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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Accelerating an electron to a high speed

Suppose there are two vertical metal plates. They are separated apart by a small distance. While one is grounded, the other one has a potential of some $V$. Now suppose electrons are produced at the ...
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34 views

Anyone know of a flow chart or list of common/useful consequences of Maxwell's equations?

I just recently started to appreciate the Maxwell equations. I had never really take the time to study them but I feel like I'm finally more familiar with them. I've noticed that it seems like a lot ...
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1answer
135 views

Electric Flux - What is the point?

Electric flux is a defined quantity that is proportional to the no. of field lines passing through a given area element for a given electric field. It is not proportional to the relative density of ...
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1answer
242 views

Electric field and charge density outside two coaxial cylinders

I am working on a problem of electrostatics, and I am having troubles in trying to figure out one part of it. It consists of an inner solid cylinder of radius $a$ with a voltage $V_A$, and an outer ...
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39 views

Why are trampolines more likely to give you a static shock when it is sunny?

It could just be in my head but I have noticed that I am more likely to get a static shock from my tramp when it is sunny than when it is not sunny. Is there a reason for this?
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Plastic and Iron - static and magnetic

I'm wondering if when you have a ball that is made out of plastic but has an inner core of metal. Would that ball if given friction produce static? Or would the static from the outerside of the ...
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1answer
135 views

Wait… why exactly does farady's ice pail experiment prove Gauss's law?

You'll notice there are no equations in this: that's because this is a question of morale, not of math. But a humble one at that! I come to learn, not to expound. But don't let that limit the form ...
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181 views

Electric Flux through cube from point charge

"A point charge is located at the origin. Calculate the flux of E through a cube centered on the origin and aligned with the Cartesian axes. Evaluate the surface integral directly and verify that the ...
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2answers
301 views

Why does excess of charge in an isolated conductor move to the surface?

A remark in my textbook goes as follows: "If an excess charge is placed on an isolated conductor, that amount of charge will move entirely to the surface of the conductor. None of the excess charge ...
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54 views

Is work needed to bring a test charge from a higher potential to a lower potential?

I don't understand whether work is needed to bring a test charge from a higher potential to a lower potential. It seems that no work is needed because the positive test charge will be under the ...
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130 views

Finding potential of conducting sphere coated by a dielectric shell

An uncharged conducting sphere of radius $a$ is coated with a thick insulating shell (dielectric constant $\epsilon_r$ out to radius $b$. This object is now placed in an otherwise uniform electric ...
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1answer
87 views

Calculating flux of axisymmetric electric field through a sphere [closed]

The following problem and its solution is taken from I. E. Irodov's book basic laws of electromagnetism : I do not understand how the fact that field is axisymmetric leads to the conclusion that ...
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48 views

What is the essential concept behind the difference in the fundamental solutions of the Stokes and Poisson equations?

The fundamental solutions, i.e., the solution with a point source, of the Poisson's equation and the Stokes equations in 3D are: $$\nabla^2 f=\delta(\boldsymbol x) \ \Longrightarrow\ G(\boldsymbol ...
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37 views

Can a charge moving in an open trajectory qualify as current?

It is sometimes said that a point charge is equivalent to an electric current. If it were a steady current, I should be able to find it from Ampere’s law or Biot-Savart’s law. Even if the current is ...
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1answer
344 views

Rigorous proof of Gauss' law for an arbitrary charge distribution from Coulomb's law

Most of the books about electromagnetism prove Gauss' law for a point charge in vacuum: $$ \Phi = \int_{\Sigma} \mathbf{E} \centerdot d \mathbf{S} = q/\epsilon_0 $$ and then simply state that for ...
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2answers
87 views

Relativity Paradox involving two charged particles

Suppose there are two charged particles separated by some distance $d$ both with an equal positive charge of $q$. The particles also have equal masses of $m$. $m$ and $q$ are chosen so the ...
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16 views

Energy density in electrostatics

Imagine two hollow spheres with radius $R$ with charges $q$ and $-q$. $L>2R$ is distance between them. Potential energy of the each sphere is \begin{equation*} W_1=\frac 1{8\pi \epsilon_0}\frac ...
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1answer
45 views

Divergence of a vector field, going through the math [closed]

The example I'm working on has this given identity: $\bigtriangledown \cdot \mathbf{\bar{r}}=3$. The question is: find the divergence of a vector field $\bar{\mathbf{E}}=\frac{\mathbf{r}}{r^{3}}$. ...
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48 views

Why does charge build up at the boundary surface of two media?

On a homework problem, we are asked to to use the first two Maxwell equations, $$\nabla\cdot \mathbf{B} = 0$$ $$\nabla \cdot \mathbf{D} = \rho$$ to show that along the boundary surface of two ...
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1answer
75 views

Energy density what volume?

In a derivation of energy density for an electric field (see here) We get rid of the $$\epsilon_0\oint(V \vec E \cdot d\vec a)$$ term by choosing a surface sufficiently far away so that this term ...
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49 views

Motion of charge particle under electric and gravitational fields

I am working on one experiment in which the charged particle falls under the effect of gravity and passes through the electric field in between. I want to know what is the charge of the particle? ...
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2answers
39 views

Is it inevitable to compute the quadruople tensor in components? Why? [closed]

I was trying to determine the quadrupole tensor for a given charge distribution in one go from this equation: $$\overleftrightarrow{D}=\int d^3r \varrho(\vec{r})\left(3\vec{r} \circ ...
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1answer
36 views

Electrostatic induction in spheres

if we have a charged sphere with charge Q and radius r, the voltage on it's surface is calculated by gauss's law, what if we approach to it another sphere with radius R , R>r, earth it, remove earth, ...
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40 views

How to determine electric field strength without Gauss's Law

For objects which do not subscribe to Gauss's Law, I don't understand how one would determine the electric field strength. I know that the equation $E=k\int \frac{\mathrm{d}q}{r^2}$ can be used to ...
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1answer
81 views

What is the charge density in the proof of Earnshaw's theorem?

I am trying to understand the proof for Earnshaw's theorem. Though the theorem states that a collection of point charges cannot be maintained in a stable stationary equilibrium configuration ...
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82 views

Electrostatics Basic Question

Why ,if we increase the charge on a conductor its potential also increases? That is, Q directly proportional to V. Why ,if an insulated conductor is given some charge it acquires a certain ...
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48 views

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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62 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
113 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
85 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
73 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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32 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
90 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
54 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 ...
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2answers
142 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 ...
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1answer
108 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
57 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
52 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
70 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 ...
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1answer
82 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
64 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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2answers
238 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 ...
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2answers
121 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 ...
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1answer
120 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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188 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 ...