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ELECTRIC FORCE AND ELECTRIC CHARGE 6

1. Introduction 6

2. Charge Quantization and Charge Conservation 8

3. Conductors and Insulators 8

THE ELECTRIC FIELD 10


1. Introduction 10

2. The Superposition of Electric Forces 10


Example Problem 1: Electric Field of a Charged Rod 11

3. The Electric Field 13


Example Problem 2: Electric Field of Point Charge Q. 13
Example Problem 3: Electric Field of Charge Sheet. 13
Example Problem 4: Electric Field of Multiple Charge Sheets 15

4. Field Lines 16

5. Electric Dipole in an Electric Field 17

GAUSS' LAW 19
1. Introduction 19

2. Gauss' Law 19
Example Problem 1: Electric Field of a Point Charge. 20
Example Problem 2: Electric Field of a Charge Sheet 20

3. Conductors in Electric Fields 22

THE ELECTROSTATIC POTENTIAL 24


1. Introduction 24

2. Calculating the Electrostatic Potential 25


Example Problem 1: Electrostatic Potential of a Charged Rod 26
Example Problem 2: Distance of Closest Approach 27

3. The Electrostatic Field as a Conservative Field 28

4. The Gradient of the Electrostatic Potential 28


Example Problem 3: Electric Field derived from Electrostatic Potential 30
Example Problem 4: Potential and Field of a Charged Annulus 31

5. The Potential and Field of a Dipole 32

1
ELECTRIC ENERGY OF A SYSTEM OF POINT CHARGES 34
1 Introduction 34
Example Problem: Model of a Carbon Nucleus 35

2 Energy of a System of Conductors 35


Example Problem: Fission of Uranium 38

CAPACITORS AND DIELECTRICS. 42


1. Introduction 42

2. The parallel-plate capacitor 42


Example Problem: The Geiger Counter 43

3. Capacitors in Combination 44
Example: Multi-plate Capacitor 46

Example Problem: Capacitors in Series/Parallel 47

4. Dielectrics 49
Example Problem: The Parallel Plate Capacitor 50

5. Gauss Law in Dielectrics 51


Example Problem: The Spherical Capacitor. 52

6 Energy in Capacitors 54
Example Problem: Capacitors in Parallel. 54
Example Problem: Energy Stored in Capacitors. 55

CURRENTS AND OHMS LAW 57


1. Electric Current 57
Example: Resistance of a Wire 59

2. The resistivity of materials 60


Example: Connecting an AC 60
Example: HV Lines 61

3. Resistance in combination 61
Example: Superconducting Cables 63
Example: Resistors in Circuits 64

DC CIRCUITS 67
1. Electromotive Force 67

27.2. Single-loop currents 68

3. Multi-loop circuits. 70
Example Problem: Multi-loop Circuit 73

2
4. Energy in circuits 74
Example Problem: High-Voltage Transmission Line 75
Example Problem: Charging a Battery 76
Example Problem: Draining a Battery 77

5. The RC circuit 78

THE MAGNETIC FORCE AND FIELD. 81


1. The magnetic force 81
Example Problem: Magnetic Field of a Neutron Star 82

2. The Biot-Savart Law 83


Example Problem: Helmholtz Coils 84
Example Problem: Magnetic Field due to a Long Wire 86

3. The magnetic dipole 89


Example Problem: Spinning Charged Disk 89

AMPERES LAW 91
1. Introduction 91
Example Problem: Field due to six parellel wires 92

2. The solenoid 93
Example Problem: Superposition of magnetic fields 94
Example Problem: Coaxial cable 94

3. Motion of charges in electric and magnetic fields 96

4. Crossed electric and magnetic fields 98

5. Forces on a wire 100


Example Problem: Magnetic balance 101

6. Torque on a current loop 102

ELECTROMAGNETIC INDUCTION 105


1. Motional emf 105
Example Problem: Metal Rod in Magnetic Field 106
Example Problem: Induced EMF in a Solenoid 108

2. The Induced Electric-Field 109

3 Inductance 110
Example Problem: Mutual Induction 111

4. Magnetic Energy 111


Example Problem: The Toroid 113

5. The RL circuit 114

3
Example Problem: Joule Heat in RLCircuit 115

MAGNETIC MATERIALS 117


1. Magnetic Moments 117
Example Problem: Two-electron Interactions 118

2. Paramagnetism 119
Example Problem: Filled Solenoid 120

3. Ferromagnetism 121
Example Problem: Number of Aligned Electrons 121

4. Diamagnetism 122

AC CIRCUITS 125
1. Alternating Current 125

2. AC Resistor Circuits 125

3. AC Capacitor Circuits 126

4. AC Inductive Circuit 127


Example Problem: AC Circuit 128

5. LC Circuits 129

6. The Phasor Diagram 136


Example Problem: LCC Circuit 137
Example Problem: RC Circuit 139

7. The Transformer 140

THE DISPLACEMENT CURRENT AND MAXWELLS EQUATIONS 143

1. THE DISPLACEMENT CURRENT 143


Example Problem: Parallel-Plate Capacitor 144

2. Maxwells Equations 147


Example Problem: Conservation of Charge 147

3. Cavity Oscillations 148

4. The Electric Field of an Accelerated Charge 150


Example Problem: Radio Antenna 153

5. The magnetic field of an accelerated charge 154

4
LIGHT AND RADIO WAVES 155
1. Electromagnetic waves 155
Example Problem: Radio Receiver 158

2. Plane Harmonic Waves 159


Example Problem: Circularly Polarized Waves 160
Example Problem: Polarization of Electromagnetic Waves 161

3. The Generation of Electromagnetic Waves 163

4. Energy of a Wave 164


Example Problem: Energy of a Laser Beam 166
Example Problem: Energy and Current Flow 166

5. Momentum of a Wave 168


Example Problem: Solar Sails 169

6. The Doppler Shift of Light 170

5
ELECTRIC FORCE AND ELECTRIC
CHARGE
1. Introduction
Ordinary matter consists of atoms. Each atom consists of a nucleus, consisting of protons and
neutrons, surrounded by a number of electrons. The masses of the electrons, protons and
neutrons are listed in Table 1. Most of the mass of the atom is due to the mass of the nucleus.

particle mass (kg)


electron 9.11 x 10-31
proton 1.673 x 10-27
neutron 1.675 x 10-27
Table 1. Masses of the building blocks of atoms.
The diameter of the nucleus is between 10E-15 and 10E-14 m. The electrons are contained in a
roughly spherical region with a diameter of about 2 x 10E-10 m. In Physics 121 it was shown
that an object can only carry out circular motion if a radial force (directed towards the center
of the circle) is present. Measurements of the velocity of the orbital electrons in an atom have
shown that the attractive force between the electrons and the nucleus is significantly stronger
than the gravitational force between these two objects. The attractive force between the
electrons and the nucleus is called the electric force.

Experiments have shown that the electric force between two objects is proportional to the
inverse square of the distance between the two objects. The electric force between two
electrons is the same as the electric force between two protons when they are placed as the
same distance. This implies that the electric force does not depend on the mass of the particle.
Instead, it depends on a new quantity: the electric charge. The unit of electric charge q is the
Coulomb (C). The electric charge can be negative, zero, or positive. Per definition, the
electric charge on a glass rod rubbed with silk is positive. The electric charge of electrons,
protons and neutrons are listed in Table 2. Detailed measurements have shown that the
magnitude of the charge of the proton is exactly equal to the magnitude of the charge of the
electron. Since atoms are neutral, the number of electrons must be equal to the number of
protons.

The precise magnitude of the electric force that a charged particle exerts on another is given
by Coulomb's law:

" The magnitude of the electric force that a particle exerts on


another particle is directly proportional to the product of their
charges and inversely proportional to the square of the distance
between them. The direction of the force is along the line
joining the particles. "

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particle charge (C)
electron - 1.6 x 10-19
proton 1.6 x 10-19
neutron 0
Table 2. Electric charges of the building blocks of atoms
The electric force Fc can be written as

(1)

where

q1 and q 2 are the charges of particle 1 and particle 2, respectively

r is the distance between particle 1 and particle 2 (see Figure 1)

[epsilon]0 is he permittivity constant: [epsilon]0 = 8.85 x 10-12 C2/(N . m2)

This formula applies to elementary particles and small charged objects as long as their sizes
are much less than the distance between them.

Figure 1. Electric force between two charged objects.


An important difference between the electric force and the gravitational force is that the
gravitational force is always attractive, while the electric force can be repulsive (Fc > 0), zero,
or attractive (Fc < 0), depending on the charges of the particles. Table 3 lists the gravitational
and the Coulomb force between electrons, protons and neutrons when they are separated by 1
x 10-10 m. This table shows clearly that the electric force dominates the motion of electrons in
atoms. However, on a macroscopic scale, the gravitational force dominates. Since most
macroscopic objects are neutral, they have an equal number of protons and electrons. The
attractive force between the electrons in one body and the protons in the other body is exactly
canceled by the repulsive force between the electrons in the two bodies.

Our discussion of the electric force will initially concentrate on those cases in which the
charges are at rest or are moving very slowly. The electric force exerted under these
circumstances is called the electrostatic force. If the charges are moving with a uniform
velocity, they will experience both the electrostatic force and a magnetic force. The combined
electrostatic and magnetic force is called the electromagnetic force.

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particle-particle Fg (N) Fc (N)
-51
electron - electron -5.5 x 10 2.3 x 10-8
electron - proton -1.0 x 10-47 - 2.3 x 10-8
electron - neutron -1.0 x 10-47 0
-44
proton - proton - 1.9 x 10 2.3 x 10-8
proton - neutron - 1.9 x 10-44 0
-44
neutron - neutron - 1.9 x 10 0
Table 3. The gravitational (F g) and Coulomb (F c) between the building blocks of atoms.

2. Charge Quantization and Charge Conservation


An important experiment in which the charge of small oil droplets was determined was
carried out by Millikan. Millikan discovered that the charge on the oil droplets was always a
multiple of the charge of the electron (e, the fundamental charge). For example, he observed
droplets with a charge equal to +/- e, +/- 2 e, +/- 3 e, etc., but never droplets with a charge
equal to +/- 1.45 e, +/- 2.28 e, etc. The experiments strongly suggested that charge is
quantized.

Another important property of charge is that charge a conserved quantity. No reaction has
ever been found that creates or destroys charge. For example, the annihilation of an electron
and an anti electron (positron) produces two photons:

(2)

This reaction does not violate conservation of charge. The initial charge is equal to

(3)

Note that the charge of an antiparticle is opposite that of the particle. The final charge is equal
to zero since photons are uncharged. The following reaction however violates conservation of
electric charge

(4)

This reaction has never been observed.

3. Conductors and Insulators


A conductor is a material that permits the motion of electric charge through its volume.
Examples of conductors are copper, aluminum and iron. An electric charge placed on the end
of a conductor will spread out over the entire conductor until an equilibrium distribution is

8
established. In contrast, electric charge placed on an insulator stays in place: an insulator
(like glass, rubber and Mylar) does not permit the motion of electric charge.

Figure 2. Induction of Charge on Metal Sphere.


The properties of a conductor are a result of the presence of free electrons in the material.
These electrons are free to move through the entire volume of the conductor. Because of the
free electrons, the charge distribution of a conductor can be changed by the presence of
external charges. For example, the metal sphere shown in Figure 2 is initially uncharged. This
implies that the free electrons (and positive ions) are distributed uniformly over its surface. If
a rod with a positive charge is placed in the vicinity of the sphere, it will produce an attractive
force on the free electrons. As a consequence of this attractive force the free electrons will be
redistributed, and the top of the conductor will get a negative charge (excess of electrons).
Since the number of free electrons on the sphere is unchanged, the bottom of the sphere will
have a deficit of free electrons (and will have a positive charge). The positive ions are bound
to the lattice of the material, and their distribution is not affected by the presence of the
charged rod. If we connect the bottom of the sphere to ground (a source or drain of electrons)
electrons will be attracted by the positive charge. The number of electrons on the sphere will
increase, and the sphere will have a net negative charge. If we break the connection to the
ground before removing the charged rod, we are left with a negative charge on the sphere. If
we first remove the charged rod, the excess of electrons will drain to the ground, and the
sphere will become uncharged.

9
THE ELECTRIC FIELD
1. Introduction
The presence of an electric charge produces a force on all other charges present. The electric
force produces action-at-a-distance; the charged objects can influence each other without
touching. Suppose two charges, q 1 and q 2, are initially at rest. Coulomb's law allows us to
calculate the force exerted by charge q 2 on charge q 1 (see Figure 1). At a certain moment
charge q 2 is moved closer to charge q 1. As a result we expect an increase of the force exerted
by q 2 on q 1. However, this change can not occur instantaneous (no signal can propagate faster
than the speed of light). The charges exert a force on one another by means of disturbances
that they generate in the space surrounding them. These disturbances are called electric fields.
Each electrically charged object generates an electric field which permeates the space around
it, and exerts pushes or pulls whenever it comes in contact with other charged objects. The
electric field E generated by a set of charges can be measured by putting a point charge q at a
given position. The test charge will feel an electric force F. The electric field at the location of
the point charge is defined as the force F divided by the charge q:

Figure 1. Electric force between two electric charges.

(1)

The definition of the electric field shows that the electric field is a vector field: the electric
field at each point has a magnitude and a direction. The direction of the electric field is the
direction in which a positive charge placed at that position will move. In this chapter the
calculation of the electric field generated by various charge distributions will be discussed.

