# Electric Field Inside a Conductor at Different Charge Densities [closed]

We say that the magnitude of the electric field inside a conductor is zero, whether a hollow or solid. However, at certain charge densities, the magnitude of the electric field inside the conductor comes out to be not zero. How can both these things right?

• Showing a concrete example of such a question might be helpful. – BowlOfRed Mar 31 '16 at 16:18
• Is the source of confusion due to many problems having a charge density related to a dielectric rather than a conductor? – Farcher Mar 31 '16 at 16:59
• What certain charge densities? – Kyle Kanos Apr 1 '16 at 10:14

If you are talking about a conductor object whose Gaussian surface is in such a shape that due to symmetry, electric field vectors of point charges on the conductor cancel each other out, then, yes, the magnitude of the electric field would be zero inside that conductor. The net electric field inside a charged conductor is zero. Because then it is at equilibrium and the charges position themselves so to minimize the repulsive form between them. So they end up on the surface of the conductor. All the charges on a charged conductor resides on its surface and create an electric field perpendicular to the surface. When you mentioned charge density I figured that you were talking about the case where a charges conductor is inside another one. As in this picture. You can see the electric field between the surface of the outer conductor and that of the inner conductor and an electric field of zero inside the negatively charged conductor. It is here that your problem might give you the charge density inside the positively charged conductor.