where we're supposed to find the electric field of various shapes (like an infinite line of charges, etc), and for an infinite plane with a uniform ...
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3answers
405 views

Explanation for $E~$ not falling off at $1/r^2$ for infinite line and sheet charges?

For an infinite line charge, $E$ falls off with $1/r$; for an infinite sheet of charge it's independent of r! The infinitesimal contributions to $E$ fall off with $1/r^2$, so why doesn't the total $E$ ...
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Is the electric field of a volume charge distribution well defined?

Consider a volume charge distribution $\rho({\bf r'})$. The electric field at ${\bf r}$ is $${\bf E}({\bf r})=\iiint\frac{1}{4\pi\epsilon_0}\frac{\rho({\bf r'})}{R^2}\hat{\bf R}\, \mathrm d^3{\bf r'}$...
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6answers
13k views

Why is 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 $3$, page $92$, and the book discusses conductors. The following is from the book: ...
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4answers
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Sign of Work and potential energy in electrostatics

Conceptual question: Suppose we have a configuration of point charges. If the potential of the energy of the system is negative, this means work is positive. I'm kind of rusty with my mechanics, ...
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2answers
720 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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3answers
696 views

Change in attraction of charged bodies

If I insert a piece of glass between two objects carrying different charges, would they still attract? If they attract, does the piece of glass affect the force of attraction and is there any formula ...
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3answers
2k views

Can someone give an intuitive way of understanding why Gauss's law holds?

Gauss' Law of electrostatics is an amazing law. It is extremely useful (as far as problems framed for it are concerned :D. I do not have a real world-problem solving experience of using Gauss' Law). ...
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2answers
297 views

Meaning of “Grounded”

In my opinion, "grounded" means having the same potential as the potential at infinity, which is usually set to zero. Now if we consider a conductor inside a uniform electric field, what is the ...
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620 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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2answers
435 views

Why can you make two repelling positively charged rods touch? Shouldn't the Coulomb force become infinite?

For a physics lab on the Triboelectric effect, we rubbed two rods with fur which gave both of them a positive charge. We then brought them close together, and they obviously repelled. We then held ...
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2answers
12k views

Flux through side of a cube

I am looking at Griffiths introduction to Electrodynamics 3rd ED. Problem 2.10 asks for the flux of $E$ through the right face of the cube, when a charge $q$ is in the back left corner of the cube. ...
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2answers
1k views

Why is electric flux defined as $\Phi = E \cdot S$?

Flux, as I understand it, is the amount of substance passing through a particular surface over some time. So, from a simple perspective, considering photons that go through some virtual surface $A$ (...
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1answer
489 views

Do inner shell electrons feel the electric field/force from an outer shell electron in an atom?

We just finished studying Gauss’ law and were puzzled by this thought. If I look at a copper atom and focus on the 29th electron in the 4th shell, according to Gauss’ law, I can draw a Gaussian ...
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2answers
3k views

Using the image charges method to find the electric field

The following is a question from a tutorial in my Physics 2 course about conductors and the Method of image charges. We are given two infinite perpendicular and grounded plains. The first ...
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2answers
1k views

Meaning of the phrase “dipole moment of the combination”

Here is a question I came across in a book: Three point charges $-q$,$-q$ and $2q$ are placed on the vertices of an equilateral triangle of side length $d$ units.What is the dipole moment of the ...
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1answer
8k views

Why we cannot use Gauss's Law to find the Electric Field of a finite-length charged wire?

One of my physics books has a nice example on how to use Gauss's Law to find the electric field of a long (infinite) charged wire. However, at the very end of the example, the author ends by saying ...
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4answers
203 views

Electric field dependence on distance

How can it be proved that for a point charge, $E$ is proportional to $$1/r^2$$ using the concept of Electric field lines (or lines of force)? I tried to show that if field lines are close, then ...
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3answers
100 views

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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4answers
393 views

Electric field on the surface of a charged sphere

We know that the electric field for a point charge is $$ E = \frac{KQ}{R^2}. $$ If $R$, i.e. distance from the electric field producer to the point where we want to find the electric field becomes ...
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3answers
1k views

Field due to current in a wire

Suppose a current flows in a straight cylindrical wire so that an electric field $\textbf{E}$ is maintained in the wire. Will there be an electric field just outside the wire..?
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1answer
584 views

Sparks from van de graff generator

I was at a lecture yesterday and there was a demo of a van de graff generator. He held the smaller metal globe which is attached by a wire, about 4cm from the main globe. This created a spark between ...
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2answers
273 views

What restores balance to a repulsive electric force on an electroscope?

