# Questions tagged [gauss-law]

A law in classical electromagnetism and Newtonian gravity which relates (charge) density to the divergence of a field, or alternatively the charge in a volume to the flux through the bounding surface.

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### Why are so many forces explainable using inverse squares when space is three dimensional?

It seems paradoxical that the strength of so many phenomena (Newtonian gravity, Coulomb force) are calculable by the inverse square of distance. However, since volume is determined by three ...
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### Gravitational field intensity inside a hollow sphere

It is quite easy to derive the gravitational field intensity at a point within a hollow sphere. However, the result is quite surprising. The field intensity at any point within a hollow sphere is zero....
6answers
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### Why does the density of electric field lines make sense, if there is a field line through every point?

When we're dealing with problems in electrostatics (especially when we use Gauss' law) we often refer to the density of electric field lines, which is inversely proportional to the radius in the case ...
4answers
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### How is Gauss' Law (integral form) arrived at from Coulomb's Law, and how is the differential form arrived at from that?

On a similar note: when using Gauss' Law, do you even begin with Coulomb's law, or does one take it as given that flux is the surface integral of the Electric field in the direction of the normal to ...
7answers
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### Does Coulomb's Law, with Gauss's Law, imply the existence of only three spatial dimensions?

Coulomb's Law states that the fall-off of the strength of the electrostatic force is inversely proportional to the distance squared of the charges. Gauss's law implies that the total flux through a ...
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4answers
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### Why are the two outer charge densities on a system of parallel charged plates identical?

One of the ways examiners torture students is by asking them to calculate charge distributions and potentials for systems of charged parallel plates like this: the ellipsis is meant to indicate any ...
6answers
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### What is the electric field flux through the base of a cube from a point charge infinitesimally close to a vertex?

I'm having some trouble with the following problem: A charge $q$ is placed on the body diagonal of the cube very close to one of the corners (distance $\delta$ from the corner, $\delta$ tending to ...
3answers
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### What do we mean with magnetic monopole and dipole?

What do we mean with magnetic monopole and dipole? I can not find a way to relate magnetic monopoles and dipoles with electric ones. I do not understand their outcomes. Also,what is their role in ...
3answers
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### Explanation for $E~$ not falling off at $1/r^2$ for infinite line and sheet charges?

For an infinite line charge, $E$ falls off with $1/r$; for an infinite sheet of charge it's independent of r! The infinitesimal contributions to $E$ fall off with $1/r^2$, so why doesn't the total $E$ ...
1answer
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### Inverse Square Law and extra space dimensions

Newton's famous Inverse Square Law says that in $n=3$ dimension of space, force is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between a source and a target. I understand that for higher ...
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### Paradox with Gauss' law when space is uniformly charged everywhere

Consider that space is uniformly charged everywhere, i.e., filled with a uniform charge distribution, $\rho$, everywhere. By symmetry, the electric field is zero everywhere. (If I take any point in ...
4answers
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### Electric field and electric potential of a point charge in 2D and 1D

in 3D, electric field of a piont charge is inversely proportional to the square of distance while the potential is inversely proportional to distance. We can derive it from Coulomb's law. however, I ...
5answers
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### Period of oscillation through a hole in the earth

Special mention to the QI episode that kicked this off: Anyway, the host points out that a tunnel that connects a pair of points on the earth's surface can be thought of as a gravity train - where ...
1answer
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### Why we cannot use Gauss's Law to find the Electric Field of a finite-length charged wire?

One of my physics books has a nice example on how to use Gauss's Law to find the electric field of a long (infinite) charged wire. However, at the very end of the example, the author ends by saying ...
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### Flux through side of a cube

I am looking at Griffiths introduction to Electrodynamics 3rd ED. Problem 2.10 asks for the flux of $E$ through the right face of the cube, when a charge $q$ is in the back left corner of the cube. ...
5answers
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### Why is the electric field inside a conductor zero in equilibrium?

My textbook says the field inside a conductor must be zero in order for the system to be equilibrium and therefore there must be no excess charge inside. Their proof: 1) Place a gaussian surface ...
2answers
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### Does the induced charge on a conductor stay at the surface?

My textbook says that when a conductor is placed in an electric field, the electrons in it realign so that the net electric field inside the conductor is zero. There isn't a proof for this. It merely ...
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1answer
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### Gauss's Law with Moving Charges

My text claims that Gauss's Law has been proven to work for moving charges experimentally, is there a non-experimental way to verify this?
5answers
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### The discontinuity of Electric Field

''electric field always undergoes a discontinuity when you cross a surface charge $\sigma$'' GRIFFITHS In the derivation; Suppose we draw a wafer-thin Gaussian Pillbox, extended just barely over the ...
1answer
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### Gravity force strength in 1D, 2D, 3D and higher spatial dimensions

Let's say that we want to measure the gravity force in 1D, 2D, 3D and higher spatial dimensions. Will we get the same force strength in the first 3 dimensions and then it will go up? How about if ...
4answers
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### The relation between Gauss's law and Coulomb law and why is it important that the electric field decrease proportionally to $\frac{1}{r^{2}}$?

My question relates to the third MIT's video lecture about Electricity and Magnetism, specifically from $21:18-22:00$ : http://youtu.be/XaaP1bWFjDA?t=21m18s I have watched the development of Gauss's ...
2answers
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### Proving electric field constant between two charged infinite parallel plates

It is known that the electric field intensity between two infinitely long charged parallel plates is constant. I had read that one explanation is that if a test charge is placed between the plates, ...
4answers
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### Electric field line density : Theory vs Reality

I've already went through this post. Yet, I still can't understand the meaning of "density" of electric field lines whose number is, in reality, infinite. One of the answers , for instance, states ...
4answers
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### Divergence of a field and its interpretation

The divergence of an electric field due to a point charge (according to Coulomb's law) is zero. In literature the divergence of a field indicates presence/absence of a sink/source for the field. ...
4answers
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### Using Gauss's law when point charges lie exactly on the Gaussian surface

Suppose you place a point charge $+Q$ at the corner of an imaginary cube. Since electric field lines are radial, there is no flux through the three adjacent (adjacent to the charge) sides of the cube....
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 $R$....
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### Is Gauss' law valid for time-dependent electric fields?

The Maxwell's equation $\boldsymbol{\nabla}\cdot \textbf{E}(\textbf{r})=\frac{\rho(\textbf{r})}{\epsilon_0}$ is derived from the Gauss law in electrostatics (which is in turn derived from Coulomb's ...
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### Can someone give an intuitive way of understanding why Gauss's law holds?

Gauss' Law of electrostatics is an amazing law. It is extremely useful (as far as problems framed for it are concerned :D. I do not have a real world-problem solving experience of using Gauss' Law). ...