2. The Superposition of Electric Forces


From the definition of the electric field it is clear that in order to calculate the field strength
generated by a charge distribution we must be able to calculate the total electric force exerted
on a test charge by this charge distribution.

10
Figure 2. Superposition of electric forces.
Suppose a charge q is placed in the vicinity of three other charges, q 1, q2, and q 3, as is shown
in Figure 2. Coulomb's law can be used to calculate the electric force between q and q 1,
between q and q 2, and between q and q 3. Experiments have shown that the total force exerted
by q 1, q2 and q 3 on q is the vector sum of the individual forces:

(2)

Example Problem 1: Electric Field of a Charged Rod

A total amount of charge Q is uniformly distributed along a thin, straight, plastic rod of length
L (see Figure 3).

a) Find the electric force acting on a point charge q located at point P, at a distance d from one
end of the rod (see Figure 3).

b) Find the electric force acting on a point charge q located at point P', at a distance y from the
midpoint of the rod (see Figure 3).

Figure 3. Example Problem 1.

a) Figure 4 shows the force dF acting on point charge q, located at point P, as a result of the
Coulomb interaction between charge q and a small segment of the rod. The force is directed
along the x-axis and has a magnitude given by

11
(3)

Figure 4. Relevant dimensions for Example Problem 1.


The total force acting on charge q can be found by summing over all segments of the rod:

(4)

b) Figure 5 shows the force acting on charge q, located at P', due to two charged segments of
the rod. The net force dF exerted on q by the two segments of the rod is directed along the y-
axis (vertical axis), and has a magnitude equal to

(5)

Note: the x-component of dFl cancels the x-component of dFr, and the net force acting on q is
therefore equal to the sum of the y-components of dFl and dFr. The magnitude of dFl and dFr
can be obtained from Coulomb's law:

(6)

Figure 5. Relevant dimension for Example Problem 1


Substituting eq. (6) into eq. (5) we obtain
12
(7)

The net force acting on charge q can be obtained by summing over all segments of the rod.

(8)

3. The Electric Field


Equation (1) shows that the electric field generated by a charge distribution is simply the
force per unit positive charge. The procedure to measure the electric field, outlined in the
introduction, assumes that all charges that generate the electric field remain fixed at their
position while the test charge is introduced. To avoid disturbances to these charges, it is
usually convenient to use a very small test charge.

Example Problem 2: Electric Field of Point Charge Q.

A test charge placed a distance r from point charge Q will experience an electric force Fc
given by Coulomb's law:

(9)

The electric field generated by the point charge Q can be calculated by substituting eq.(9) into
eq.(1)

(10)

Example Problem 3: Electric Field of Charge Sheet.

Suppose a very large sheet has a uniform charge density of [sigma] Coulomb per square
meter. The charge sheet can be regarded as made up of a collection of many concentric rings,
centered around the z-axis (which coincides with the location of the point of interest). The
total electric field at this point can be obtained by vector addition of the electric field
generated by all small segments of the sheet. Figure 6 shows the relevant dimension used to

13
calculate the electric field generated by a ring with radius r and width dr. The strength of the
electric field generated by each ring is directed along the z-axis and has a strength equal to

(11)

where dQ is the charge of the ring and z is the z-coordinate of the point of interest. The charge
dQ can be expressed in terms of r, dr, and [sigma]

(12)

Figure 6. Electric field above large charge sheet.


The angle [theta] depends on the radius of the ring and the z-coordinate of the point of interest

(13)

Substituting eq.(12) and eq.(13) into eq.(11) one obtains

(14)

The total electric field can be found by summing the contributions of all rings that make up
the charge sheet

14
(15)

Figure 7. Field generated by 2 large parallel charged plates.


Equation (15) shows that a uniform electric field is produced by an infinitely large charged
sheet. However, in many practical applications in which a uniform electric field is required,
two parallel charge sheets are used. The electric field between the two charged plates (with
charge density [sigma] and - [sigma]) can be obtained by vector addition of the fields
generated by the individual plates (see Figure 7):

(16)

The electric fields above and below the plates have opposite directions (see Figure 7), and
cancel. Therefore, two charged plates generate a homogeneous electric field confined to the
region between the plates, and no electric field outside this region (note: this in contrast to a
single charged sheet which produces an electric field everywhere).

Example Problem 4: Electric Field of Multiple Charge Sheets

Two large sheets of paper intersect each other at right angles. Each sheet carries a uniform
distribution of positive charge of [sigma] C/m2. Find the magnitude of the electric field in
each of the four quadrants.

15
Figure 8. Example Problem 2.
This problem can be solved easily by applying the superposition principle of electric fields
generated by each sheet individually (see Figure 8). The strength of the electric field produced
by each plate is given by eq.(15). The direction of the electric field is perpendicular to the
plate, and pointing away from it. The strength of the total electric field in each of the
quadrants is given by

(17)

and its direction in each of the four quadrants is indicated in Figure 8.

4. Field Lines
The electric field can be represented graphically by field lines. These lines are drawn in such a
way that, at a given point, the tangent of the line has the direction of the electric field at that
point. The density of lines is proportional to the magnitude of the electric field. Each field line
starts on a positive point charge and ends on a negative point charge. Since the density of field
lines is proportional to the strength of the electric field, the number of lines emerging from a
positive charge must also be proportional to the charge. An example of field lines generated
by a charge distributions is shown in Figure 9.

16
Figure 9. Electric field produced by two point charges q = + 4

5. Electric Dipole in an Electric Field


The net force acting on a neutral object placed in a uniform electric field is zero. However, the
electric field can produce a net torque if the positive and negative charges are concentrated at
different locations on the object. An example is shown in Figure 10. The figure shows a
charge Q located on one end of a rod of length L and a charge - Q located on the opposite end
of the rod. The forces acting on the two charges are given by

(18)

Figure 10. Electric Dipole in an Electric Field.


Clearly, the net force acting on the system is equal to zero. The torque of the two forces with
respect to the center of the rod is given by

(19)

As a result of this torque the rod will rotate around its center. If [theta] = 0deg. (rod aligned
with the field) the torque will be zero.

The distribution of the charge in a body can be characterized by a parameter called the dipole
moment p. The dipole moment of the rod shown in Figure 10 is defined as

17
(20)

In general, the dipole moment is a vector which is directed from the negative charge towards
the positive charge. Using the definition of the dipole moment from eq.(20) the torque of an
object in an electric field is given by

(21)

18
GAUSS' LAW

1. Introduction
The electric field of a given charge distribution can in principle be calculated using Coulomb's
law. The examples discussed in the previous Chapter show however, that the actual
calculations can become quit complicated.

2. Gauss' Law
An alternative method to calculate the electric field of a given charge distribution relies on a
theorem called Gauss' law. Gauss' law states that

" If the volume within an arbitrary closed mathematical surface holds a net
electric charge Q, then the electric flux [Phi] though its surface is Q/[epsilon]0
"

Gauss' law can be written in the following form:

(1)

Figure 1. Electric flux through surface area A.


The electric flux [Phi] through a surface is defined as the product of the area A and the
magnitude of the normal component of the electric field E:

(2)

where [theta] is the angle between the electric field and the normal of the surface (see Figure
1). To apply Gauss' law one has to obtain the flux through a closed surface. This flux can be
obtained by integrating eq.(2) over all the area of the surface. The convention used to define
the flux as positive or negative is that the angle [theta] is measured with respect to the
perpendicular erected on the outside of the closed surface: field lines leaving the volume

19
make a positive contribution, and field lines entering the volume make a negative
contribution.

Example Problem 1: Electric Field of a Point Charge.

The field generated by a point charge q is spherical symmetric, and its magnitude will depend
only on the distance r from the point charge. The direction of the field is along the direction
(see Figure 2). Consider a spherical surface centered around the point charge q (see Figure 2).
The direction of the electric field at any point on its surface is perpendicular to the surface and
its magnitude is constant. This implies that the electric flux [Phi] through this surface is given
by

(3)

Figure 2. Electric field generated by point charge q.


Using Gauss's law we obtain the following expression

(4)

or

(5)

which is Coulomb's law.

Example Problem 2: Electric Field of a Charge Sheet

Charge is uniformly distributed over the volume of a large slab of plastic of thickness d. The
charge density is [rho] C/m3. The mid-plane of the slab is the y-z plane (see Figure 3). What is
the electric filed at a distance x from the mid-plane ?

20
Figure 3. Problem 16.

As a result of the symmetry of the slab, the direction of the electric field will be along the x-
axis (at every point). To calculate the electric field at any given point, we need to consider
two separate case: - d/2 < x < d/2 and x > d/2 or x < -d/2. Consider surface 1 shown in Figure
3. The flux through this surface is equal to the flux through the planes at x = x 1 and x = - x1.
Symmetry arguments show that

(6)

The flux [Phi]1 through surface 1 is therefore given by

(7)

The amount of charge enclosed by surface 1 is given by

(8)

Applying Gauss' law to eq.(7) and eq.(8) we obtain

(9)

or

21
(10)

Note: this formula is only correct for - d/2 < x 1 < d/2.

The flux [Phi]2 through surface 2 is given by

(11)

The charge enclosed by surface 2 is given by

(12)

This equation shows that the enclosed charge does not depend on x 2. Applying Gauss's law
one obtains

(13)

or

(14)

3. Conductors in Electric Fields


A large number of electrons in a conductor are free to move. The so called free electrons are
the cause of the different behavior of conductors and insulators in an external electric filed.
The free electrons in a conductor will move under the influence of the external electric field
(in a direction opposite to the direction of the electric field). The movement of the free
electrons will produce an excess of electrons (negative charge) on one side of the conductor,
leaving a deficit of electrons (positive charge) on the other side. This charge distribution will
also produce an electric field and the actual electric field inside the conductor can be found by
superposition of the external electric field and the induced electric field, produced by the
induced charge distribution. When static equilibrium is reached, the net electric field inside
the conductor is exactly zero. This implies that the charge density inside the conductor is zero.
If the electric field inside the conductor would not be exactly zero the free electrons would
continue to move and the charge distribution would not be in static equilibrium. The electric
field on the surface of the conductor is perpendicular to its surface. If this would not be the
case, the free electrons would move along the surface, and the charge distribution would not
be in equilibrium. The redistribution of the free electrons in the conductor under the influence
of an external electric field, and the cancellation of the external electric field inside the
conductor is being used to shield sensitive instruments from external electric fields.

22
The strength of the electric field on the surface of a conductor can be found by applying
Gauss' law (see Figure 4). The electric flux through the surface shown in Figure 4 is given by

(15)

where A is the area of the top of the surface shown in Figure 4. The flux through the bottom
of the surface shown in Figure 4 is zero since the electric field inside a conductor is equal to
zero. Note that eq.(15) is only valid close to the conductor where the electric field is
perpendicular to the surface. The charge enclosed by the surface shown in Figure 4 is equal to

Figure 4. Electric field of conductor.

(16)

where [sigma] is the surface charge density of the conductor. Eq.(16) is correct if the charge
density [sigma] does not vary significantly over the area A (this condition can always be met
by reducing the size of the surface being considered). Applying Gauss' law we obtain

(17)

Thus, the electric field at the surface of the conductor is given by

(18)

23
THE ELECTROSTATIC POTENTIAL
1. Introduction
The electrostatic force is a conservative force. This means that the work it does on a particle
depends only on the initial and final position of the particle, and not on the path followed.
With each conservative force, a potential energy can be associated. The introduction of the
potential energy is useful since it allows us to apply conservation of mechanical energy which
simplifies the solution of a large number of problems.

The potential energy U associated with a conservative force F is defined in the following
manner

(1)

where U(P0) is the potential energy at the reference position P0 (usually U(P0) = 0) and the
path integral is along any convenient path connecting P0 and P1. Since the force F is
conservative, the integral in eq.(1) will not depend on the path chosen. If the work W is
positive (force and displacement pointing in the same direction) the potential energy at P1 will
be smaller than the potential energy at P0. If energy is conserved, a decrease in the potential
energy will result in an increase of the kinetic energy. If the work W is negative (force and
displacement pointing in opposite directions) the potential energy at P1 will be larger than the
potential energy at P0. If energy is conserved, an increase in the potential energy will result in
an decrease of the kinetic energy. If In electrostatic problems the reference point P0 is usually
chosen to correspond to an infinite distance, and the potential energy at this reference point is
taken to be equal to zero. Equation (1) can then be rewritten as:

(2)

To describe the potential energy associated with a charge distribution the concept of the
electrostatic potential V is introduced. The electrostatic potential V at a given position is
defined as the potential energy of a test particle divided by the charge q of this object:

(3)

24
In the last step of eq.(3) we have assumed that the reference point P0 is taken at infinity, and
that the electrostatic potential at that point is equal to 0. Since the force per unit charge is the
electric field (see Chapter 23), eq. (3) can be rewritten as

(4)

The unit of electrostatic potential is the volt (V), and 1 V = 1 J/C = 1 Nm/C. Equation (4)
shows that as the unit of the electric field we can also use V/m.

A common used unit for the energy of a particle is the electron-volt (eV) which is defined as
the change in kinetic energy of an electron that travels over a potential difference of 1 V. The
electron-volt can be related to the Joule via eq.(3). Equation (3) shows that the change in
energy of an electron when it crosses over a 1 V potential difference is equal to 1.6 . 10-19 J
and we thus conclude that 1 eV = 1.6 . 10-19 J.

