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 ...

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Potential at infinity due to a point positive charge

I know it is quite basic for this site, but I am confused...is it just a convention to take it as zero, or there is some logic? I really dont think that V = kq/r r->infinity, v -> 0 is right, because ...
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2answers
54 views

Current flow through car struck by lightning

It is safe to sit under a car rather than to stand under a tree during lightning. The electric field inside the car is zero when the lightning falls on it so, after falling on car, where do the ...
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2answers
102 views

Using Electric Potential to Float an Object

I've been trying to answer the following question but I'm stuck at one step. The question essentially states that a magician is trying to perform a "floating objects" act, for which she has a thin ...
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1answer
77 views

Why does a conductor shield its inside from its outside, but not vice versa?

A point charge outside a hollow conducting sphere will produce no field in the hollow interior: the metal shields the interior. But a point charge inside the hollow interior will produce a field ...
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4answers
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Is there a limitation on Gauss' law? [duplicate]

Recently I had a question to find the electric field at a distance $R$ from the origin, where the space is filled with charge of density $\rho$. I did this by assuming a Gaussian surface of radius ...
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1answer
64 views

Why does $E = 0$ inside conducting sphere? [duplicate]

Given this picture, I've understood that giver r>R, E = q/(4πεR^2) but I just can't get why inside the sphere, E equals 0? And the notes don't explain something. I've tried to look it up on the web ...
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1answer
59 views

Calculating electrostatic potential [closed]

A continuous charge distribution is spherically symmetric and has a volume charge density $$\rho(r) = \rho_oe^{−\alpha r}$$ I need to find the potential as a function of '$r$' i.e. $V(r)$. It seems ...
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1answer
30 views

What does “touching” mean in the context of charge by conduction in electrostatics?

So in our physics class today, we had a demonstration involving a charged rod and a neutral ball attached to a string (a physical pendulum). At first, when the rod was placed near the ball, the ball ...
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1answer
80 views

Where did earth's electric charge come from?

I get between .7 and 1.3 volts out of a 20 foot tree depending on the weather. I understand this is "telluric" electricity with pretty low amperage. Where is this charge coming from? The sun, right? ...
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1answer
36 views

How to calculate the electric energy caused by eletrostatic field stored in a region, given $V$?

I have problem in apply the rules to find the energy stored in free space here is the problem Find the energy stored in free space for the region $$0.002<r<0.003m,\quad ...
2
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2answers
109 views

Continuity of electric field

I was solving a problem in which i came across a radially symmetric discontinuous electric field, which puzzled me for a moment but then I figured that there must be surface charge density at the ...
0
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1answer
97 views

Electric flux of a closed surface, $\Psi = Q $ or $\Phi =\int\vec{E}\cdot d\vec{A}$

I have problem with the equation of electric flux. I use one book of fundamental physics and another book of electromagnetic engineering; the two of them give different equations for electric flux. ...
2
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1answer
51 views

How should one interpret $\vec{f}=0$ in an ideal battery?

In a circuit there are two forces that act on the charges to keep the current uniform through out,$\vec{f}=\vec{E}+\vec{f_s}$, where $\vec{E}$ is the electrostatic field and $\vec{f_s}$ is the ...
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3answers
51 views

Vector question, differentials, Electromagnetism

I was reading this demonstration of electric potential in my book: Let $q$ be a point charge at point $P$ The Electric field created at point $M$ by $q$ is : $$\vec{E}(M) = ...
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1answer
61 views

How should I interpret the math in showing that the potential difference and the emf in an ideal battery are the same?

I was reading Griffiths' Introduction to Electrodyamics where he says that in order to have the same current through out a circuit there are two force per unit charges acting on the circuit, $f=f_s+E$ ...
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1answer
55 views

How is the electric potential of a localized charge distribution scaled when scaling the geometry of the problem?

I am trying to find the potential at a point on the surface of a charged polygon (rectangular). I have find a solution to the problem, but it relies on the following statement: If the potential at ...
0
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1answer
80 views

Gauss's law not making sense

If we have a point charge and outside of it we have a non-conducting Gaussian sphere, then Gauss's law says that the net flux should be zero. I agree that the total field lines coming in are equal to ...
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1answer
49 views

Repulsive force between same charged plates?

