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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Maxwells' equations and Coulomb's law

Coulomb's law and Maxwell's equations should be consistant as one can be derived from the other. Say we have a point charge with such a charge that $-kq=1$, meaning that at any point the electric ...
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4answers
100 views

Electric potential and maximum charge on a conductor

Does increasing the amount of electric charge on a conductor cause an increase in its electric potential to a point at which it becomes maximum; where it can hold no more extra charge? Is it true? ...
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120 views

Why do surfaces act like barriers for electrons?

Say you have a conductor, filled with free electrons. The nuclei have a weak pull on the valence electrons so they are moving around in the conductor. But the electrons don't leave the solid. If you ...
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4answers
135 views

Why does $E=\nabla\phi$ follow from $\nabla\times E=0$?

I understand that using one of Maxwell's equations, $$\vec{\nabla} \times \vec{E}(\vec{x})=0,$$ it can be said that $$\vec{E}(\vec{x})=-\vec \nabla \phi(\vec{x}).$$ However, I can't find or ...
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710 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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63 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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123 views

Relation between Gauss' law and Coulomb's law

In Coulomb's law if the relation was as if electric field intensity was to vary inversely $1/r$ with distance rather than the inverse $1/r^2$ of square of distance, would the Gauss's law still be ...
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28 views

Gauss law from Gauss divergence theorem [duplicate]

Apply Gauss divergence theorem to the gravitational field due to a spherical object of mass M and uniform density located at origin. Obtain Gauss law for gravitation in integral and differential ...
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1answer
121 views

How can electrostatic forces provide lift to the gossamer spider?

I was reading this article entitled "“Ballooning” Spiders Use Electrostatic Forces To Generate Lift". What I would like to know is how can a electrostatically charged object generate lift within the ...
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76 views

A rod of charge?

Say you have a finite rod of conducting charge. The field from one side of the rod looks like Figure 1: At the centre of the sheet, the field lines are straight because of symmetry. (for an ...
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110 views

Questions about Van de Graaff generator

Only asking those questions because I can't afford to get a real generator. If the voltage on the sphere was 50 kV, then I used a metal rod to discharge it and I connected a voltmeter to wire ...
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1answer
49 views

Electric field from a sheet of charge?

Does anyone have images of the electric field created by a real plate of charge? I'm not looking for an image of a theoretical infinite sheet of charge, I'm looking for an image of a real large one. ...
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115 views

Field inside a conductor?

If the above image is a cross section of a conductor, the field at the point shown is not zero. So the field inside a conductor is not zero at all points. You could argue that the electrons would ...
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43 views

Different units in the equations of electrostatics in macroscopic media

I have the usual equations of electrostatics in macroscopic media expressed in Gaussian units: $$\nabla\cdot\vec{D}=4\pi\rho$$ $$\nabla\times\vec{E}=0$$ $$\vec{D}=\vec{E}+4\pi\vec{P} \tag1$$ My ...
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298 views

Conductors and their charge?

Why does excess positive charge stay on the surface of a conductor? This is what I understood from: How does positive charge spread out in conductors? and other resources on the web: If there is a ...
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85 views

Force and Energy of interaction of conducting sphere and point charge

A completely isolated neutral conducting sphere of radius $R$ is kept such that its center is at a distance of $r\left(>R\right)$ from a point charge $+Q$. How can I find the force of ...
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25 views

Influence of a Capacitance Matrix of a voltage measurment

I am having a problem in understanding how in a multiconductor system the Capacitance Matrix influences the measure of voltage between two electrodes. In the case that interest me we have 4 ...
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3answers
151 views

Why is the field inside a hollow sphere zero?

Say you have a hollow sphere with a uniformly distributed charge on the surface. Why is the electric field everywhere inside the sphere zero? For the centre, its easy to add the vectors from the ...
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2answers
380 views

Potential of arbitrary charge distribution

Imagine this: You have a sphere of air where you have no charge and around this sphere you have a charge distribution $\rho(r,\theta,\phi)$. (For instance, this could be ...
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1answer
38 views

Capacitance of a free conductor

Consider a ideal conductor in free space.For all purposes here,the zero of the potential is taken at infinity. Suppose I give a charge $Q$ to the conductor.As a result,the conductor will have a ...
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3answers
2k views

Will two magnets lose magnetism if they stick to each other for infinitely long time?

Here we have two magnets and they are sticking to each other. What I've learned that could possibly explain it is one magnet holds positive charge and the other one holds negative. But when the ...
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1answer
86 views

Is there another way besides $V = k\int dq/r$ to find potential?

Suppose that the charge distribution $q(r)$ in the radial $r$-direction in a thin hollow disc of inner radius $a$ and outer radius $b$ is given by the power-law equation: $$q(r) = Q_0 \left[1 ...
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25 views

Why is liquid behaving differently in electro osmosis and in electro spray?

Why is it that in electro osmosis the liquid will be attracted to the electrode having the same polarity sign as the one of the capillary walls but in electro spraying the liquid, once escaping the ...
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1answer
298 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
54 views

Field created by a wire, known voltage

I am having some mental troubles with this problem I came across reading about transmission lines (I mean, it is not a problem from a book, I just thought about it). Say I have a couple of wires ...
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148 views

Understanding Calculus Notation in Physics

I have just started a first-year calculus-based physics course about electromagnetism and waves. I am having trouble understanding what calculus notation means in the context of physics. Here is a ...
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45 views

Why is it easier to **just** rub charge onto something?

