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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Gauss' law question

It's actually a teaching conflict at my school. They said that $$\text{Flux}=\frac{q}{\varepsilon_0}.$$ Say for a point charge at the centre of the sphere and let's say we not put water into the ...
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3answers
2k 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 ...
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1answer
302 views

Electric field intensity of spherical shell (with cut out cap)

Consider a charged spherical shell of radius $R$ and surface charge density $\sigma$. Choose a point on the surface of the shell and cut a spherical cap of radius $a \ll R$. What is the electric field ...
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3answers
1k 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 ...
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1answer
70 views

Electric field in a cylinder

We have electric charge density $\rho(r) = kr$ in a cylinder of infinite height and radius $a$. I'm asked to find the electric field. I'm doing it using two methods and I don't undesrtand why then ...
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1answer
99 views

How to find the equillibrium points using Jacobian and Hessian?

Given that I have Jacobian and Hessian matrices of three particles interacting with each other in a harmonic trap through Coulomb's law in a 2D plane, how do I find the equilibrium points of them (I ...
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1answer
275 views

Volume charge density of H-atom

I have a problem where I am supposed to calculate the volume charge density of a neutral hydrogen atom. The potential is given to be $$ \Phi = k \frac{e^{-ar}}{r} \left(1 + \frac{ar}{2}\right) $$ Now ...
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1answer
702 views

Question regarding Drift velocity in general?

The derivation of drift velocity in case of electrons is equivalent to the case of an charged ionic gas and therefore all the arguments also apply there. Now for an ideal "ionic" gas which interacts ...
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1answer
2k views

How are excess charges distributed over non-spherical conductors?

My textbook gives the following explanation on how excess charges are spread over conductors: The excess charge on an isolated conductor moves entirely to the conductor's surface. However, ...
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1answer
181 views

Mathematical problem in integral arising in electrodynamics

I want to calculate the total electrostatic energy of the Cavendish Experiment (two concentric spheres of radii $R_{1,2}$ which are connected, outer one gets charged, then removed, then after removing ...
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3answers
612 views

Can I charge a capacitor using 2 batteries?

1 capacitor, 2 separate batteries (Battery A and Battery B). Connect A+ to one side of the capacitor and B- to the other side of the capacitor. A and B are not connected, there is no closed circuit. ...
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2answers
636 views

distance of electron from proton

An electron is projected, with an initial speed of $1.10 \times 10^5 \text{m/s}$, directly towards a proton that is essentially at rest. If the electron is initially a great distance from the ...
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1answer
292 views

Do plastic shoes electrically insulate people from the ground?

I've read on the Internet that wearing plastic shoes doesn't allow electric charges we collect from our environment (PC, TV, appliances) to be earthed. Is this reasoning correct?
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3answers
502 views

Where does the energy for repulsion in charges come from?

If I bring together 2 objects with the same charge, they repel. But even after the repulsion has taken place, there is no loss of charge in the objects. Where does the energy come from then?
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5answers
203 views

Photoelectric effect without light rays

For electromagnetic waves we have the photon association, one imagines light as particles "flying around". What is the analogy for a constant electrical field, one which doesn't change in time ...
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1answer
56 views

Why isn't the force modelled which confines excess charge to remain inside a conductor?

Excess charge placed on a conductor distributes itself on the surface of a conductor. But why isn't the force which confines the charge to remain there, modelled in some way?
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1answer
71 views

charge moves if you scuff the rag with your shoes

Why is that when you scuff with your shoes on, charges move (since electrometer moves back and forth), but if you don't have your shoes on, the electrometer doesn't move. Here's the corresponding ...
2
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2answers
681 views

Why do two ends of a long conducting wire have the same electric potential?

I am not seeing the "big picture" here. If I have two conducting spheres separated by a long conducting wire, why would the spheres share the same electric potential? I think of the spheres as point ...
2
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2answers
261 views

Determining the capacitance of a system with a non-homogenous dielectric

In an experiment we were given non-homogenous dielectric substances described by functions of coordinate. How can capacitance be determined from this?
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1answer
2k views

Electric field between two conducting plates of different potential?

not sure if this question's been asked before, though I couldn't see one in my brief search on here... Well, the problem I am trying to solve is that I want to determine the electric field strength ...
2
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2answers
277 views

Is it meaningful to imagine a sphere uniformly charged with 2e?

If the charge is large, considering charge density is usually meaningful despite the discrete nature of electrical charge. The following sentence is part of a problem in a textbook on ...
2
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1answer
39 views

Electrostatic force has longer range than strong nuclear force?

In my revision guide it says that the electrostatic repulsion between protons in a nucleus has a longer (indefinite, actually) range than the strong nuclear force keeping the nucleons together. So I ...
2
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1answer
100 views

Physical interpretation of single layer potential in the plane

Let $\Omega\subset\mathbb{R}^2$ be a bounded domain with smooth boundary $\partial\Omega$. The single layer potential with charge density $f$ sitting on $\partial\Omega$ is defined by ...
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1answer
29 views

Explanation for electrostatic energy expression

My question is about the electrostatic energy $We$ expression for $n$ point charges. I just can't figure out where the factor "$\frac{1}{2}$" came from: $We=\frac{1}{2} \sum_{i=1}^{n} q_iV_i$
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1answer
38 views

How do electrostatic air filters really work?

