what happens when you place a long Finite conducting wire in an Electric Field , does current flow through it ? Is Potential Same all over the wire ?

i just got these questions in my mind as i was watching a lecture...i am unable to answer these...any useful explanation is appreciated

  • $\begingroup$ By "long" you mean infinite? Do you understand what happens if the conductor is "short"? $\endgroup$
    – nasu
    Commented Apr 30, 2022 at 13:57
  • $\begingroup$ @nasu No, I mean Long Finite Wire $\endgroup$
    – TPL
    Commented Apr 30, 2022 at 13:59
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ youtu.be/oI_X2cMHNe0 12:50 short answer, an initial current is generated, but quickly goes to zero $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 30, 2022 at 14:08

1 Answer 1


If the field is static, the conductor will be equipotential in the equilibrium state. If you bring the conductor in the field from a region with no field or with a different value of the field there will be some motion of charge (so, a current) until the equilibrium is reached. The same happens when you turn on the field. A very short lived motion (redistribution) of the free charges until all points of the conductor have the same potential. There is nothing special about a wire. Same happens for any shape of the conductor.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Good answer +1. You might also mention that the time it takes to reach equilibrium depends on the size of the conductor. So for a very long conductor it could take a long time. This is essentially what makes an antenna work best at a certain frequency $\endgroup$
    – Dale
    Commented Apr 30, 2022 at 14:09
  • $\begingroup$ @nasu Does the presence of the wire effect the electric vector field? $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 31, 2023 at 2:30
  • $\begingroup$ What electric field? Produced by what? $\endgroup$
    – nasu
    Commented Mar 31, 2023 at 15:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.