2. Calculating the Electrostatic Potential


A charge q is moved from P0 to P1 in the vicinity of charge q' (see Figure 1). The electrostatic
potential at P1 can be determined using eq. (4) and evaluating the integral along the path
shown in Figure 1. Along the circular part of the path the electric field and the displacement
are perpendicular, and the change in the electrostatic potential will be zero. Equation (4) can
therefore be rewritten as

(5)

If the charge q' is positive, the potential increases with a decreasing distance r. The electric
field points away from a positive charge, and we conclude that the electric field points from
regions with a high electrostatic potential towards regions with a low electrostatic potential.

Figure 1. Path followed by charge q between P 0 and P 1.


From the definition of the electrostatic potential in terms of the potential energy (eq.(3)) it is
clear that the potential energy of a charge q under the influence of the electric field generated
by charge q' is given by

25
(6)

Example Problem 1: Electrostatic Potential of a Charged Rod

A total charge Q is distributed uniformly along a straight rod of length L. Find the potential at
point P at a distance h from the midpoint of the rod (see Figure 2).

The potential at P due to a small segment of the rod, with length dx and charge dQ, located at
the position indicated in Figure 3 is given by

(7)

The charge dQ of the segment is related to the total charge Q and length L

(8)

Combining equations (7) and (8) we obtain the following expression for dV:

(9)

Figure 2. Problem 21.

26
Figure 3. Solution of Problem 21.
The total potential at P can be obtained by summing over all small segments. This is
equivalent to integrating eq.(9) between x = - L/2 and x = L/2.

(10)

Example Problem 2: Distance of Closest Approach

An alpha particle with a kinetic energy of 1.7 x 10-12 J is shot directly towards a platinum
nucleus from a very large distance. What will be the distance of closest approach ? The
electric charge of the alpha particle is 2e and that of the platinum nucleus is 78e. Treat the
alpha particle and the nucleus as spherical charge distributions and disregard the motion of the
nucleus.

The initial mechanical energy is equal to the kinetic energy of the alpha particle

(11)

Due to the electric repulsion between the alpha particle and the platinum nucleus, the alpha
particle will slow down. At the distance of closest approach the velocity of the alpha particle
is zero, and thus its kinetic energy is equal to zero. The total mechanical energy at this point is
equal to the potential energy of the system

(12)

where q 1 is the charge of the alpha particle, q 2 is the charge of the platinum nucleus, and d is
the distance of closest approach. Applying conservation of mechanical energy we obtain

(13)

The distance of closest approach can be obtained from eq.(13)

(14)

27
3. The Electrostatic Field as a Conservative Field
The electric field is a conservative field since the electric force is a conservative force. This
implies that the path integral

(15)

between point P0 and point P1 is independent of the path between these two points. In this
case the path integral for any closed path will be zero:

(16)

Equation (16) can be used to prove an interesting theorem:

" within a closed, empty cavity inside a homogeneous conductor, the electric
field is exactly zero ".

Figure 4. Cross section of cavity inside spherical conductor.


Figure 4 shows the cross section of a possible cavity inside a spherical conductor. Suppose
there is a field inside the conductor and one of the field lines is shown in Figure 4. Consider
the path integral of eq.(16) along the path indicated in Figure 4. In Chapter 24 it was shown
that the electric field within a conductor is zero. Thus the contribution of the path inside the
conductor to the path integral is zero. Since the remaining part of the path is chosen along the
field line, the direction of the field is parallel to the direction of the path, and therefore the
path integral will be non-zero. This obviously violates eq.(16) and we must conclude that the
field inside the cavity is equal to zero (in this case the path integral is of course equal to zero).

4. The Gradient of the Electrostatic Potential


The electrostatic potential V is related to the electrostatic field E. If the electric field E is
known, the electrostatic potential V can be obtained using eq.(4), and vice-versa. In this

28
section we will discuss how the electric field E can be obtained if the electrostatic potential is
known.

Figure 5. Calculation of the electric field E.


Consider the two points shown in Figure 5. These two nearly identical positions are separated
by an infinitesimal distance dL. The change in the electrostatic potential between P1 and P2 is
given by

(17)

where the angle [theta] is the angle between the direction of the electric field and the direction
of the displacement (see Figure 5). Equation (17) can be rewritten as

(18)

where EL indicates the component of the electric field along the L-axis. If the direction of the
displacement is chosen to coincide with the x-axis, eq.(18) becomes

(19)

For the displacements along the y-axis and z-axis we obtain

(20)

(21)

The total electric field E can be obtained from the electrostatic potential V by combining
equations (19), (20), and (21):

(22)

Equation (22) is usually written in the following form

29
(23)

where --V is the gradient of the potential V.

In many electrostatic problems the electric field of a certain charge distribution must be
evaluated. The calculation of the electric field can be carried out using two different methods:

1. the electric field can be calculated by applying Coulomb's law and vector addition of the
contributions from all charges of the charge distribution.

2. the total electrostatic potential V can be obtained from the algebraic sum of the potential
due to all charges that make up the charge distribution, and subsequently using eq.(23) to
calculate the electric field E.

In many cases method 2 is simpler since the calculation of the electrostatic potential involves
an algebraic sum, while method 1 relies on the vector sum.

Example Problem 3: Electric Field derived from Electrostatic Potential

In some region of space, the electrostatic potential is the following function of x, y, and z:

(24)

where the potential is measured in volts and the distances in meters. Find the electric field at
the points x = 2 m, y = 2 m.

The x, y and z components of the electric field E can be obtained from the gradient of the
potential V (eq.(23)):

(25)

(26)

(27)

Evaluating equations (25), (26), and (27) at x = 2 m and y = 2 m gives

(28)

(29)

(30)

30
Thus

(31)

Example Problem 4: Potential and Field of a Charged Annulus

An annulus (a disk with a hole) made of paper has an outer radius R and an inner radius R/2
(see Figure 6). An amount Q of electric charge is uniformly distributed over the paper.

a) Find the potential as a function of the distance on the axis of the annulus.

b) Find the electric field on the axis of the annulus.

We define the x-axis to coincide with the axis of the annulus (see Figure 7). The first step in
the calculation of the total electrostatic potential at point P due to the annulus is to calculate
the electrostatic potential at P due to a small segment of the annulus. Consider a ring with
radius r and width dr as shown in Figure 7. The electrostatic potential dV at P generated by
this ring is given by

(32)

where dQ is the charge on the ring. The charge density [rho] of the annulus is equal to

(33)

Figure 6. Problem 36.


Using eq. (33) the charge dQ of the ring can be calculates

(34)

Substituting eq.(34) into eq.(32) we obtain

31
(35)

The total electrostatic potential can be obtained by integrating eq.(35) over the whole annulus:

(36)

Figure 7. Calculation of electrostatic potential in Problem 36.


Due to the symmetry of the problem, the electric field will be directed along the x-axis. The
field strength can be obtained by applying eq.(23) to eq.(36):

(37)

Since the electrostatic field and the electrostatic potential are related we can replace the field
lines by so called equipotential surfaces. Equipotential surfaces are defined as surfaces on
which each point has the same electrostatic potential. The component of the electric field
parallel to this surface must be zero since the change in the potential between all points on
this surface is equal to zero. This implies that the direction of the electric field is
perpendicular to the equipotential surfaces.

5. The Potential and Field of a Dipole


Figure 8 shows an electric dipole located along the z-axis. It consists of two charges + Q and -
Q, separated by a distance L. The electrostatic potential at point P can be found by summing
the potentials generated by each of the two charges:

32
(38)

Figure 8. The electric dipole.


If the point P is far away from the dipole (r >> L) we can make the approximation that r1 and
r2 are parallel. In this case

(39)

and

(40)

The electrostatic potential at P can now be rewritten as

(41)

where p is the dipole moment of the charge distribution. The electric field of the dipole can be
obtained from eq.(41) by taking the gradient (see eq.(23)).

33
ELECTRIC ENERGY OF A SYSTEM OF
POINT CHARGES
1 Introduction

Figure 1. System of three charges.


The electric potential energy U of a system of two point charges was discussed in our
previous Chapter and is equal to

(1)

where q 1 and q 2 are the electric charges of the two objects, and r is their separation distance.
The electric potential energy of a system of three point charges (see Figure 1) can be
calculated in a similar manner

(2)

where q 1, q2, and q 3 are the electric charges of the three objects, and r12, r13, and r23 are their
separation distances (see Figure 1). The potential energy in eq.(2) is the energy required to
assemble the system of charges from an initial situation in which all charges are infinitely far
apart. Equation (2) can be written in terms of the electrostatic potentials V:

(3)

where Vother(1) is the electric potential at the position of charge 1 produced by all other
charges

(4)

34
and similarly for Vother(2) and Vother(3).

Example Problem: Model of a Carbon Nucleus

According to the alpha-particle model of the nucleus some nuclei consist of a regular
geometric arrangement of alpha particles. For instance, the nucleus of 12C consists of three
alpha particles on an equilateral triangle (see Figure 2). Assuming that the distance between
pairs of alpha particles is 3 x 10-15 m, what is the electric energy of this arrangement of alpha
particles ? Treat the alpha particles as pointlike.

Figure 2. Alpha-particle model of 12C.

The electric potential at the location of each alpha particle is equal to

(5)

where d = 3.0 x 10-15 m. The electric energy of this configuration can be calculated by
combining eq.(5) and eq.(3):

(6)

2 Energy of a System of Conductors

Figure 3. The capacitor.

35
The electrostatic energy of a system of conductors can be calculated using eq.(3). For
example, a capacitor consists of two large parallel metallic plates with area A. Suppose that
charges +Q and -Q are placed on the two plates (see Figure 3). Suppose the electrostatic
potential of plate 1 is V1 and the potential of plate 2 is V2. The electrostatic energy of the
capacitor is then equal to

(7)

The electric field E between the plates is a function of the charge density [sigma]

(8)

The potential difference V1 - V2 between the plates can be obtained by a path integration of
the electric field

(9)

Combining eq.(9) and eq.(7) we can calculate the electrostatic energy of the system:

(10)

This equation shows that electrostatic energy can be stored in a capacitor. Equation (10) can
be rewritten as

(11)

where Volume is the volume between the capacitor plates. The quantity [epsilon]0 . E2/2 is
called the energy density (potential energy per unit volume).

Figure 4. Field lines at the edge of a capacitor.

36
In the calculation of the energy density carried out for the capacitor we assumed that the
electric field was homogeneous in the region between the plates. In a real capacitor the field at
the edge is not homogeneous, and the calculation will have to be modified. Figure 4 shows a
couple of field lines at the edge of a capacitor. Consider the two small sections of the
capacitor plates with charges dQ and -dQ, respectively, shown in Figure 4. The contribution
of these two sections to the total electrostatic energy of the capacitor is given by

(12)

where V1 and V2 are the electrostatic potential of the top and bottom plate, respectively. The
potential difference, V1 - V2, is related to the electric field between the plates

(13)

The electric field E(l) can be related to the charges on the small segments of the capacitor
plates via Gauss' law. Consider a volume with its sides parallel to the field lines (see Figure
5). The electric flux through its surface is equal to

(14)

where E(l) is the strength of the electric field at a distance l from the bottom capacitor plate
(see Figure 5) and dS(l) is the area of the top of the integration volume. The flux is negative
since the field lines are entering the integration volume. The flux through the sides of the
integration volume is zero since the sides are chosen to be parallel to the field lines. The flux
through the bottom of the integration volume is also zero, since the electric field in any
conductor is zero. Gauss' law requires that the flux through the surface of any volume is equal
to the charge enclosed by that volume divided by [epsilon]0:

(15)

Figure 5. Integration volume discussed in the text.


Combining eq.(14) and eq.(15) we obtain

(16)

37
Equations (12), (13) and (16) can be combined to give

(17)

This calculation can be generalized to objects of arbitrary shapes, and the electrostatic energy
of any system can be expressed as the volume integral of the energy density u which is
defined as

(18)

Thus

(19)

where the volume integration extends over all regions where there is an electric field.

Example Problem: Fission of Uranium

In symmetric fission, the nucleus of uranium (238U) splits into two nuclei of palladium (119Pd).
The uranium nucleus is spherical with a radius of 7.4 x 10-15 m. Assume that the two
palladium nuclei adopt a spherical shape immediately after fission; at this instant, the
configuration is as shown in Figure 6. The size of the nuclei in Figure 6 can be calculated
from the size of the uranium nucleus because nuclear material maintains a constant density.

Figure 6. Two palladium nuclei right after fission of 238U.


a) Calculate the electric energy of the uranium nucleus before fission

b) Calculate the total electric energy of the palladium nuclei in the configuration shown in
Figure 6, immediately after fission. Take into account the mutual electric potential energy of
the two nuclei and also the individual electric energy of the two palladium nuclei by
themselves.

c) Calculate the total electric energy a long time after fission when the two palladium nuclei
have moved apart by a very large distance.

d) Ultimately, how much electric energy is released into other forms of energy in the
complete fission process ?

e) If 1 kg of uranium undergoes fission, how much electric energy is released ?