I am an amateur physics enthusiast (during the day I am a police officer), and recently, I learned how to build an electroscope. I regret that I am learning how wonderful our universe is so late in my ...
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1answer
155 views

Integrating Radial Vector Fields

Given a integral $$\int_vd^3{r} \;\vec{r}\;\rho(r)$$ and How do you convert it to spherical coordinate system, noting that $\rho(r)$ is indeed as it is without vector, i.e. it is spherically symmetric ...
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2answers
725 views

Will there be any force of attraction or repulsion between an electrified body and a non-electrified body?

Up to my knowledge an electrified (charged) body can attract a non-electrified (neutral) body. I thought this because, when we bring a charged (suppose negatively charged) body near a neutral one. ...
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1answer
250 views

Experimental relationship between linear dependence and superposition

From Griffith's Introduction to Electrodynamics The principle of superposition may seem obvious to you, but it did not have to be so simple: if the electromagnetic force were proportional to the ...
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1answer
4k views

How is Gauss' Law (integral form) arrived at from Coulomb's Law, and how is the differential form arrived at from that?

On a similar note: when using Gauss' Law, do you even begin with Coulomb's law, or does one take it as given that flux is the surface integral of the Electric field in the direction of the normal to ...
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3answers
3k views

Electrostatic Pressure Concept

There was a Question bothering me. I tried solving it But couldn't So I finally went up to my teacher asked him for help . He told me that there was a formula for Electrostatic pressure $\...
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1answer
628 views

Balloon rubbing; where do the electrons go?

If you rubbed a balloon with a towel, where would the electrons go: the balloon or the towel? Why? I'm guessing the electrons would go to the object with a larger mass, but it's just a guess. :)
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95 views

Why doped silicon does not undergo electrostatic discharge?

Doped silicon is charge neutral overall, but since the extra added carriers are only weakly bounded (~45meV) they become delocalized. Since the concentration of silicon is 5-9 orders of magnitude ...
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3answers
70 views

Spherical Shell with Electric Field Zero Everywhere Inside It

If an isolated, charged spherical shell has a uniform charge distribution, the electric field everywhere inside it is 0, by Gauss' Law. Is the converse true? That is, given an isolated, charged ...
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1answer
80 views

Electric field due to a charged irregularly shaped balloon

There is a question in my textbook that says: A rubber balloon is given a charge $Q$ distributed uniformly over its surface. Is the field inside the balloon zero everywhere if the balloon does not ...
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1answer
1k views

Speakers and Static from Hands

Why is it that when you touch the a bare male end of a speaker feed that the speaker makes hissing noises? Is it just (eddy?) currents running through you?
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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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2answers
374 views

The appearance of volume $V$ in the Fourier series representation of a periodic cubic system

In the textbook Understanding Molecular Simulation by Frenkel and Smit (Second Edition), the authors represent a function $f(\textbf{r})$ (which depends on the coordinates of a periodic system) as a ...
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3answers
3k views

What is the physical meaning of the terms in the multipole expansion?

I have a few questions on multipole expansions and I have read about the topic in many places but could not find an answer to my questions, so please be patient with me. The electrostatic potential ...
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2answers
621 views

Algorithm of Lightning Strikes? [duplicate]

Given an array of charge for a given area (2D or 3D), what algorithm would describe the path that lightning takes? An example algorithm would be from the highest charge of the cloud, find the lowest ...
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1answer
1k views

How many electrons are displaced when combing hair?

Feynman talking about electricity: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhh32JYkQPk When brushing your hair, Feynman mentioned that a "few" electrons were transferred to the brush (or vice versa, can't ...
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2answers
185 views

Need help on electric potential definition

I'm having trouble understanding electric potential. In my book it says "an electric force acts on a charge situated in an electric field." I understand this part. Then it goes on to say "If a charge ...
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2answers
2k views

Electric field due to a uniformly charged FINITE rectangular plate

I was teaching kids about how to find electric field using the superposition principle for continuous charge distributions, I thought may be I should derive the formula for electric field due to the ...
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1answer
553 views

Simulate / plot electrostatic field

I have something like this: For given voltage (9 V red wire, 0 V blue wire) I want to simulate electrostatic field. I already know, for example that in the point (10.5;0) there are 10 V and etc. I ...
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4answers
3k views

Is a capacitor in an open circuit charged?

Say I have a circuit consisting of a battery, a wire, an open switch, and a capacitor. The circuit is open since the switch is open. My book says that the capacitor will only be charged when the ...
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3answers
7k 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
329 views

Quadrupole potential generation in Paul traps

I am currently getting familiar with the concept of the Paul trap and the underlying physical principles. I do understand what kind of potentials are needed to trap charged particles, e.g. for the 3D ...
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1answer
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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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2answers
647 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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2answers
10k views

How does rubbing cause the transfer of electrons from one object to the other? [duplicate]

I have just learnt about electrostatics. Why would there be a transfer of electrons? Is it because of the difference of the materials (i.e. triboelectric series)? So in the case of two different ...