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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Solving non-linear ODE for divalent solution at a 1-D surface boudary

I am trying to solve the following equation for a positively charged plane with charge density $\sigma$ at $z = 0$. $$ \phi''(z)=-\frac{e}{\epsilon \epsilon_0} \big(z_+n_{+} e^{-\beta z_+ ...
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1answer
67 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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1answer
70 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
88 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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1answer
122 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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804 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
142 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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1answer
104 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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1answer
227 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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212 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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546 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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424 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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705 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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430 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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1answer
271 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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3answers
94 views

How does an object regains its neutrality after being charged by rubbing?

Objects (like comb) can be charged by rubbing as charged particles, particularly electrons, are transferred from one object to other. This can be seen as the object (comb) attracts small bits of ...
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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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229 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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95 views

Electric flux through nonspherical surphace

Here's an explanation from a book that I read: Now, I have a few problems with this explanation as well as with the "cone method". I guess that all my problems boil down to the concept of ...
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1answer
89 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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57 views

Gravitational redshift of temperature and electrostatic potential

Consider a charged black hole in four-dimensional Minkowski spacetime, with charge $Q$, mass $M>Q$: $ds^2=-f(r)dt^2+\frac{1}{f(r)}dr^2+r^2d\Omega_2^2$, with $f(r)=1-\frac{2M}{r}+\frac{Q^2}{r^2}$. ...
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106 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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87 views

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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176 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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59 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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45 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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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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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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433 views

Electric Field due to a disk of charge. (Problem in derivation)

This might be a really silly question, but I don't understand it. In finding the electric field due to a thin disk of charge, we use the known result of the field due to a ring of charge and then ...
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4answers
2k views

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
1k views

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 ...
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4answers
372 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 ...
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3answers
74 views

How come we talk about gravitational potential energy and not gravitational potential?

With regards to gravity the equation learned is $$U=-\frac{GMm}{r}$$ And the relationship to force is $$F=-\frac{dU}{dr}$$ In electrostatics we instead talk about electric field and electric ...
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Basic of Capacitor

I've 2 capacitors; plate area, difference between plates and dielectric is same. Only thing is that the metal used in plates is different. Since the formula $\displaystyle C=\frac{\varepsilon A}{d}$ ...
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200 views

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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2answers
2k views

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: ...
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Is voltage electric potential or electric potential difference?

On Wikipedia, voltage is defined to be the electric potential difference. However, I am still not certain as to whether voltage is the electric potential ($PE/q$) or electric potential change ...
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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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2answers
156 views

Determination of auxiliary scale in dimensional regularization

My questions are in italics. In the article [1] a dimensional regularization is presented on an electrostatic example of an infinite wire with constant linear charge density $\lambda$. It is shown ...
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If something has zero resistance, does it have infinite amperage?

If amps = volts / ohms, and ohms is 0, then what is x volts / 0 ohms?
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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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428 views

Gauss' law giving zero field where field is not zero?

Two plastic sheets with charged densities as shown: I'm trying to find the field at $B$. I obtained the correct answer by adding up the fields created by each charge density. But I realized that ...
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1answer
66 views

Why do we consider the electric field of an infinite plane? [closed]

I never understood why one would calculate the electric field surrounding an infinite plane, if such thing does not exist. Is there physical motivation for using this model? Are the results applicable ...
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2answers
121 views

Absolute value in the argument of a logarithm

I am wondering how the author rationalizes the removal of absolute value bars around the quotient argument of a natural logarithm. My take on this is that the potential at point $b$ MUST be greater ...
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4answers
191 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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2answers
507 views

Why does the induced charge have to have the same magnitude as the inducing charge?

Why is it that the total induced charge on a conducting, grounde,d infinite plane must be of the same magnitude as the inducing charge?
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2answers
110 views

What is the minimum distance between two opposite point charges

In an overly simplistic model if I have a single negative charge, and a single positive charge they will be attracted. I expect they will fly together. Click. Good luck getting them apart. The ...
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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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109 views

Why change in Capacitance?

I do know it that the overall capacitance decreases if two or more capacitors are connected in series,but do not understand why? I do understand it mathematically but don't get the physics behind it.
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Why can you touch two positively charged rods?

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 ...