If a charged conducting sphere is placed in a uniform electric field , will the force on it be simply qE ? I know that the electric field lines enter a conductor perpendicularly so does this have any effect on the force's magnitude or direction ?


When a conductor is placed in an electric field (uniform for ease) a force exerted by this field acts on the charges in the sphere which pulls hem apart according to the applied field. The charges separate and creates a field until equilibrium is reached. A charge q on the sphere experiences a force $F=qE$.

The electrostatic force between two charges acts along a line joining the two charges. So in this case also, the force will be always $F=qE$. The force acts in a direction of the applied electric field. That's all.

  • $\begingroup$ To actually calculate the force you will need to find the charge distribution on the sphere first (as it is non uniform) and then integrate E dq over the surface of the sphere. This may cause the force to be different than qE. $\endgroup$ – Kartik Mar 11 '17 at 4:07
  • $\begingroup$ Read the question Kartik. The field is uniform. $\endgroup$ – UKH Mar 11 '17 at 12:58
  • $\begingroup$ . . Ok . . . Sorry i misunderstood the question. $\endgroup$ – Kartik Mar 11 '17 at 14:00

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