38
a) The electric energy of the uranium nucleus before fission can be calculated using the
known electric field distribution generated by a uniformly charged sphere of radius R:

(20)

For the uranium nucleus q = 92e and R = 7.4 x 10-15 m. Substituting these values into eq.(20)
we obtain

(21)

b) Suppose the radius of a palladium nucleus is R Pd. The total volume of nuclear matter of the
system shown in Figure 6 is equal to

(22)

Since the density of nuclear matter is constant, the volume in eq.(22) must be equal to the
volume of the original uranium nucleus

(23)

Combining eq.(23) and (22) we obtain the following equation for the radius of the palladium
nucleus:

(24)

The electrostatic energy of each palladium nucleus is equal to

(25)

where we have used the radius calculated in eq.(24) and a charge q Pd = 46e. Besides the
internal energy of the palladium nuclei, the electric energy of the configuration must also be
included in the calculation of the total electric potential energy of the nuclear system

(26)

39
where q Pd is the charge of the palladium nucleus (q Pd = 26e) and R int is the distance between
the centers of the two nuclei (R int = 2 RPd = 11.7 x 10-15 m). Substituting these values into
eq.(26) we obtain

(27)

The total electric energy of the system at fission is therefore

(28)

c) Due to the electric repulsion between the positively charge palladium nuclei, they will
separate and move to infinity. At this point, the electric energy of the system is just the sum of
the electric energies of the two palladium nuclei:

(29)

d) The total release of energy is equal to the difference in the electric energy of the system
before fission (eq.(21)) and long after fission (eq.(29)):

(30)

e) Equation (30) gives the energy released when 1 uranium nucleus fissions. The number of
uranium nuclei in 1 kg of uranium is equal to

(31)

The total release of energy is equal to

(32)

To get a feeling for the amount of energy released when uranium fissions, we can compare the
energy in eq.(32) with the energy released by falling water. Suppose 1 kg of water falls 100
m. The energy released is equal to the change in the potential energy of the water:

(33)

The mass of water needed to generate an amount of energy equal to that released in the fission
of 1 kg uranium is

40
(34)

41
CAPACITORS AND DIELECTRICS.
1. Introduction
A capacitor is an arrangement of conductors that is used to store electric charge. A very
simple capacitor is an isolated metallic sphere. The potential of a sphere with radius R and
charge Q is equal to

(1)

Equation (1) shows that the potential of the sphere is proportional to the charge Q on the
conductor. This is true in general for any configuration of conductors. This relationship can be
written as

(2)

where C is called the capacitance of the system of conductors. The unit of capacitance is the
farad (F). The capacitance of the metallic sphere is equal to

(3)

2. The parallel-plate capacitor


Another example of a capacitor is a system consisting of two parallel metallic plates. In
Chapter 26 it was shown that the potential difference between two plates of area A, separation
distance d, and with charges +Q and -Q, is given by

(4)

Using the definition of the capacitance (eq.(2)), the capacitance of this system can be
calculated:

(5)

Equation (2) shows that the charge on a capacitor is proportional to the capacitance C and to
the potential V. To increase the amount of charge stored on a capacitor while keeping the
42
potential (voltage) fixed, the capacitance of the capacitor will need to be increased. Since the
capacitance of the parallel plate capacitor is proportional to the plate area A and inversely
proportional to the distance d between the plates, this can be achieved by increasing the
surface area A and/or decreasing the separation distance d. These large capacitors are usually
made of two parallel sheets of aluminized foil, a few inches wide and several meters long.
The sheets are placed very close together, but kept from touching by a thin sheet of plastic
sandwiched between them. The entire sandwich is covered with another sheet of plastic and
rolled up like a roll of toilet paper.

Example Problem: The Geiger Counter

The tube of a Geiger counter consists of a thin straight wire surrounded by a coaxial
conducting shell. The diameter of the wire is 0.0025 cm and that of the shell is 2.5 cm. The
length of the tube is 10 cm. What is the capacitance of a Geiger-counter tube ?

Figure 1. Schematic of a Geiger counter.

The problem will be solved under the assumption that the electric field generated is that of an
infinitely long line of charge. A schematic side view of the tube is shown in Figure 1. The
radius of the wire is rw, the radius of the cylinder is rc, the length of the counter is L, and the
charge on the wire is +Q. The electric field in the region between the wire and the cylinder
can be calculated using Gauss' law. The electric field in this region will have a radial direction
and its magnitude will depend only on the radial distance r. Consider the cylinder with length
L and radius r shown in Figure 1. The electric flux [Phi] through the surface of this cylinder is
equal to

(6)

According to Gauss' law, the flux [Phi] is equal to the enclosed charge divided by [epsilon]0.
Therefore

(7)

The electric field E(r) can be obtained using eq.(7):

43
(8)

The potential difference between the wire and the cylinder can be obtained by integrating the
electric field E(r):

(9)

Using eq.(2) the capacitance of the Geiger tube can be calculated:

(10)

Substituting the values for rw, rc, and L into eq.(10) we obtain

(11)

3. Capacitors in Combination
The symbol of a capacitor is shown in Figure 2. Capacitors can be connected together; they
can be connected in series or in parallel. Figure 3 shows two capacitors, with capacitance C 1
and C 2, connected in parallel. The potential difference across both capacitors must be equal
and therefore

(12)

Figure 2. Symbol of a Capacitor.

44
Figure 3. Two capacitors connected in parallel.

Using eq.(12) the total charge on both capacitors can be calculated

(13)

Equation (13) shows that the total charge on the capacitor system shown in Figure 3 is
proportional to the potential difference across the system. The two capacitors in Figure 3 can
be treated as one capacitor with a capacitance C where C is related to C 1 and C 2 in the
following manner

(14)

Figure 4 shows two capacitors, with capacitance C 1 and C 2, connected in series. Suppose the
potential difference across C 1 is [Delta]V1 and the potential difference across C 2 is [Delta]V2.
A charge Q on the top plate will induce a charge -Q on the bottom plate of C 1. Since electric
charge is conserved, the charge on the top plate of C2 must be equal to Q. Thus the charge on
the bottom plate of C 2 is equal to -Q. The voltage difference across C 1 is given by

(15)

and the voltage difference across C 2 is equal to

(16)

Figure 4. Two capacitors connected in series.

45
The total voltage difference across the two capacitors is given by

(17)

Equation (17) again shows that the voltage across the two capacitors, connected in series, is
proportional to the charge Q. The system acts like a single capacitor C whose capacitance can
be obtained from the following formula

(18)

Example: Multi-plate Capacitor

A multi-plate capacitor, such as used in radios, consists of four parallel plates arranged one
above the other as shown in Figure 5. The area of each plate is A, and the distance between
adjacent plates is d. What is the capacitance of this arrangement ?

Figure 5. A Multi-plate Capacitor.

The multiple capacitor shown in Figure 5 is equivalent to three identical capacitors connected
in parallel (see Figure 6). The capacitance of each of the three capacitors is equal and given
by

(19)

The total capacitance of the multi-plate capacitor can be calculated using eq.(14):

(20)

46
Figure 6. Schematic of Multi-plate Capacitor shown in Figure 5.

Example Problem: Capacitors in Series/Parallel


Three capacitors, of capacitance C 1 = 2.0 uF, C 2 = 5.0 uF, and C 3 = 7.0 uF, are initially
charged to 36 V by connecting each, for a few instants, to a 36-V battery. The battery is then
removed and the charged capacitors are connected in a closed series circuit, with the positive
and negative terminals joined as shown in Figure 7. What will be the final charge on each
capacitor ? What will be the voltage across the points PP' ?

Figure 7. Capacitors in Series/Parallel.

The initial charges on each of the three capacitors, q 1, q2, and q 3, are equal to

(21)

After the three capacitors are connected, the charge will redistribute itself. The charges on the
three capacitors after the system settles down are equal to Q1, Q2, and Q3. Since charge is a
conserved quantity, there is a relation between q 1, q2, and q 3, and Q1, Q2, and Q3:

(22)

The voltage between P and P' can be expressed in terms of C 3 and Q3, or in terms of C 1, C2,
Q1, and Q2:

47
(23)

and

(24)

Using eq.(22) the following expressions for Q1 and Q2 can be obtained:

(25)

(26)

Substituting eq.(25) and eq.(26) into eq.(24) we obtain

(27)

Combining eq.(27) and eq.(23), Q3 can be expressed in terms of known variables:

(28)

Substituting the known values of the capacitance and initial charges we obtain

(29)

The voltage across P and P' can be found by combining eq.(29) and eq.(23):

(30)

The charges on capacitor 1 and capacitor 2 are equal to

(31)

(32)

48
4. Dielectrics
If the space between the plates of a capacitor is filled with an insulator, the capacitance of the
capacitor will chance compared to the situation in which there is vacuum between the plates.
The change in the capacitance is caused by a change in the electric field between the plates.
The electric field between the capacitor plates will induce dipole moments in the material
between the plates. These induced dipole moments will reduce the electric field in the region
between the plates. A material in which the induced dipole moment is linearly proportional to
the applied electric field is called a linear dielectric. In this type of materials the total electric
field between the capacitor plates E is related to the electric field Efree that would exist if no
dielectric was present:

(33)

where [kappa] is called the dielectric constant. Since the final electric field E can never
exceed the free electric field Efree, the dielectric constant [kappa] must be larger than 1.

The potential difference across a capacitor is proportional to the electric field between the
plates. Since the presence of a dielectric reduces the strength of the electric field, it will also
reduce the potential difference between the capacitor plates (if the total charge on the plates is
kept constant):

(34)

The capacitance C of a system with a dielectric is inversely proportional to the potential


difference between the plates, and is related to the capacitance C free of a capacitor with no
dielectric in the following manner

(35)

Since [kappa] is larger than 1, the capacitance of a capacitor can be significantly increased by
filling the space between the capacitor plates with a dielectric with a large [kappa].

The electric field between the two capacitor plates is the vector sum of the fields generated by
the charges on the capacitor and the field generated by the surface charges on the surface of
the dielectric. The electric field generated by the charges on the capacitor plates (charge
density of [sigma]free) is given by

(36)

Assuming a charge density on the surface of the dielectric equal to [sigma]bound, the field
generated by these bound charges is equal to
49
(37)

The electric field between the plates is equal to Efree/[kappa] and thus

(38)

Substituting eq.(36) and eq.(37) into eq.(38) gives

(39)

or

(40)

Example Problem: The Parallel Plate Capacitor

A parallel plate capacitor of plate area A and separation distance d contains a slab of dielectric
of thickness d/2 (see Figure 8) and dielectric constant [kappa]. The potential difference
between the plates is [Delta]V.

a) In terms of the given quantities, find the electric field in the empty region of space between
the plates.

b) Find the electric field inside the dielectric.

c) Find the density of bound charges on the surface of the dielectric.

Figure 8. The Parallel-Plate Capacitor.

a) Suppose the electric field in the capacitor without the dielectric is equal to E0. The electric
field in the dielectric, Ed, is related to the free electric field via the dielectric constant [kappa]:

50
(41)

The potential difference between the plates can be obtained by integrating the electric field
between the plates:

(42)

The electric field in the empty region is thus equal to

(43)

b) The electric field in the dielectric can be found by combining eq.(41) and (43):

(44)

c) The free charge density [sigma]free is equal to

(45)

The bound charge density is related to the free charge density via the following relation

(46)

Combining eq.(45) and eq.(46) we obtain

(47)

5. Gauss Law in Dielectrics


The electric field in an "empty" capacitor can be obtained using Gauss' law. Consider an ideal
capacitor (with no fringing fields) and the integration volume shown in Figure 9. The area of

51
each capacitor plate is A and the charges on the plates are +/-Q. The charge enclosed by the
integration volume shown in Figure 9 is equal to +Q. Gauss' law states that the electric flux
[Phi] through the surface of the integration volume is related to the enclosed charge:

(48)

If a dielectric is inserted between the plates, the electric field between the plates will change
(even though the charge on the plates is kept constant). Obviously, Gauss' law, as stated in
eq.(48), does not hold in this case. The electric field E between the capacitor plates is related
to the dielectric-free field Efree:

(49)

where [kappa] is the dielectric constant of the material between the plates. Gauss' law can
now be rewritten as

(50)

Gauss' law in vacuum is a special case of eq.(50) with [kappa] = 1.

Figure 9. Ideal Capacitor.

Example Problem: The Spherical Capacitor.

A metallic sphere of radius R is surrounded by a concentric dielectric shell of inner radius R,


and outer radius 3R/2. This is surrounded by a concentric, thin, metallic shell of radius 2R
(see Figure 10). The dielectric constant of the shell is [kappa]. What is the capacitance of this
contraption ?

Suppose the charge on the inner sphere is Qfree. The electric field inside the dielectric can be
determined by applying Gauss' law for a dielectric (eq.(50)) and using as the integration
volume a sphere of radius r (where R < r < 3R/2)

52
(51)

The electric field in this region is therefore given by

(52)

Figure 10. Problem 25.


The electric field in the region between 3R/2 and 2R can be obtained in a similar manner, and
is equal to

(53)

Using the electric field from eq.(52) and eq.(53) we can determine the potential difference
[Delta]V between the inner and outer sphere:

(54)

The capacitance of the system can be obtained from eq.(54) using the definition of the
capacitance in terms of the charge Q and the potential difference [Delta]V:

(55)

53
6 Energy in Capacitors
The electric potential energy of a capacitor containing no dielectric and with charge +/-Q on
its plates is given by

(56)

where V1 and V2 are the potentials of the two plates. The electric potential energy can also be
expressed in terms of the capacitance C of the capacitor

(57)

This formula is also correct for a capacitor with a dielectric; the properties of the dielectric
enters into this formula via the capacitance C.

Example Problem: Capacitors in Parallel.

