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Field Theory

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E ds

S

The total outward flux of the E-field over any closed surface

in free space is equal to the total charge enclosed in the surface

divided by 0.

Gausss law is useful in determining E-field of charge

Distributions with symmetry conditions, for the normal component

Of the electric field intensity is constant over an enclosed surface.

This closed surface is called a Gaussian surface.

Gausss law

The electric field from a straight charged wire

The electric field from a charged plate

The electric field from a charged sphere

Electric Potential

Sketching electric field lines

Conductors in an electrostatic field.

z

r

L

Cylindrical

Gaussian

surface

x

charge density l C/m.

an electric field component in the z direction.

The integration of the electric field, E, over the surface of the

cylinder:

E ds 2rLE

Therefore

l L

2LEr

0

Er

1

2r 0

z

Surface area, A

y

az

-az

Charged plate of

surface charge

Density s C/m2

and bottom faces of area A m2.

For the upper surface of the box,

E ds az Ez az ds Ez ds

, E ds a E a ds

Ez ds

E ds 2E ds 2E A

z

2EzA=(sA/0)

Ez= s/20

z

Radius of sphere = b m

Sphere is -V C/m3

charged sphere, of radius b m, and has a volume

charge density of -v C/m3.

Using basic formulas in order to calculate the surface area

and volume of a sphere:

can imagine that the sphere consists of a series of

concentric spheres of radius R, and R<b.

E aR ER

2

E

ds

E

4

R

R

Therefore

E aR

0

R

3 0

Q=-V(4/3)b3

0b 3

E aR

3 0 R 2

inversely proportional to R 2, which is similar to the

relationship for a charged point.

E

F=qE

q

F.dl

dl

E

b

Contour line c1

Contour line c2

E, from point a to point b, through a contour line c1, is:

b

Wba F cos dl F dl q E dl

The negatives sign implies that work needs to be done in

order to move the charge agains the electric field, and this

force is provided by some charge distribution in the vicinity.

Consider a closed contour loop, from a to b via c1,

and then from b to a via c2, the total work done is zero:

Wba c1 Wab c 2 0

b

q E dl q E dl 0

E dl 0

Therefore c

, which is known as

The conservative property of the electrostatic field.

From Stokes theorem,

E dl E ds 0

c

Therefore E=0.

E= -V, where V is a scalar quantity, and is called the

electrostatic potential function.

Therefore, if we integrate the electric field along the contour

line,

b

E dl V dl V (b) V (a)

V(b) are V(a) are the potential values at b and a, i.e the

voltage values at b and a. We also obtain:

b

Wba

E dl V (b) V (a)

a

q

work per unit charge required to move a charge from a to b.

Electric Potential

due to a line charge

The absolute potential at a point is:

Vb E dl

and Rb from a point charge. A point charge can be described

by a spherical coordinate system, in which case the

differential length, dl:

dl = dr ar + r d a + r sin d a

Therefore,

E dl

a

dl

dr

2 r

2

4

r

4

r

0

0

And

Q 1

1

Vab E dl

a

4 0 Rb Ra

b

da

Vab E dl

db

da

xdb

s

a x a x dx

2 0

s

d b d a

2 0

Vba

V

q

4 0 r

charges

The potential at any point due to a group of point charges

is found by calculating the potential Vn as if the other

charges were not present, and then adding the

quantities obtained.:

V Vn

n

qn

4 0 n rn

1

distance of this charge from the point in question.

The sum used to calculate V is an algebraic sum and

not a vector sum like the one used to calculate E for a

group of point charges.

If the charge distribution is continuous, rather than being

a discrete collection of points, the summation must be

replaced by an integral:

V dV

dq

4 0 r

charges

q1

q2

q3

q3

q2=-2.0x10-8C, q3=+3.0x10-8C, q4=+2.0x10-8C.

V Vn

n

q1 q2 q3 q4

4 0

r

1

0.71m

500V

(r2+y2)1/2

y

dy

Surface charge density, s C/m2

dq=s(2y)(dy)

The contribution from this element towards the electric potential at

P is given by

dV

dq

1 s 2ydy

4 0 r ' 4 0 y 2 r 2

1

elements:

1

2

s

2

2

y r dy

V dV

2 0 0

a2 r 2 r

2 0

a

a2

2

2

a r r 1 2

r

1 a2

a2

r 1

... r

2

2r

2r

Therefore V becomes

sa 2

s a2

1 q

r r

V

2 0

2r

4 0 r 4 0 r

The voltage between the inner and outer spheres of

a spherical capacitor is:

a

Vab E dl

b

r b

Q

4 0 r

ar ar dr

Q 1 1

4 0 a b

dipole z

P

r1

+q

r

r2

a

-q

V Vn V1 V2

n

1 q q

q r2 r1

4 0 r1 r2 4 0 r1r2

If r>>2a,

r2-r12a cos and r1r2r2

And the potential reduces to

2a cos

1 p cos

V

2

4 0

r

4 0 r 2

q

electric dipole, the value for V must be kept constant.

Hence the equation for an equipotential surface is

r=cv(cos)1/2

By plotting r against for different values of cv we can

drww the solid equipotential lines.

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