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 ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms

3
votes
0answers
37 views

Why charge density is higher in the sharp edges of conductor? [duplicate]

If we have a conductor which is in electrostatic equilibrium, then the charge distribution over this surface $\sigma$ is greatest at the sharp edges of that surface. Why is this the case? It is ...
3
votes
2answers
700 views

Why can't charge be in a stable equilibrium in electrostatic field?

I am reading Feynman's Lectures volume_II where he discussed the impossibility of the presence of stable equilibrium in an electrostatic field. There are no points of stable equilibrium in any ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Electric potential inside a conductor

I just began studying electrostatics in university, and I didn't understand completely why the electric potential due to a conducting sphere is $$ V(\vec{r})=\begin{cases} ...
3
votes
2answers
152 views

Question regarding Van De Graff generator Belt

I have made a VDG generator with a rubber band as the belt and a glass roller. It doesnt seem to work because I think the rubber band may be conductive. I was thinking of using other materials for ...
3
votes
0answers
74 views

What would be the charge distribution in a Klein bottle?

We know that for any conductor the charge lies on the outer surface at electrostatic equilibrium. What would happen if a Klein bottle is made up of a conductor and a charge is placed on it?
3
votes
1answer
635 views

Boundary conditions in Electrostatics

If I have a grounded conducting material, then I know that $\phi=0$ inside this material, no matter what the electric configuration in the surrounding will be. Now I have a conducting material that ...
3
votes
0answers
87 views

What are the parameters for Pauli's repulsion pseudo-force?

I have found the following formula for the repulsion potential due to the overlap of the electron clouds arising from Pauli's exclusion principle: $$V = A\exp(-r/\phi)$$ where r is the distance ...
3
votes
1answer
145 views

Electricity from lightning

According to the internet, a lightning strike contains about 5 billion joules or 5 GJ. How was this calculated? Another thing: Once the lightning strike a metal grounded rod, a current will flow. ...
3
votes
1answer
154 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
125 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
286 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
68 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
48 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.
3
votes
2answers
860 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
538 views

Why capacitance is given as constant value in Farads, and not as max charge in Coulombs?

The equation for capacitance is $Q=CV$ or $V={1\over C}Q$. I don't understand what is the physical meaning of this "$C$": Does the charge in a system changes linearly with voltage under all ...
2
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
2
votes
4answers
504 views

Is Gauss' law valid for time-dependent electric fields?

The Maxwell's equation $\boldsymbol{\nabla}\cdot \textbf{E}(\textbf{r})=\frac{\rho(\textbf{r})}{\epsilon_0}$ is derived from the Gauss law in electrostatics (which is in turn derived from Coulomb's ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Highest man-made voltage

What was the highest voltage achieved and was it produced by electrostatic means or just some transformers and multipliers? What are the limitations when it comes to producing voltage using ...
2
votes
2answers
6k views

Is a charged particle at rest affected by magnetic field?

It is known that particles such as electrons and protons bear electric charge, but not a magnetic charge. When these particles are at rest, are they somehow affected by magnetic field? The similar ...
2
votes
4answers
611 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
168 views

Laplacian of 1/r satisfies laplacian equation?

We know that $$ \nabla^2 \left( \frac{1}{r} \right) = -4 \pi \delta(r) \tag{1}$$ and that the general solution to the laplace equation $\nabla^2\Psi = 0$ may be expanded as $$\Psi=\sum_l ...
2
votes
1answer
264 views

How to approximate trajectories and movement of two oppositely charged particles?

Imagine a single, stationary charged atomic ion, say a Lithium anion or cation (Li+ or Li-). Now imagine another a single free, oppositely charged particle--perhaps an electron or Hydrogen ion ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there a difference between Electric and Electrostatic Field?

Is there a difference between Electric and Electrostatic Field? All I know is that they both represented with same law suppose we have a Charge placed at the Origin: ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Can we have negative Electrostatic potential

What does it mean to have a negative electric potential? not talking about potential difference or voltage.
2
votes
4answers
10k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
162 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there really no meaning in potential energy and potential?

I have been told all my physics life that potential energy between two mass/charge has no meaning and only their difference has meaning. The same goes for electric potential, only the difference ...
2
votes
2answers
393 views

Maximum limit of charging a capacitor

We say that we can charge a capacitor in proportion to the potential difference we apply across its plates and the maximum potential difference depends on the dielectric strength of the medium. Now ...
2
votes
5answers
839 views

If the electrostatic potential is zero, why doesn't the electric field have to be zero?

I thought the relation between the electrostatic field $\vec E$ and the electrostatic potential $V$ is as follows: $$\vec E = - \nabla V$$ Thus, when $V$ is zero, $\vec E$ is also zero.
2
votes
2answers
470 views

Why do electric field lines start and end at 90 degree at the surface of a conductor? [duplicate]

There is one property of electric lines of forces which states that: Electric field lines start and end at 90 degree at the surface of the conductor. But why is that so? Is there any proof for ...
2
votes
2answers
66 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 $\displaystyle C=\frac{\varepsilon A}{d}$ ...
2
votes
3answers
5k views

Why the electric potential of earth is zero?

For a localized charge distribution the potential is set to zero far away from the charge distribution (at infinity) Now, when grounding a conductor, i.e. connecting it to Earth, it is said that we ...
2
votes
2answers
232 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
6k views

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 ...
2
votes
6answers
5k views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
186 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

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 $\Phi(\textbf{r}) = \frac{q}{4 \pi \epsilon_0 |\textbf{r}|}$. ...
2
votes
2answers
501 views

Where is the flaw in deriving Gauss's law in its differential form?

From the divergence theorem for any vector field E, $\displaystyle\oint E\cdot da=\int (\nabla\cdot E) ~d\tau$ and from Gauss's law $\displaystyle\oint E\cdot ...
2
votes
2answers
533 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
104 views

Coulomb's law with an $r^3$, not $r^2$, in the denominator [duplicate]

I am reading an older physics book that my professor gave me. It is going over Coulomb's law and Gauss' theorem. However, the book gives both equations with an $r^3$, not $r^2$, in the denominator. ...
2
votes
3answers
336 views

Electric field or static electric field around a plugged-in lamp cord (when lamp is not turned on)?

When an electrical cord from, say, a lamp, is plugged into an AC wall socket, I'm aware that an electric field forms around the entire length of the cord and even before the lamp switch is flipped on. ...
2
votes
1answer
53 views

Physical meaning of the separation constants in Laplace's Equation for Electrostatics

In Electrostatics, if we consider a region without charges the electrostatic potential $V$ obeys Laplace's Equation $\nabla^2 V = 0$. We can tackle this with separation of variables. In cartesian ...
2
votes
3answers
607 views

Calculate the flux of a point charge with Gauss's law

I know from my class that to calculate the flux of a point charge with Gauss's law, I have to make a surface that intersects with all of the flux lines resulting from the charge, and then make this ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

Relationship between surface density and volume density

Often in an E&M problem, I'm having to "chop" an extended object into an infinite sum of smaller extended objects which I know more about to find a potential or electric field or whatever. The ...
2
votes
3answers
5k views

Potential energy of a dipole in a uniform electric field convention?

When finding the potential energy of a dipole in a uniform electric field, I was told by my lecturer that the convention is that the potential energy is 0 when the dipole moment and electric field ...
2
votes
1answer
136 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
3k views

Force on a point charge q inside a cavity in an uncharged conductor

This is problem 2.40 from Introduction to Electrodynamics by D. J. Griffiths: A point charge $q$ is inside a cavity (not necessarily spherical or anything similarly regular) in an uncharged ...
2
votes
2answers
135 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
419 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 ...