Ten identical 5 uF capacitors are connected in parallel to a 240-V battery. The charged
capacitors are then disconnected from the battery and reconnected in series, the positive
terminal of each capacitor being connected to the negative terminal of the next. What is the
potential difference between the negative terminal of the first capacitor and the positive
terminal of the last capacitor ? If these terminals are connected via an external circuit, how
much charge will flow around this circuit as the series arrangement discharges ? How much
energy is released in the discharge ? Compare this charge and this energy with the charge and
energy stored in the original, parallel arrangement, and explain any discrepancies.

The charge on each capacitor, after being connected to the 240-V battery, is equal to

(58)

The potential difference across each capacitor will remain equal to 240 V after the capacitors
are connected in series. The total potential difference across the ten capacitors is thus equal to

(59)

If the two end terminals of the capacitor network are connected, a charge of 1.2 mC will flow
from the positive terminal to the negative terminal (see Figure 11).

54
Figure 11. Problem 40.
The electric energy stored in the capacitor network before discharge is equal to

(60)

The energy stored in each capacitor, after being charged to 240 V, is equal to

(61)

Clearly no energy is lost in the process of changing the capacitor configuration from parallel
to serial.

Example Problem: Energy Stored in Capacitors.

Three capacitors are connected as shown in Figure 12. Their capacitances are C 1 = 2.0 uF, C 2
= 6.0 uF, and C 3 = 8.0 uF. If a voltage of 200 V is applied to the two free terminals, what will
be the charge on each capacitor ? What will be the electric energy of each ?

Figure 12. problem 39.

Suppose the voltage across capacitor C 1 is V1, and the voltage across capacitor (C 2 + C3) is
V2. If the charge on capacitor C 1 is equal to Q1, then the charge on the parallel capacitor is
also equal to Q1. The potential difference across this system is equal to

55
(62)

The charge on capacitor 1 is thus determined by the potential difference [Delta]V

(63)

The voltage V23 across the capacitor (C 2 + C3) is related to the charge Q1

(64)

The charge on capacitor C 2 is equal to

(65)

The charge on capacitor C 3 is equal to

(66)

The electric potential energy stored in each capacitor is equal to

(67)

For the three capacitors in this problem the electric potential energy is equal to

(68)

(69)

(70)

56
CURRENTS AND OHMS LAW

1. Electric Current

Figure 1. Electric field in a wire.


When a wire is connected to the terminals of a battery, an electric field is generated inside the
wire (see Figure 1). The free electrons in the wire will move in a direction opposite to that of
the field lines. The electric charge will try to redistribute itself in such a way that the net
electric field in the wire is equal to zero. However, the positive terminal of a battery acts as a
sink for electrons and the negative terminal acts as a source of electrons, and a continuous
flow of electrons will be created. This continuous flow of electrons is called an electric
current. The symbol of current is I and its SI unit is the Ampere (A). The current is defined
as

(1)

where dq is the amount of charge that flows past some given point on the wire during a time
period dt. A current of 1 A is equal to 1 C/s. The current density j is defined as

(2)

where I is the current flowing through the conductor, and A is the cross-sectional area of the
conductor. Even though the electrons feel an electric field inside the conductor, they will not
accelerate. The electrons will experience significant friction as a result of collisions with the
positive ions in the conductor. On average, the electrons will move with a constant speed
from the negative terminal of the battery to the positive terminal. Their average velocity, also
called the drift velocity vd, is proportional to the electric field E

(3)

For a given density of electrons in the conductor, an increase of the drift velocity of each of
the electrons will increase the number of electrons passing by a given point on the conductor

57
per unit of time. This is illustrated in Figure 2. During a time interval dt the electrons will
cover, on average, a distance equal to dx where

(4)

Figure 2. Motion of average electron in conductor.


All electrons within a distance dx from the point P will therefore pass this point during the
time interval dt. Suppose the density of electrons in the conductor is n electrons/m3. The
number of electrons dN that will pass P during the time interval dt is then equal to

(5)

Since each electron carries a charge e, the total charge dQ that will pass point P in a time
interval dt is equal to

(6)

The current through the conductor is therefore equal to

(7)

Equation (7) shows that the current in the conductor is proportional to the cross-sectional area
of the conductor and proportional to the drift velocity. Since the drift velocity is proportional
to the electric field E the following relation holds for the current in the conductor:

(8)

The electric field in the conductor is determined by its length L and the potential difference
[Delta]V between its two ends (E = [Delta]V/L). Equation (8) can therefore be rewritten as

(9)

Equation (9) can be rewritten as

58
(10)

The constant of proportionality [rho] is called the resistivity of the material. The resistivity
[rho] depends on the characteristics of the conductor ([rho] is small for a good conductor, and
[rho] is very large for an insulator). The resistance R of a conductor is defined as

(11)

The SI unit of resistance is the ohm ([Omega]). Using the resistance R we can rewrite eq.(10)

(12)

Equation (12) is called Ohm's Law. Equation (12) shows that the current through a conductor
is proportional to the potential difference between the ends of the conductor and inversely
proportional to its resistance. Equation (12) also shows that 1 [Omega] equals 1 V/A.

Example: Resistance of a Wire

An aluminum wire has a resistance of 0.10 [Omega]. If you draw this wire through a die,
making it thinner and twice as long, what will be its new resistance ?

The initial resistance Ri of the aluminum wire with length L and cross-sectional area A is
equal to

(13)

The initial volume of the wire is L . A. After passing the wire through the die, it s length has
changed to L' and its cross-sectional area is equal A'. Its final volume is therefore equal to L'
A'. Since the density of the aluminum does not change, the volume of the wire does not
change, and therefore the initial and final dimensions of the wire are related:

(14)

or

(15)

The problem states that the length of the wire is doubled (L' = 2 L). The final cross-sectional
area A' is therefore related to the initial cross-sectional area A in the following manner:

(16)
59
The final resistance R f of the wire is given by

(17)

The resistance of the wire has increased by a factor of four and is now 0.40 [Omega].

2. The resistivity of materials


The resistivity [rho] has as units ohm-meter ([Omega] . m). The resistivity of most
conductors is between 10-8 [Omega] . m and 10-7 [Omega] . m. The resistivity of a conductor
depends not only on the type of the material but also on its temperature. The resistivity of an
insulator varies between 1011 [Omega] . m and 1017 [Omega] . m. In all materials the
resistivity decreases with decreasing temperature. In some materials, such as lead, zinc, tin
and niobium, the resistivity vanishes as the temperature approaches absolute zero. At these
low temperatures, these materials exhibit superconductivity.

Example: Connecting an AC

The air conditioner in a home draws a current of 12 A. Suppose that the pair of wires
connecting the air conditioner to the fuse box are No. 10 copper wires with a diameter of
0.259 cm and a length of 25 m each.

a) What is the potential drop along each wire ? Suppose that the voltage delivered to the home
is exactly 110 V at the fuse box. What is the voltage delivered to the air conditioner ?

b) Some older homes are wired with No. 12 copper wire with a diameter of 0.205 cm. Repeat
the calculation of part (a) for this wire.

Figure 3. Wiring diagram of air conditioner in problem 17.

a) The resistivity of copper is 1.7 x 10-8 [Omega] . m (see Table 1). The resistance R Cu of each
copper wire is equal to

60
(18)

where L is the length of the wire and d is its diameter. A current I is flowing through the wires
and I = 12 A. The voltage drop [Delta]V across each wire is equal to

(19)

Figure 3 shows schematically a wiring diagram of the air conditioner circuit. The voltage
across the air-conditioner unit is equal to 110 - 2 . [Delta]V, where [Delta]V is given by
eq.(19). The length of each copper cable is 25 m, and its diameter is equal to 0.259 cm. The
voltage drop across each wire is thus equal to

(20)

The voltage across the AC unit is therefore equal to 108.1 V.

b) A No. 12 wire has a diameter equal to 0.205 cm. The voltage drop across this wire is equal
to

(21)

and the voltage across the AC unit is equal to 106.9 V.

Example: HV Lines

A high voltage transmission line has an aluminum cable of diameter 3.0 cm, 200 km long.
What is the resistance of this cable ?

The resistivity of aluminum is 2.8 x 10-8 [Omega] m. the length of the cable is 200 km or 2 x
105 m. The diameter of the cable is 3 cm and its cross-sectional area is equal to [pi] (d/2)2 or
7.1 x 10-4 m2. Substituting these values into eq.(11) the resistance of the cable can be
determined

(22)

3. Resistance in combination
A device that is specifically designed to have a high resistance is called a resistor. The symbol
of a resistor in a circuit diagram is a zigzag line (see Figure 4).

61
Figure 4. Symbol of a resistor.
Figure 5 shows two resistors with resistance R 1 and R 2 connected in series. Suppose the
current flowing through the circuit is equal to I. The voltage drop [Delta]V1 across resistor R 1
is equal to

(23)

and the voltage drop [Delta]V2 across resistor R 2 is equal to

(24)

The potential difference [Delta]V across the series circuit is equal to

(25)

Equation (25) shows that two resistors connected in series act like one resistor with a
resistance equal to the sum of the resistance of resistor 1 and the resistance of resistor 2

(26)

Figure 5. Two resistors connected in series.


Figure 6 shows two resistors connected in parallel. In this circuit, the current through each
resistor will be different, but the voltage drop [Delta]V across each resistor will be the same.
Using Ohm's law the current I1 flowing through resistor R 1 can be calculated

(27)

and the current I2 flowing through resistor R 2 is equal to

(28)

The total current flowing through the circuit is equal to the sum of the currents through each
resistor

(29)

62
The resistor network shown in Figure 6 is therefore equivalent to a single resistor R where R
can be obtained from the following relation

(30)

Equation (30) shows that the resistance of a parallel combination of resistors is always less
than the resistance of each of the individual resistors.

Figure 6. Two resistor connected in parallel.

Example: Superconducting Cables

Commercially manufactured superconducting cables consist of filaments of superconducting


wire embedded in a matrix of copper. As long as the filaments are superconducting, all the
current flows in them, and no current flows in the copper. But if the superconductivity
suddenly fails because of a temperature increase, the current can spill into the copper; this
prevents damage to the filaments of the superconductor. Calculate the resistance per meter of
length of a copper matrix. The copper matrix has a diameter of 0.7 mm, and each of the 2100
filaments has a diameter of 0.01 mm.

Consider 1 meter of cable. The cross-sectional area of each filament is [pi] . (d/2)2 = 7.9 x 10-
11
m2. The cross-sectional area of 2100 filaments is equal to 1.65 x 10-7 m2. The diameter of
the copper matrix is equal to 0.7 mm, and its cross-sectional area is equal to 1.54 x 10-6 m2.
The area of the copper itself is thus equal to 1.37 x 10-6 m2. The resistance of the copper
matrix per unit length is equal to

(31)

Suppose the resistivity of the filament at room temperature is the same as the resistivity of
copper. The resistance of each superconducting filament is equal to

(32)

The wire can be treated as a parallel circuit of one resistor representing the resistance of the
copper matrix and 2100 resistors representing the 2100 strands of superconducting wire. The
fraction of the current flowing through the copper matrix can be determined easily. Suppose

63
that the potential difference across the conductor is equal to [Delta]V. The current ICu flowing
through the copper matrix is equal to

(33)

The current Ifil flowing through the 2100 filaments is equal to

(34)

The fraction F of the total current flowing through the copper matrix is equal to

(35)

Two special cases will need to be considered.

1. The temperature is below the critical temperature. At or below this temperature the
resistance of the filaments vanishes (R fil = 0 [Omega]). Equation (35) shows that in this case
no current will flow through the copper matrix.

2. If the temperature of the wire is above the critical temperature, the current flow will change
drastically. In this case, the fraction of the current flowing through the copper is equal to

(36)

The copper matrix will carry 90% of the total current.

Example: Resistors in Circuits

What is the resistance of the combination of four resistors shown in Figure 7. Each of the
resistors has a value of R.

Figure 7. Problem 42.

64
To find the net resistance of the circuit shown in Figure 7, we start calculating the net
resistance R 34 of the parallel circuit of resistors R 3 and R 4:

(37)

or

(38)

The circuit shown in Figure 7 is therefore equivalent with the circuit shown in Figure 8.
Resistors R 2 and R 34 form a series network and can be replaced by a single resistor with a
resistance R 234 where

(39)

Figure 8. Problem 42.

Figure 9. Problem 42.


The circuit shown in Figure 8 can now be replaced by an equivalent circuit shown in Figure 9.
The resistance R tot of this circuit can be obtained from the following relation

(40)

or

(41)

In the special case considered, R 1 = R2 = R3 = R4 = R. Thus

65
(42)

(43)

(44)

For R = 3 [Omega] the total resistance is equal to 1.8 [Omega].

66
DC CIRCUITS
1. Electromotive Force

Figure 1. Electron in electronic circuit.

To keep a current flowing in an electronics circuit we need a source of electric potential.


