# Electric Flux associated with objects in Uniform Electric Field

If you have a cube in a uniform electric field , the net flux associated with it would be zero (because the no. of lines entering = no. of lines leaving).

Suppose now you put a sphere in a uniform electric field, flux should still be zero? whatever line of force enter the sphere has to somehow leave the sphere so net flux should be zero. The actual answer for it is not zero it is π R squared E.

WHY?

• Not sure where you got that answer from but it is still zero just like the cube Commented Dec 22, 2019 at 17:41
• Hi! Welcome to PSE! Your reasoning is sound, the flux of the sphere would also be zero if it contains no charges. It is good practice to show some details of your reasoning or even equations, so others have more elements. In this case it seems the scenario is unclear. The answer $\pi R^2 E$ does not match the conditions you are describing. Commented Dec 22, 2019 at 19:17

## 1 Answer

Regardless of the kind of closed surface (sphere, cube, etc.) the net flux across the surface is zero unless there is net charge enclosed by the closed surface, in which case the net flux is the charge enclosed divided by the permittivity of the space according to Gauss' Law.

If there is a non-zero net flux for your sphere, it must be because there is charge enclosed. Placing it in externally generated electric field alone would not produce net flux.

Wouldn't we take the projected area of the sphere (i.e. a circle), for calculating the electric flux? –

If you are only interested in the flux entering the sphere from an externally generated uniform electric field then of course that will be the flux across the projected surface area of the sphere ($$πR^2$$). But that is not the net flux across the total surface of the sphere as it will also exit the other projected surface area of the sphere. The net flux is zero over the entire surface of the sphere unless there is net charge enclosed.

Hope this helps.

• Wouldn't we take the projected area of the sphere (i.e. a circle), for calculating the electric flux? Commented Dec 22, 2019 at 20:02
• @parishgarg I have answered you in a revision to my answer. Commented Dec 22, 2019 at 21:26