We have all experienced the mild zaps caused by static build up of charges due to triboelectric effect Electric field strenth of air = $ 3 × 10^6 Vm^{-1} $ Now, suppose we feel the zaps after ...
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989 views

A problem of missing energy when charging a second capacitor

A capacitor is charged. It is then connected to an identical uncharged capacitor using superconducting wires. Each capacitor has 1/2 the charge as the original, so 1/4 the energy - so we only have 1/2 ...
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189 views

Does any object placed in an electric field change the electric field?

Lets say I have a point charge of magnitude $+q$, All around it I would have a symmetric radial electric field. Now if I place a neutral object lets say a sphere (doesn't matter insulating or ...
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Are the Maxwell's equations enough to derive the law of Coulomb?

Are the 8 Maxwell's equations enough to derive the formula for the electromagnetic field created by a stationary point charge, which is the same as the law of Coulomb? If I am not mistaken, due to ...
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3k views

Why two objects get charged by rubbing?

It is always told as a fact without explaining the reason. Why do two objects get charged by rubbing? Why one object get negative charge and other get positive charge?
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1answer
87 views

Flux through a conduting cylinder?

A point charge of magnitude $Q$ is placed inside a conducting cylinder of length $L$ and radius $R$ at its centre. What is the flux through the cylinder? I know that I have to use Gauss Law here ...
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1answer
192 views

Spherical harmonics

Given the following potential: $$V(\theta,\phi)=\frac{Q}{a}\left(\sin\theta \cos\phi+\frac{1}{2}\cos^2\theta\right)$$ on the surface of a sphere of radius $a$ I am trying to solve Laplace's Equation ...
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78 views

Show that the electric field, $\mathbf{\vec{E}}$ cannot be generated by any static distribution of charges

Show that the electric field $$\mathbf{\vec{E}}=\begin{pmatrix}0 \\ E_0x \\ 0\end{pmatrix}$$ where $E_0$ is a constant, cannot be generated by any static distribution of charges. I understand ...
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1answer
194 views

Surface charge density relation with the radius of curvature at the surface of a conductor [closed]

In a text book it was given that the surface charge density of a conductor at a particular region on its surface is inversely proportional to the radius of curvature at that region. I didn't ...
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1answer
100 views

Dipole moment dilemmas

Dipole moment for a couple of charges, say q and -q, separated by a distance 'd' is given by 'qd' But what is for dissimilar magnitudes,say (q and 2q) or (q and -2q)? And are dipole moment defined ...
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1answer
62 views

Capacitors in parallel and dieletric [closed]

I'm trying to solve this problem: Two capacitors of capacitance $C_1=200pF$ and $C_2=1000pF$ are connected in parallel and loaded to a potential difference of $400V$. Subsequently the space ...
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13 views

Is this configuration correct for this spherical capacitor? [duplicate]

This capacitance contain 4 dielectric as shown in the figure dielectric 1 in half sphere and 2,3 in for 1/4 of the sphere and the fourth one in the last 1/4 of the sphere as shown and I want to find ...
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2answers
343 views

Why are there dust particles on TV screens?

My professor gave us the following reason: The screen is positively charged. When dust particles fly near it, the positive charges in the screen induce a charge in the dust particle, pulling the ...
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3answers
282 views

Question regarding inverse relation of resistance with area of cross section

It is said that resistance is inversely proportional to area of cross section. But greater area will have greater electric flux, and greater electric flux will have greater magnetic flux, and greater ...
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1answer
77 views

what is the mechanism of water conductivity?

I'm trying to wrap my head around the kelvin water drop generator and more specifically what happens in the water before it drops. If on one side the drops of water are positive and on the other side ...
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1answer
98 views

Why Gauss' law is applied?

Why Gauss' law is applied? Why is there a need of finding electric field by Gauss' law if we can find the electric field through Coulomb's law? or has it got more applications than Coulomb's law?
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2answers
107 views

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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0answers
26 views

Proof of Gauss' Law [duplicate]

How would you prove Gauss' law for an asymmetrical closed surface? I can find it for symmetrical surface but couldn't for Asymmetrical surfaces.
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2answers
161 views

How is electric flux related to permittivity?

How is Gauss' law related to permittivity? I know that it equals $1/\epsilon_0$ times the magnitude of the charge enclosed. But, I'm unable to understand what it actually means. Can someone ...
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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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1answer
70 views

What makes charges flowing in a circuit with a higher potential difference perform more work?

I understand that a 1.5 V cell will not deliver as much energy per coulomb as a 150 V power supply will. What I do not understand is that why it is so. I am digressing now. If we place two point ...
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67 views

What is opposite of electric field?

A negatively charged molecule will generate a field, an electric field, and it will repel all negative ions. So what does positively charged molecule generates that causes other positive molecules ...
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456 views

Is the Earth negatively or positively charged?

The Earth carries a negative electric charge of roughly 500 thousand Coulombs. Does that mean the Earth is negatively charged?
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438 views

What happens when a charged (negative or positive) object touches an insulator?

I know that insulators do not conduct electricity because they do not allow the free movement of electrons. Let's assume the object that's going to touch the insulator is negatively charged. Does some ...