Consider the circuit shown in Figure 1. The electrons in the conductor move from the end
with the low (negative) potential towards the end with the high (positive) potential. The
velocity of the electron is limited by the friction it experiences while traveling through the
conductor, and on average will not change. However, the electron will lose potential energy,
and its total mechanical energy is therefore reduced when it arrives at the end of the circuit
(positive terminal of the source). In order to sustain the continuous flow of electrons around
the circuit, the source must force the electrons from the terminal with the positive potential to
the terminal with the negative potential. During this process, the source does work on the
electrons, and increases their total mechanical energy. The strength of the source is measured
in terms of the electromotive force (emf). The emf of a source is defined as the amount of
electric energy delivered by the source per Coulomb of positive charge as charge passes
through the source from the low-potential terminal to the high-potential terminal. A steady
current will flow through the circuit in Figure 1 if the increase of potential energy of the
electrons in the source is equal to the change in the potential energy of the electrons along
their path through the external circuit. The unit of emf is the Volt (V) and usually the emf is
simply called the voltage of the source. The symbol for emf is [epsilon]. The most important
sources of emf are:

1. Batteries: Batteries convert chemical energy into electric energy. In a lead-acid battery the
following reactions take place when the battery delivers a current:

(1)

and

(2)

67
These reactions deposit electrons on the negative electrode and absorb electrons from the
positive electrodes. The reactions in eq.(1) and eq.(2) will continue until the sulfuric acid is
depleted. At this point the battery is discharged. The battery can be recharged by forcing a
current through the battery in the reverse direction. The reverse of the reactions listed in eq.(1)
and eq.(2) will then occur.

2. Electric Generators: Electric generators convert mechanical energy into electric energy.
The principle of operation of electric generators will be discussed later.

3. Fuel cells: A mixture of chemicals are combined in the fuel cell. The chemical reactions
that occur are

(3)

and

(4)

The net result of these reactions is the conversion of hydrogen and oxygen into water which is
removed from the fuel cell in the form of water vapor. A fuel cell therefore burns fuel. The
efficiency of the best fuel cells is about 45%.

4. Solar Cell: A solar cell converts the energy of the sunlight directly into electric energy.
The emf of a silicon solar cell is 0.6 V. However, the amount of current that can be extracted
is rather small.

27.2. Single-loop currents


A source with a time-independent emf is represented by the symbol shown in Figure 2. The
long line in Figure 2 represents the positive terminal of the source, while the short line
represents the negative terminal.

Figure 2. Schematic symbol of source of emf.

An example of a simple circuit in which a resistor is connected between the terminals of the
emf source is shown in Figure 3. The current through this circuit can be determined by
applying Kirchhoff's rule, which states:

68
Around a closed loop in a circuit, the sum of all the emfs and all the potential changes across
resistors and other circuit elements must equal zero.

In this sum, the emf of a source is reckoned as positive if the current flows through the source
in the forward direction (from the negative terminal to the positive terminal) and negative if it
flows in the backward direction. (Note: the direction of the current indicates the direction of
the positive charge carriers).

Figure 3. Simple single-loop circuit.

The current flowing in the circuit shown in Figure 3 flows through the source from the
negative terminal to the positive terminal. The emf of the source is therefore positive. The
potential drop [Delta]V across the resistor can be determined using Ohm's law, and is equal to
I R. Applying Kirchhoff's rule one obtains the following equation:

(5)

The current in the circuit is therefore equal to

(6)

Figure 4. Real source consisting of internal resistance Ri and ideal emf [epsilon].

In a real circuit we will have to take the internal resistance R i of the source into account. The
internal resistance R i of the source can be regarded as connected in series to an ideal emf (see
Figure 4). If a current I is flowing though the source, the emf across the external terminals of
the source is equal to [epsilon] - I . Ri. The external emf therefore depends on the current
delivered by the source.
69
3. Multi-loop circuits.
The procedure used to calculate the current flowing through a complicated circuit (with
several resistors and emfs) is called the loop method. This procedure can be summarized as
follows (see Figure 5):

Figure 5. Multi-loop circuit

1. Regard the circuit as a collection of several closed current loops. The loops may overlap,
but each loop must have at least one portion that does not overlap with other loops. In Figure
5 there are clearly 3 current loops.

2. Label the current in the loops I1, I2, I3, ....., and arbitrarily assign a direction to each of the
currents. A useful policy can be to define the direction of the current in a loop as going from
the positive terminal of the emf to the negative terminal of the emf (if an emf is present in the
loop). This policy defines the direction of the current in loop 1, loop 2 and in loop 3 (see
Figure 6).

3. Apply Kirchhoff's rule to each loop.

Figure 6. Current loops in multi-loop circuit.

For loop 1 Kirchhoff's law states that

(7)

70
For loop 2 we find

(8)

Finally, for loop 3 we find

(9)

Using eq.(8) we can rewrite eq.(9) in the following manner

(10)

or

(11)

The current I2 can be obtained by substituting eq.(11) into eq.(8):

(12)

The current I1 can be obtained from eq.(7):

(13)

An alternative method to obtain the currents in a multi-loop circuit is the branch method
which is based on Kirchhoff's first rule:

The sum of all currents entering a branch point of a circuit (where three or more wires merge)
must be equal to the sum of the currents leaving the branch point.

The branch method involves the following steps (and is illustrated by discussing its
application to the circuit in Figure 7):

71
Figure 7. Branch method applied to multi-loop circuit.

1. Regard the given circuit as a collection of branches which begin and end at the points
where wires merge. The circuit in Figure 5 has five branches.

2. Label the currents in each branch I1, I2, I3, ....., and arbitrarily assign a direction to each of
these currents. The currents in the five branches of circuit 5 are indicated in Figure 7.

3. Apply Kirchhoff's second law to each loop.

4. Apply Kirchhoff's first law to each branch point.

For loop 1 of the circuit shown in Figure 7 Kirchhoff's law dictates that

(14)

For loop 2 we obtain

(15)

For loop 3 we obtain

(16)

Apply Kirchhoff's first law to the three branch points of the circuit shown in Figure 7:

(17)

(18)

(19)

This procedure produces six equations with 5 unknown and the system is over-defined.

72
The current I1 can be obtained from eq.(14):

(20)

Equation (15) can be used to determine I4:

(21)

The current I3 can be obtained from eq.(), using the solution for I4 just derived (eq.(21)):

(22)

The current I2 can be obtained from eq.(17):

(23)

The current I5 can be obtained from eq.(19)

(24)

Note: since the loop method involves fewer unknown and fewer equations, it is usually
quicker to use than the branch method.

Example Problem: Multi-loop Circuit

Consider the circuit shown in Figure 8. Given that [epsilon]1 = 6.0 V, [epsilon]2 = 10.0 V, and
R1 = 2.0 [Omega], what must be the value of the resistance R 2 if the current through this
resistance is to be 2.0 A ?

73
Figure 8. Multi-loop Circuit.

Consider the two loops shown in Figure 8. We will assume that the current in each loop flows
in a counter clockwise direction (as shown in Figure 8). The voltage drop across resistor R 1 is
equal to R 1 . (I1 - I2). The sum of all emfs and all potential drops across the resistors in loop 1
is

(25)

The sum of all emfs and all potential drops across the resistors in loop 2 is equal to

(26)

Equation (26) can be rewritten as

(27)

where we have used eq.(25). The current I2 is thus equal to

(28)

The problems states that [epsilon]1 = 6.0 V, [epsilon]2 = 10.0 V and I2 = 2.0 A. These values
combined with eq.(28) can be used to determine R 2:

(29)

4. Energy in circuits
To keep a current flowing in a circuit, work must be done on the circulating charges. If a
charge dq passes through a battery with emf [epsilon], the work done dW will be equal to

(30)

The rate at which the emf source does work is given by

(31)

74
The rate of work is called the power P, and the unit of power is the Watt (W, 1 W = 1 VA).

The moving charges dissipate some of their energy when passing through resistors. Suppose
the potential drop across a resistor is [Delta]V. For an electron moving through the resistor the
loss of potential energy is equal to e . [Delta]V. The energy lost is converted into heat, and the
rate at which energy is dissipated is equal to

(32)

or

(33)

the conversion of electric energy into thermal energy is called Joule heating.

Example Problem: High-Voltage Transmission Line

A high-voltage transmission line that connects a city to a power plant consists of a pair of
copper cables, each with a resistance of 4 [Omega]. The current flows to the city along one
cable, and back along the other.

a) The transmission line delivers to the city 1.7 x 105 kW of power at 2.3 x 105 V. What is the
current in the transmission line ? How much power is lost as Joule heat in the transmission
line ?

b) If the transmission line delivers the same 1.7 x 105 kW of power at 110 V, how much
power would be lost in Joule heat ? Is it more efficient to transmit power at high voltage or at
low voltage ?

a) The power delivered to the city, Pdelivered, is equal to 1.7 x 105 kW. The voltage delivered,
[Delta]Vdelivered, is equal to 2.3 x 105 V. The current through the cables can determined by
applying eq.(32):

(34)

This is also the current flowing through the transmission cables. The electric energy
dissipated in the cables is equal to

(35)

The power generated by the power plant must therefore be equal to

75
(36)

Comparing the power generated with the power delivered, we conclude that 98% of the
generated power is delivered to the city.

b) If the voltage delivered to the city is 110 V, than current through the transmission cables
must be equal to

(37)

This current is roughly 2000 times the current flowing through the transmission cables if the
power is delivered at high voltage. The power dissipated in the transmission cables is

(38)

The power generated by the power plant must therefore be equal to

(39)

Comparing the power generated with the power delivered, we conclude that only 0.0009% of
the generated power is delivered to the city. Clearly, our conclusion should be that the
transmission of electric energy at high voltage is much more efficient that the transmission at
low voltage. The voltage of the transmission line is therefore reduced to 110 V as close as
possible to the house of the customer.

Example Problem: Charging a Battery

A 12-V battery of internal resistance R i = 0.20 [Omega] is being charged by an external


source of emf delivering 6.0 A.

a) What must be the minimum emf of the external source ?

b) What is the rate at which heat is developed in the internal resistance of the battery ?

a) The circuit describing this problem is shown in Figure 9. In Figure 9 [epsilon]1 is the emf
of the battery being recharged, and [epsilon]2 is the emf of the recharger. Applying
Kirchhoff's second rule to the single loop circuit we obtain the following relation between the
charging current and the emfs:

(40)

Equation (40) can be rewritten as

76
(41)

The emf of the battery to be recharged is [epsilon]1 = 12.0 V and it has an internal resistance
Ri = 0.20 [Omega]. If the recharger is to deliver a current I = 6.0 A then the emf of the
recharger must be equal to

(42)

Figure 9. Problem 24.


b) The power dissipation in the internal resistance of the battery can be calculated by using
eq.(33)

(43)

Example Problem: Draining a Battery

Suppose that a 12-V battery has an internal resistance of 0.40 [Omega].

a) If this battery delivers a steady current of 1.0 A into an external circuit until it is completely
discharged, what fraction of the initial stored energy is wasted in the internal resistance ?

b) What if the battery delivers a current of 10.0 A ? Is it more efficient to use the battery at
low current or at high current ?

a) Suppose the battery as an emf [epsilon]b and delivers a current I. The internal resistance of
the battery is equal to R i. The voltage drop across the internal resistance is equal to I R i. The
external voltage of the battery if thus equal to ([epsilon]b - I Ri). The power delivered by the
battery to the external circuit is therefore equal to

(44)

The total power delivered by the emf is equal to

(45)

77
The fraction of the total delivered power that is dissipated in the internal resistance of the
battery is equal to

(46)

The ratio in eq.(46) is proportional to the current I. Using the values of the parameters
specified in the problem we can calculate the ratio:

(47)

5. The RC circuit
The current through the circuits discussed so far have been time-independent, as long as the
emf of the source is time-independent. The currents in these circuits can be determined by
applying Kirchhoff's first and/or second rule.

A simple circuit in which the current is time dependent is the RC circuit which consists of a
resistor R connected in series with a capacitor C (see Figure 10). Applying Kirchhoff's second
rule to the current loop I gives

(48)

However, the current I through the resistor and the charge Q on the capacitor are related:

(49)

Substituting eq.(49) into eq.(48) we obtain

(50)

78
Figure 10. Simple RC circuit.
Equation (50) is a simple differential equation which can be solved for Q. The first step is to
rewrite eq.(50) in the following manner:

(51)

The second step is to integrate each side of eq.(51):

(52)

where Q0 is the charge on the capacitor at time t = 0. After evaluating both integrals in eq.(52)
we obtain

(53)

Equation (53) can be rewritten as

(54)

or

(55)

Let us consider the case in which the capacitor is discharged at time t = 0 (that is Q0 = 0 C).
Equation (55) can then be rewritten as

79
(56)

The charge on the capacitor will increase as function of time and the final charge Qf on the
capacitor is equal to

(57)

The time constant of the charging process of the capacitor is equal to RC. When the charged
capacitor is connected in series across a resistor, the charge on the capacitor will decrease.
The time constant for this process is also RC. Once we know the charge on the capacitor as
function of time we can immediately find the current as function of time by applying eq.(48):

(58)

The current at time t = 0 is equal to [epsilon]/R and it decreases to zero with increasing time.

80
THE MAGNETIC FORCE AND FIELD.
1. The magnetic force
Up to now we have only considered the electrostatic forces acting on charges at rest. When
the charges are in motion, an extra force acts on them. This extra force is called the magnetic
force. The magnetic force between two charges q 1 and q 2, moving with velocities v1 and v2, is
equal to

(1)

where u 0 is called the permeability constant which is equal to 4[pi] x 10-7 Ns2/C2, and r is
the distance between the two charges (see Figure 1). The ratio R of the magnetic force and the
electric force is equal to

(2)

Figure 1. Relevant vectors for definition of magnetic force.


Substituting the numerical values of [epsilon]0 and u 0 into eq.(2), the ratio R can be rewritten
as

(3)

where c is the velocity of light in vacuum (c = 3 x 108 m/s). Clearly, the magnetic force is
small compared with the electric force unless the speed of the particles is high (a significant
fraction of the velocity of light).