I understand that the attraction force between parallel plates of capacitor is the derivative of stored energy with respect to distance of the plates. But how could we find the repulsive force between ...
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2answers
55 views

Potentials with no sources

I have been reading Electrostatics from Panofsky's book. One of the exercises in his first chapter is Functions of the type $\phi = x$, or indeed $\phi = x^2 + 2 y^2 - 3z^2$ , satisfy Laplace's ...
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1answer
173 views

How do electrons distribute themselves along a wire attached to one pole of a battery?

Let's assume we have an electrochemical cell, like an AA battery. We attach a long straight wire to the negative terminus of the battery, the other end of the wire extends right away from the battery ...
5
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2answers
106 views

Poisson equation in 2D and 3D: geometrical reason for the difference

The Poisson equation in 3D shows a fundamental solution in 3D which decays with $\sim 1/r$, whilst in 2D it shows a much different decay $\sim -\ln r$. While in 3D not only the solution, but also its ...
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0answers
33 views

Laplace equation between circles [closed]

I need to solve the simple Laplace equation $$\nabla^2f(r,\theta)=0$$ with boundary conditions: $$f(a,0)=g(\theta)$$ $$\lim_{A\rightarrow\infty}f(A,\theta)=1$$ what would be a straightforward way to ...
2
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1answer
99 views

Gauss's Law of Electric Field how it actually works? & How Gauss derived it?

I want to know how Gauss derived his equation of Electric Field. Did he derive it from Coulomb's law? I don't think so. Please tell me some details about how this law works? inside a Gaussian ...
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1answer
136 views

What exactly is electric dipole moment & how it works?? and Why Electric Dipole Moment vector's direction is from negative charge to positive charge?

What exactly is electric dipole moment & how it works/used? (don't go into deep mathematical calculations) Please answer the question about the direction with good details. Don't just say that ...
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2answers
515 views

Why is Xenon favored as the propellant in electric thrusters?

Most of the articles I've read on electric thrusters mention that Xenon is generally, with some exceptions, used as the propellant (or would it be termed reaction mass?). They never mention why ...
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1answer
24 views

Potential of 2 parallel plates

How can I write down a potential of 2 parallel plates (area $A$) with charge $+Q$, $-Q$ such that V(inf)=0 and V(in) is what I would expect, $Ed = Qd/A\epsilon_0$. Do I have to write a discontinuous ...
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1answer
55 views

Does wearing jewelry increase chance of static electricity

I am the only one in my office repeatedly subject to static stock. Does wearing silver jewelry increase my chance of getting a shock?
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1answer
33 views

2D room with electron-point-charges (stability)

Is there a fast way to find out stable #"point charges" & constellation for this kind of Simulation. The 2D repeating itselve in each direction till infinity, so i've a kind of symetrie here. ...
2
votes
3answers
523 views

How much energy is needed to create an electron?

I know how to calculate the electrostatic energy of a sphere (it has a well defined radius). But how can I calculate the electrostatic energy of an electron as it is a point particle? By electrostatic ...
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0answers
28 views

Interaction between charged particles through static electric fields [duplicate]

I generally find it pretty primitive to accept that static charges communicate with the help of static electric fields without any exchange going on between them such as electromagnetic waves. I ...
4
votes
2answers
93 views

How to get the electric field strength of a plate as approximation of a sphere

Suppose you know that the electric field in distance $r > R$ from the center of a charged sphere with charge $Q$ and radius $R$ is given by: $$ E = \frac{1}{4\pi\epsilon_0} \frac{Q}{r^2} $$ ...
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1answer
652 views

Force between two point dipoles

What would the force between two parallel point dipoles be? I was thinking of doing it the way force between two point charges is found out, by finding the field and then the force but I am not able ...
2
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1answer
100 views

Can an electric field align water molecules?

