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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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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2answers
397 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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1answer
2k 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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1answer
83 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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2answers
2k 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
109 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
919 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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2answers
118 views

Finding the direction of the magnetic force acting on a conducting wire

I have a problem in finding the direction of the force when a conducting wire is placed in a magnetic field. If I use Fleming's Right Hand rule I get a circular magnetic field, so what will be ...
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2answers
111 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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2answers
138 views

When to use which representation for an electric field

In class we covered three types of possibilities to evaluate the electric field for static problems. Unfortunately, most physics textbooks cover these ways without addressing the question of ...
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1answer
128 views

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
69 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
71 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
116 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
151 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
1k 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
164 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
112 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
310 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
230 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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1answer
588 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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1answer
746 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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2answers
466 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
285 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
107 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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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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1answer
236 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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1answer
50 views

Flashing a fluorescent light bulb with high voltage

My son and I built a Wimshurst machine (our second try) over the last couple of weekends. It works -- not terribly well, as it only makes 2cm sparks with 20 cm disks (something like 60 kVolt when it ...
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101 views

Green's function for a dielectric with a charge [closed]

Suppose there are two infinite planes, one in $z=a$ and the other in $z=b$, with $a<b$. Between the planes, there is a dielectric medium with constant $\epsilon_1$. The differential equation for ...
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1answer
66 views

Earnshaw Theorem for ionic solids

Is a single molecule of sodium chloride (say) or a cluster of molecules of NaCl unstable, although macroscopically NaCl is in fact, stable? How can I reason this based on Earnshaw's theorem?
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1answer
96 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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65 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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1answer
114 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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97 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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197 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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63 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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642 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
1k 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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4answers
697 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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2answers
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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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4answers
2k 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
412 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
92 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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4answers
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The discontinuity of Electric Field

''electric field always undergoes a discontinuity when you cross a surface charge $\sigma$'' GRIFFITHS In the derivation; Suppose we draw a wafer-thin Gaussian Pillbox, extendind just barely over the ...
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4answers
6k views

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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2answers
59 views

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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2answers
204 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
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Why potential energy of a dipole in an electric field has a negative sign?

In the following equation $$V = -\mathbf{P}\cdot \mathbf{E}$$ why I have to take Potential Energy as negative. Is there any simple reason behind this ? I am preparing for my high school ...