A magnetic field B can be associated with the magnetic force. The magnetic field at some
point in the vicinity of a moving charge can be determined by placing a test charge at that
point and moving it with some velocity v. The test charge will experience, besides the electric

81
force, a magnetic force Fmag. Per definition, the magnetic field B is related to the magnetic
force Fmag via

(4)

A measurement of the magnetic force acting on the test charge for various directions of v can
be used to determine the magnetic field B. The magnetic force is always perpendicular to the
velocity vector and the direction of the magnetic field. The unit of magnetic field strength is
the Tesla (T). Comparing eq.(1) and eq.(4) we can determine the magnetic field generated by
a point charge q 2 moving with a velocity v2:

(5)

Similar to electric field lines we can graphically represent the magnetic field by field lines.
The density of field lines indicates the strength of the magnetic field. The tangent of the field
lines indicates the direction of the magnetic field. The magnetic field lines form closed loops,
that is they do not begin or end anywhere in the way that the electric field lines begin and end
on positive and negative charges. This immediately implies that the magnetic flux through an
arbitrary closed surface is equal to zero:

(6)

The principle of superposition is also valid for the magnetic field.

Example Problem: Magnetic Field of a Neutron Star

At the surface of a pulsar, or neutron star, the magnetic field may be as strong as 108 T.
Consider the electron in a hydrogen atom on the surface of the neutron star. The electron is at
a distance of 0.53 x 10-10 m from the proton and has a speed of 2.2 x 106 m/s. Compare the
electric force that the proton exerts on the electron with the magnetic force that the magnetic
field of the neutron star exerts on the electron. Is it reasonable to expect that the hydrogen
atom will be strongly deformed by the magnetic field ?

The electron in a hydrogen atom is at a distance r equal to 0.53 x 10-10 m from the proton. The
electric force acting on the electron is equal to

(7)

82
The maximum magnetic force acting on the electron occurs when the direction of the electron
is perpendicular to the direction of the magnetic field. The maximum magnetic force is equal
to

(8)

Comparing eq.(7) and eq.(8) we conclude that the magnetic field is significantly stronger hat
the electric field, and we expect that the orbits of the electrons are strongly affected by the
intense magnetic field.

2. The Biot-Savart Law


The definition of the magnetic force showed that two moving charges experience a magnetic
force. In other words, a moving charge produces a magnetic field which results in a magnetic
force acting on all charges moving in this field.

A current flowing through a wire is equivalent to a collection of electrons moving with a


certain velocity along the direction of the wire. Each of the moving electrons produces a
magnetic field that is given by eq.(5). Consider a small segment of the wire with a length dL
(see Figure 2). At any given time, a charge dq will be located in this segment. The magnetic
field, dB, generated by this charge at point P is equal to

(9)

where v is the velocity of the charge carriers. The time dt that it takes for all original charge
carriers to leave the segment dL is given by

(10)

The current I in the wire can now be obtained easily

(11)

83
Figure 2. Calculation of magnetic field produced by an electric current.
This equation can be rewritten as

(12)

and substituted into eq.(9):

(13)

Equation (13) is called the Biot-Savart Law.

Example Problem: Helmholtz Coils

Helmholtz coils are often used to make reasonably uniform magnetic fields in laboratories.
These coils consist of two thin circular rings of wire parallel to each other and on a common
axis, the z-axis. The rings have a radius R and they are separated by a distance which is also
R. These rings carry equal currents in the same direction. Find the magnetic field at any point
on the z-axis.

Figure 3. Calculation of magnetic field produced by one ring.


The first step to calculate the field of a pair of Helmholtz coils is to calculate the magnetic
field produced by each ring. Suppose the ring is located in the x-y plane and we are interested
in the field at point P, a distance z above the x-y plane (see Figure 3). The net magnetic field

84
of the ring at point P will be directed along the z-axis. The magnitude dB of the magnetic
field produced by a small segment of the ring with length dL is equal to

(14)

To obtain eq.(14) we have used the fact that for any point on the ring, the position vector r is
perpendicular to the direction of dL. The z-component of the magnetic field dB is equal to

(15)

The magnitude of the position vector r is related to R and z:

(16)

The angle a is also related to R and z:

(17)

Combining eqs.(15), (16) and (17) we obtain

(18)

Integrating eq.(18) over the whole ring we obtain for the total field generated by the ring

(19)

Figure 4 shows the magnetic field generated by one coil with a radius of 1 m, located at z = 0
m.

To find the field generated by a pair of Helmholtz coils, we assume that the coils are centered
at z = 0 and at z = R. The magnetic field generated by the coil located at z = 0 is given by
eq.(19). The magnetic field generated by the coil located at z = R is given by

(20)

85
The total field on the axis of a pair of Helmholtz coils is equal to the sum of the field
generated by coil 1 and the field generated by coil 2:

(21)

The total magnetic field generated by a pair of Helmholtz coils is shown in Figure 5 where
also the contributions of the two coils are shown individually. We observe that the field is
very homogeneous between the coils (0 < z < R).

Figure 4. Magnetic field generated by a coil with R = 1 m.

Figure 5. Magnetic field generated by a pair of Helmholtz coils.

Example Problem: Magnetic Field due to a Long Wire

A very long wire is bent at a right angle near its midpoint. One branch of it lies along the
positive x-axis and the other along the positive y-axis (see Figure 6). The wire carries a
current I. What is the magnetic field at a point in the first quadrant of the x-y plane ?

86
Figure 6. Example Problem "Magnetic Field due to a Long Wire"

Figure 7. Field generated by wire.


The first step to solve this problem is to look at the magnetic field produced by this single
wire (see Figure 7). The direction of the magnetic field generated by a small segment of the
wire is pointing out of the paper. The magnitude of the field, dB, is equal to

(22)

The position x of the segment under consideration is determined by the angle a:

(23)

or

(24)

From eq.(24) we can obtain a relation between dx and da:

(25)

87
Furthermore,

(26)

Substituting eq.(25) and eq.(26) into eq(22) we obtain

(27)

The total field can be obtained by integrating eq.(27) over the wire. The integration limits are

(28)

and

(29)

The result of the integration is

(30)

The field of the vertical wire can be obtained in a similar fashion:

(31)

The magnitude of the total field is thus equal to

(32)

88
3. The magnetic dipole
The magnetic field on the axis of a current loop was discussed when we studied the field
generated by Helmholtz coils. At large distances from the current loop (z >> R) the field is
approximately equal to

(33)

which shows that the magnetic field strength decreases as 1/z3. This dependence of the
magnetic field strength on distance is similar to the dependence observed for the electric field
strength of an electric dipole:

(34)

Equation (33) is often rewritten as

(35)

where

(36)

is called the magnetic dipole moment of the loop. In general, the dipole moment of a current
loop is equal to

(37)

Magnetic dipole moments exist for objects as small as electrons and as large as the earth.

Example Problem: Spinning Charged Disk

An amount of charge Q is uniformly distributed over a disk of paper of radius R. The disk
spins about its axis with angular velocity [omega]. Find the magnetic dipole moment of the
disk.

The first step to solve this problem is to determine the dipole moment of a ring of the disk,
with radius r and with a width dr. The amount of charge dq on this ring is equal to

89
(38)

The angular velocity of the disk is [omega] and its period T is equal to

(39)

During one period the charge dq will pass any given point on the ring. The current dI is thus
equal to

(40)

The magnetic dipole moment du of the ring is equal to

(41)

The total dipole moment of the disk can be found by integrating eq.(41) between r = 0 and r =
R:

(42)

90
AMPERES LAW
1. Introduction
The magnetic field at a distance r from a very long straight wire, carrying a steady current I,
has a magnitude equal to

(1)

and a direction perpendicular to r and I. The path integral along a circle centered around the
wire (see Figure 1) is equal to

(2)

Here we have used the fact that the magnetic field is tangential at any point on the circular
integration path.

Figure 1. Magnetic field generated by current.


Any arbitrary path can be thought of as a collection of radial segments (r changes and [theta]
remains constant) and circular segments ([theta] changes and r remains constant). For the
radial segments the magnetic field will be perpendicular to the displacement and the scaler
product between the magnetic field and the displacement is zero. Consider now a small
circular segment of a trajectory around the wire (see Figure 2). The path integral along this
circular segment is equal to

(3)

91
Figure 2. Path integral along a small circular path.
Equation (3) shows that the contribution of this circular segment to the total path integral is
independent of the distance r and only depends on the change in the angle [Delta][theta]. For
a closed path, the total change in angle will be 2[pi], and eq.(3) can be rewritten as

(4)

This expression is Ampere's Law:

" The integral of B around any closed mathematical path equals u 0 times the current
intercepted by the area spanning the path "

Example Problem: Field due to six parellel wires

Six parallel aluminum wires of small, but finite, radius lie in the same plane. The wires are
separated by equal distances d, and they carry equal currents I in the same direction. Find the
magnetic field at the center of the first wire. Assume that the currents in each wire is
uniformly distributed over its cross section.

A schematic layout of the problem is shown in Figure 3. The magnetic field generated by a
single wire is equal to

(5)

where r is the distance from the center of the wire. Equation (5) is correct for all points
outside the wire, and can therefore be used to determine the magnetic field generated by wire
2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. The field at the center of wire 1, due to the current flowing in wire 1, can be
determined using Ampere's law, and is equal to zero. The total magnetic field at the center of
wire 1 can be found by vector addition of the contributions of each of the six wires. Since the
direction of each of these contributions is the same, the total magnetic field at the center of
wire 1 is equal to

(6)

92
Figure 3. Six parallel wires.

2. The solenoid
A solenoid is a device used to generate a homogeneous magnetic field. It can be made of a
thin conducting wire wound in a tight helical coil of many turns. The magnetic field inside a
solenoid can be determined by summing the magnetic fields generated by N individual rings
(where N is the number of turns of the solenoid). We will limit our discussion of the magnetic
field generated by a solenoid to that generated by an ideal solenoid which is infinitely long,
and has very tightly wound coils.

The ideal solenoid has translational and rotational symmetry. However, since magnetic field
lines must form closed loops, the magnetic field can not be directed along a radial direction
(otherwise field lines would be created or destroyed on the central axis of the solenoid).
Therefore we conclude that the field lines in a solenoid must be parallel to the solenoid axis.
The magnitude of the magnetic field can be obtained by applying Ampere's law.

Figure 4. The ideal solenoid.


Consider the integration path shown in Figure 4. The path integral of the magnetic field
around this integration path is equal to

(7)

where L is the horizontal length of the integration path. The current enclosed by the
integration path is equal to N . I0 where N is the number of turns enclosed by the integration
path and I0 is the current in each turn of the solenoid. Using Ampere's law we conclude that

(8)

or

(9)

93
where n is the number of turns of the solenoid per unit length. Equation (9) shows that the
magnetic field B is independent of the position inside the solenoid. We conclude that the
magnetic field inside an ideal solenoid is uniform.

Example Problem: Superposition of magnetic fields

A long solenoid of n turns per unit length carries a current I, and a long straight wire lying
along the axis of this solenoid carries a current I'. Find the net magnetic field within the
solenoid, at a distance r from the axis. Describe the shape of the magnetic field lines.

The magnetic field generated by the solenoid is uniform, directed parallel to the solenoid axis,
and has a magnitude equal to

(10)

The magnetic field if a long straight wire, carrying a current I' has a magnitude equal to

(11)

and is directed perpendicular to the direction of r and I'. The direction of Bwire is therefore
perpendicular to the direction of Bsol. The net magnetic field inside the solenoid is equal to the
vector sum of Bwire and Bsol. Its magnitude is equal to

(12)

The angle a between the direction of the magnetic field and the z-axis is given by

(13)

Example Problem: Coaxial cable

A coaxial cable consists of a long cylindrical copper wire of radius r1 surrounded by a


cylindrical shell of inner radius r2 and outer radius r3 (see Figure 5). The wire and the shell
carry equal and opposite currents I uniformly distributed over their volumes. Find formulas
for the magnetic field in each of the regions r < r1, r1 < r < r2, r2 < r < r3, and r > r3.

The magnetic field lines are circles, centered on the symmetry axis of the coaxial cable. First
consider an integration path with r < r1. The path integral of B along this path is equal to

94
(14)

The current enclosed by this integration path is equal to

(15)

Applying Faraday's law we can relate the current enclosed to the path integral of B

(16)

Therefore, the magnetic field is B is equal to

(17)

Figure 5. The coaxial cable.


In the region between the wire and the shell, the enclosed current is equal to I and the path
integral of the magnetic field is given by eq.(14). Ampere's law states then that

(18)

and the magnetic field is given by

(19)

In the third region (r2 < r < r3) the path integral of the magnetic field along a circular path with
radius r is given by eq.(14). The enclosed current is equal to

95
(20)

The magnetic field is therefore equal to

(21)

The current enclosed by an integration path with a radius r > r3 is equal to zero (since the
current in the wire and in the shell are flowing in opposite directions). The magnetic field in
this region is therefore also equal to zero.