Supposedly electronic air filters work by ionizing dust (small airborne particles) and then attracting them to filter plates of the opposite charge. What I don't understand is why the filter plates ...
2
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1answer
76 views

Dielectric slab inserted into a constant voltage capacitor

I was told that a dielectric slab inserted into a capacitor connected to a battery (constant voltage) will be repelled, because the energy stored in the capacitor increases when the dielectric is ...
2
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2answers
66 views

Directly calculate electric potential due to a spherical volume charge

Q: Say we have a uniformly charged sphere with radius $R$, total charge $Q$. Now we need to find out the electric potential inside the sphere, at a distance r from the centre. I understand that we ...
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1answer
68 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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1answer
47 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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1answer
84 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
105 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 ...
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1answer
40 views

Disturbing a line of infinite alternating charges

Consider a line of infinite number of alternating charges. All are point charges having charge of same magnitude and are placed in a line. Neglect the effect of gravity here. Consider one of the ...
2
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1answer
167 views

How is the electostatic field propagated by the vacuum? How does a charge feel the presence of another charge when there is NOTHING between them?

Is the word "vacuum" equal to "nothing"? Imagine two charges of opposite sign, far from one another in vacuum, and moving with constant velocity - s.t. none radiates energy, none emits photons. At ...
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2answers
181 views

Electrostatic Potential Energy Integral

I'm trying to calculate the total energy of a simple two charge system through the integral for electrostatic energy of a system given in Griffiths' book: $$U = \frac{\epsilon_0}{2}\int_V E^2 dV .$$ ...
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1answer
179 views

Find the field of two infinite strips of width $b$ [closed]

Q:The two charged strips in the following picture have width $b$, infinite height,and negligible thickness(in the direction perpendicular to the page).Their densities per unit area are $\sigma$ ...
2
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1answer
56 views

Protect drone from lightning [closed]

I am designing a dirigible, robotic drone. It is basically a polyurethane airship, approx 3.6 m length and 2.1 m diameter. I am worried about lightnings: as far as I know, a Faraday Cage should be ...
2
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2answers
303 views

Why does charge distribute evenly between two halves of a conducting sphere?

Always while studying I was told that if two identical spheres, one charged and the other uncharged, are brought together the charge in each one of them is halved. However, why does it happen? Is it ...
2
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1answer
166 views

Laplace's Equation - under what circumstances does it hold?

I'm currently taking an EM course whereby we deal with systems that satisfy Laplace's equation $\nabla^2 \phi = 0$. Examples include permeable sphere in a magnetic field and metal sphere in electric ...
2
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2answers
266 views

Energy Stored in a Capacitor with and without Dielectric

I have seen the equation $V = \frac {V_0}{K}$, but also the equation $V=\frac{1}{2}CV^2$. The values of C and V increase in the same linear ration with K (because $C=KC_0$). However, as the energy ...
2
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1answer
226 views

An Electric Potential Glued to a Cube-Shaped Insulator to Replicate a Point Charge: Charge Distribution

I have been going back over this problem with a friend for the better part of a day: A potential is glued to a cube-shaped insulator so that outside of the insulator the field is the same as a point ...
2
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1answer
75 views

Capacitor in series?

Say you have two charged capacitors in series. Zoom in on one capacitor. For this specific capacitor, the charge on the two plates will be the same in magnitude, according to my textbook. My teacher ...
2
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1answer
859 views

How do capacitors work?

Say you have a battery, with a wire connecting the negative and positive terminal. Initially, (the transient state) the electric field is not uniform and is perpendicular to the surface of the cross ...
2
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1answer
82 views

What force keeps electrostatic charge from exiting a metals surface

I understand that in electrostatics all charges are 'static' due to equal forces acting upon them. This then leads to the fact that the arising electric field must be perpendicular to the metals ...
2
votes
3answers
258 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
180 views

Earnshaw's theorem and springs

Earnshaw's theorem states that the Laplacian of the potential energy of a small charge moving through a landscape full of static negative and/or positive charges (and gravity) is zero. Thus you can't ...
2
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1answer
110 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
128 views

Why does cloud-ground lightning occur so much less frequently over ocean?

I was talking with an acquaintance about lightning, and we came up with opposite theories and predictions for the frequency of lightning over ocean. My theory is that since seawater is a fluid ...
2
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1answer
107 views

Slight variation to method of images

Suppose a point charge $q$ is located at $(x=0,y=0,z=d)$, and that along the $x$-$y$ plane is a infinite plate of potential $V = 0$. Then the method of images solves Laplace's equation for the ...
2
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1answer
143 views

If Electricity and magnetism are the same viewed from a different reference frame then is electricity medium dependant?

If Electricity and magnetism are the same viewed from a different reference frame (they are the same force as unified by maxwell) then is electricity medium dependant? I came to this question when ...
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3answers
79 views

Measurements from inside conductors

We have known for some time now that when electric field is applied across any conducting shell, then electric field inside it would be zero. It also has some fantastic applications such as ...