Water is a polar molecule, which means it has an uneven charge distribution. How much of an electric field strength would it take to align all, or most, of the molecules at room temperature?
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2answers
366 views

Proof that the electric field is conservative

I was told a proof that the electric field was conservative (without using $\nabla$) which used a point charge and showed the following: $$w.d.=\int_c{\vec F \cdot \mathrm{d} \vec l}=\int_c{\vec ...
3
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1answer
195 views

Need of small charge in definition of electric field?

Why do we need infinitesimally small charge in definition of electric field? Since the test charge cannot exert force on itself, F on test charge will not change whatever the value of test charge q ...
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0answers
45 views

Nylon vs PVC triboelectric series

If we charge a nylon rod and a PVC rod using friction, and discharge them individually to a metallic object to measure how much charge they can tranfer, it can be seen that the charge taken out by the ...
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2answers
612 views

Electric potential inside shell

Suppose we have a hollow neutral shell and $q$ charge at $r$ from its center now we take a point a someplace other than center then will electric potential change? I don't think because electric ...
0
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1answer
176 views

Green function solutions in electrostatics

I have a conducting plate on $x$-$y$ plane. So I have a boundary condition at $z=0$ $\Phi=0$ but, for $z>0$ I have a point charge at z=a which is expected to create a potential. $$ ...
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3answers
57 views

How can we assume that we're in electrostatics if we are talking about current?

In the textbook I am currently reading it states that to even out the flow of current throughout a circuit, the force required is of the form $f=f_s+E$ where $f_s$ is from the battery or other energy ...
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5answers
130 views

Physical interpretation of the statement $\oint E\cdot dl=0$

Can anyone provide me with a physical interpretation of $\oint E\cdot d\ell=0$ in electrostatics?
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0answers
53 views

How to prove that the electric field strength in the interlayer is radial?

This is a structure modified from a typical metal spherical capacitor: half of the interlayer is now filled with one kind of uniform, isotropic, and linear dielectric medium whose dielectric constant ...
0
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1answer
93 views

Charge inside a shell

There's a positive charge Q inside a neutral conducting shell. An external field is applied. I learned that there can be no effect in cavity due to external things (electrostatic shielding), so ...
2
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2answers
67 views

Is there such thing as an evenly-charged sphere?

Let's begin with a very typical model seen in almost every electromagnetics textbook: a solid, evenly-charged sphere. First it cannot be a conducting sphere because charge will automatically ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is surface charge distribution uniform for a conducting sphere? Can't it be arbitrary?

If the charge $q_1$ has to repel the charge $q_2$, the electric field has to go inside the conductor which contradicts the fact that electric field inside conductors is zero. Then why do the charges ...
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1answer
142 views

Electrostatics problem concerning induction by a point charge inside a conducting shell

Consider two independent conducting shells (not thin shells! i.e., their internal and external surfaces do not overlap.) whose shapes of external surfaces are identical but internal surfaces are not ...
0
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1answer
42 views

Preventing Electricity Leakage With Insulators

If we charge an object made of insulating material, the charges on it would leak to the medium as the time passes, due to the potential difference. I would like to know if there is a way to prevent ...
0
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0answers
85 views

Electrostatic ion thruster neutralizers

All electrostatic Ion thrusters have a neutralizer electron beam, but why are they required? Is avoiding the accumulation of negative charge the only reason? I would've thought that the main reason ...
2
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0answers
26 views

Approximating electrostatic grids as a multipole expansion

Is there a known good summary, or a succinct algorithm to compute the far-field approximations of an arbitrary set of electrostatic surfaces set at different potentials? I'm looking to model a ...
0
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1answer
52 views

Any economical quantitative electrostatics experiments for the university level?

I'm seeking for some safe experiments for undergraduates in the electrostatics context. We have a Van-de-Graaff generator in our fundamental physics lab but this kind of devices are useful for ...
2
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1answer
113 views

Is it equivalent to derive Gauss's law from discrete and continuous source distributions?

I've seen two derivations for Gauss's law in electrostatics. The first assumes a discrete charge distribution, the second a continuous one: Use superposition $$\vec{E}=\sum_{i=1}^n\vec{E}_i,$$ so ...