3. Motion of charges in electric and magnetic fields


The magnetic force acting on particle with charge q moving with velocity v is equal to

(22)

This force is always perpendicular to the direction of motion of the particle, and will therefore
only change the direction of motion, and not the magnitude of the velocity. If the charged
particle is moving in a uniform magnetic field, with strength B, that is perpendicular to the
velocity v, then the magnitude of the magnetic force is given by

(23)

and its direction is perpendicular to v. As a result of this force, the particle will carry out
uniform circular motion. The radius of the circle is determined by the requirement that the
strength magnetic force is equal to the centripetal force. Thus

(24)

The radius r of the orbit is equal to

(25)

where p is the momentum of the charged particle. The distance traveled by the particle in one
revolution is equal to

96
(26)

The time T required to complete one revolution is equal to

(27)

The frequency of this motion is equal to

(28)

and is called the cyclotron frequency. Equation (28) shows that the cyclotron frequency is
independent of the energy of the particle, and depends only on its mass m and charge q.

The effect of a magnetic field on the motion of a charged particle can be used to determine
some of its properties. One example is a measurement of the charge of the electron. An
electron moving in a uniform magnetic field will described a circular motion with a radius
given by eq.(25). Suppose the electron is accelerated by a potential V0. The final kinetic
energy of the electron is given by

(29)

The momentum p of the electron is determined by its kinetic energy

(30)

The radius of curvature of the trajectory of the electron is thus equal to

(31)

Equation (31) shows that a measurement of r can be used to determine the mass over charge
ratio of the electron.

Another application of the effect of a magnetic field on the motion of a charged particle is the
cyclotron. A cyclotron consists of an evacuated cavity placed between the poles of a large
electromagnet. The cavity is cut into two D-shaped pieces (called dees) with a gap between
them. An oscillating high voltage is connected to the plates, generating an oscillating electric
field in the region between the two dees. A charged particle, injected in the center of the
cyclotron, will carry out a uniform circular motion for the first half of one turn. The frequency
of the motion of the particle depends on its mass, its charge and the magnetic field strength.
The frequency of the oscillator is chosen such that each time the particle crosses the gap
between the dees, it will be accelerated by the electric field. As the energy of the ion

97
increases, its radius of curvature will increase until it reaches the edge of the cyclotron and is
extracted. During its motion in the cyclotron, the ion will cross the gap between the dees
many times, and it will be accelerated to high energies.

Up to now we have assumed that the direction of the motion of the charged particle is
perpendicular to the direction of the magnetic field. If this is the case, uniform circular motion
will result. If the direction of motion of the ion is not perpendicular to the magnetic field,
spiral motion will result. The velocity of the charged particle can be decomposed into two
components: one parallel and one perpendicular to the magnetic field. The magnetic force
acting on the particle will be determined by the component of its velocity perpendicular to the
magnetic field. The projection of the motion of the particle on the x-y plane (assumed to be
perpendicular to the magnetic field) will be circular. The magnetic field will not effect the
component of the motion parallel to the field, and this component of the velocity will remain
constant. The net result will be spiral motion.

4. Crossed electric and magnetic fields


A charged particle moving in a region with an electric and magnetic field will experience a
total force equal to

(32)

This force is called the Lorentz force.

Figure 6. Charged particle moving in crossed E and B fields.


Consider a special case in which the electric field is perpendicular to the magnetic field. The
motion of a charged particle in such a region can be quit complicated. A charged particle with
a positive charge q and velocity v is moving in this field (see Figure 6). The direction of the
particle shown in Figure 6 is perpendicular to both the electric field and the magnetic field.
The electric force acting on the particle is directed along the direction of the electric field and
has a magnitude equal to

(33)

The magnetic force acting on the charge particle is directed perpendicular to both v and B and
has a magnitude equal to

98
(34)

The net force acting on the particle is the sum of these two components and has a magnitude
equal to

(35)

If the charged particle has a velocity equal to

(36)

then the net force will be equal to zero, and the motion of the particle will be uniform linear
motion. A device with crossed electric and magnetic fields is called a velocity selector. If slit
are placed in the appropriate positions, it will transport only those particles that have a
velocity defined by the magnitudes of the electric and magnetic fields.

Figure 7. Current in a magnetic field.


A technique used to determine the density and sign of charge carriers in a metal is based on
the forces exerted by crossed E and B fields on the charge carriers. The diagram shown in
Figure 7 shows a metallic strip carrying a current in the direction shown and placed in a
uniform magnetic field with the direction of the magnetic field being perpendicular to the
electric field (which generates the current I). Suppose the charge carriers in the material are
electrons, than the electrons will move in a direction opposite to that of the current (see Figure
7). Since the magnetic field is perpendicular to the electric field, it is also perpendicular to the
direction of motion of the electrons. As a result of the magnetic force, the electrons are
deflected downwards, and an excess of negative charge will be created on the bottom of the
strip. At the same time, a deficit of negative charge will be created at the top of the strip. This
charge distribution will generate an electric field that is perpendicular to the external electric
field and, under equilibrium conditions, the electric force produced by this field will cancel
the magnetic force acting on the electrons. When this occurs, the internal electric field, Ein, is
equal to the product of the electron velocity, vd, and the strength of the magnetic field, B. As a
result of the internal electric field, a potential difference will be created between the top and
bottom of the strip. If the metallic strip has a width w, then the potential difference [Delta]V
will be equal to

99
(37)

This effect is called the Hall effect.

The drift velocity of the electrons depend on the current I in the wire, its cross sectional area
A and the density n of electrons (see Chapter 28):

(38)

Combining eq.(38) and eq.(37) we obtain the following expression for [Delta]V

(39)

A measurement of [Delta]V can therefore be used to determine n.

5. Forces on a wire
A current I flowing through a wire is equivalent to a collection of charges moving with a
certain velocity vd along the wire. The amount of charge dq present in a segment dL of the
wire is equal to

(40)

If the wire is placed in a magnetic field, a magnetic force will be exerted on each of the
charge carriers, and as a result, a force will be exerted on the wire. Suppose the angle between
the direction of the current and the direction of the field is equal to [theta] (see Figure 8). The
magnetic force acting on the segment dL of the wire is equal to

(41)

The total force exerted by the magnetic field on the wire can be found by integrating eq.(41)
along the entire wire.

100
Figure 8. Magnetic force on wire.

Example Problem: Magnetic balance

A balance can be used to measure the strength of the magnetic field. Consider a loop of wire,
carrying a precisely known current, shown in Figure 9 which is partially immersed in the
magnetic field. The force that the magnetic field exerts on the loop can be measured with the
balance, and this permits the calculation of the strength of the magnetic field. Suppose that the
short side of the loop measured 10.0 cm, the current in the wire is 0.225 A, and the magnetic
force is 5.35 x 10-2 N. What is the strength of the magnetic field ?

Consider the three segments of the current loop shown in Figure 9 which are immersed in the
magnetic field. The magnetic force acting on segment 1 and 3 have equal magnitude, but are
directed in an opposite direction, and therefore cancel. The magnitude of the magnetic force
acting on segment 2 can be calculated using eq.(41) and is equal to

(42)

This force is measured using a balance and is equal to 5.35 x 10-2 N. The strength of the
magnetic field is thus equal to

(43)

101
Figure 9. Current loop in immersed in magnetic field.

6. Torque on a current loop


If a current loop is immersed in a magnetic field, the net magnetic force will be equal to zero.
However, the torque on this loop will in general not be equal to zero. Suppose a rectangular
current loop is placed in a uniform magnetic field (see Figure 10). The angle between the
normal of the current loop and the magnetic field is equal to [theta]. The magnetic forces
acting on the top and the bottom sections of the current loop are equal to

(44)

where L is the length of the top and bottom edge. The torque exerted on the current loop, with
respect to its axis, is equal to

(45)

102
Figure 10. Current loop placed in uniform magnetic field.
Using the definition of the magnetic dipole moment u, discussed in Chapter 30, eq.(45) can be
rewritten as

(46)

where

(47)

Using vector notation, eq.(45) can be rewritten as

(48)

where the direction of the magnetic moment is defined using the right-hand rule.

The work that must be done against the magnetic field to rotate the current loop by an angle
d[theta] is equal to - [tau] d[theta]. The change in potential energy of the current loop when it
rotates between [theta]0 and [theta]1 is given by

(49)

A common choice for the reference point is [theta]0 = 90deg. and U([theta]0) = 0 J. If this
choice is made we can rewrite eq.(50) as

(50)

In vector notation:

103
(51)

The potential energy of the current loop has a minimum when u and B are parallel, and a
maximum when u and B are anti-parallel.

104
ELECTROMAGNETIC INDUCTION
1. Motional emf
Figure 1 shows a rod, made of conducting material, being moved with a velocity v in a
uniform magnetic field B. The magnetic force acting on a free electron in the rod will be
directed upwards and has a magnitude equal to

(1)

Figure 1. Moving conductor in magnetic field.


As a result of the magnetic force electrons will start to accumulate at the top of the rod. The
charge distribution of the rod will therefore change, and the top of the rod will have an excess
of electrons (negative charge) while the bottom of the rod will have a deficit of electrons
(positive charge). This charge distribution will produce an electric field in the rod. The
strength of this electric field will increase until the electrostatic force produced by this field is
equal in magnitude to the magnetic force. As this point the upward flow of electrons will stop
and

(2)

or

(3)

The induced electric field will generate a potential difference [Delta]V between the ends of
the rod, equal to

(4)

where L is the length of the rod. If the ends of the rod are connected with a circuit providing a
return path for the accumulated charge, the rod will be a source of emf. Since the emf is
associated with the motion of the rod through the magnetic field it is called motional emf.
Equation (4) shows that the magnitude of the emf is proportional to the velocity v. Looking at

105
Figure 1 we observe that vL is the area swept across by the rod per second. The quantity BvL
is the magnetic flux swept across by the rod per second. Thus

(5)

Although this formula was derived for the special case shown in Figure 1, it is valid in
general. It holds for rods and wires of arbitrary shape moving through arbitrary magnetic
fields.

Equation (5) relates the induced emf to the rate at which the enclosed magnetic flux changes.
In the system shown in Figure 1 the enclosed flux changes due to the motion of the rod. The
enclosed magnetic flux can also be changed if the strength of the enclosed magnetic field
changes. In both cases the result will be an induced emf. The relation between the induced
emf and the change in magnetic flux is known as Faraday's law of induction:

" The induced emf along a moving or changing mathematical path in a


constant or changing magnetic field equals the rate at which magnetic flux
sweeps across the path. "

If we consider a closed path, Faraday's law can be stated as follows:

" The induced emf around a closed mathematical path in magnetic field is
equal to the rate of change of the magnetic flux intercepted by the area within
the path "

or

(6)

The minus sign in eq.(6) indicates how polarity of the induced emf is related to the sign of the
flux and to the rate of change of flux. The sign of the flux is fixed by the right-hand rule:

" Curl the fingers of your right hand in the direction in which we are reckoning
the emf around the path; the magnetic flux is then positive if the magnetic field
lines point in the direction of the thumb, and negative otherwise. "

Example Problem: Metal Rod in Magnetic Field

A metal rod of length L and mass m is free to slide, without friction, on two parallel metal
tracks. The tracks are connected at one end so that they and the rod form a closed circuit (see
Figure 2). The rod has a resistance R, and the tracks have a negligible resistance. A uniform
magnetic field is perpendicular to the plane of this circuit. The magnetic field is increasing at
a constant rate dB/dt. Initially the magnetic field has a strength B0 and the rod is at rest at a
distance x 0 from the connected end of the rails. Express the acceleration of the rod at this
instant in terms of the given quantities.

106
Figure 2. Metal Rod in Magnetic Field.

The magnetic flux [Phi] enclosed by the rod and the tracks at time t = 0 s is given by

(7)

The magnetic field is increasing with a constant rate, and consequently the enclosed magnetic
flux is also increasing:

(8)

Faraday's law of induction can now be used to determine the induced emf:

(9)

As a result of the induced emf a current will flow through the rod with a magnitude equal to

(10)

The direction of the current is along the wire, and therefore perpendicular to the magnetic
field. The force exerted by the magnetic field on the rod is given by

(11)

(see Chapter 31). Combining eq.(10) and (11) we obtain for the force on the wire

(12)

107
The acceleration of the rod at time t = 0 s is therefore equal to

(13)

Example Problem: Induced EMF in a Solenoid

a) A long solenoid has 300 turns of wire per meter and has a radius of 3.0 cm. If the current in
the wire is increasing at a rate of 50 A/s, at what rate does the strength of the magnetic field in
the solenoid increase ?

b) The solenoid is surrounded by a coil with 120 turns. The radius of this coil is 6.0 cm. What
induced emf will be generated in this coil while the current in the solenoid is increasing ?

a) The magnetic field in a solenoid was discussed in Chapter 31. If the solenoid has n turns
per meter and if I is the current through each coil than the field inside the solenoid is equal to

(14)

Therefore,

(15)

In this problem n = 300 turns/meter and dI/dt = 50 A/s. The change in the magnetic field is
thus equal to

(16)

This equation shows that the magnetic field is increasing at a rate of 0.019 T/s.

b) Since the magnetic field in the solenoid is changing, the magnetic flux enclosed by the
surrounding coil will also change. The flux enclosed by a single winding of this coil is

(17)

where rin = 3.0 cm is the radius of the solenoid. Here we have assumed that the strength of the
magnetic field outside the solenoid is zero. The total flux enclosed by the outside coils is
equal to

(18)
108
The rate of change of the magnetic flux due to that change in magnetic field is given by

(19)

As a result of the change in the current in the solenoid an emf will be induced in the outer
coil, with a value equal to

(20)

If the ends of the coil are connected, a current will flow through the conductor. The direction
of the current in the coil can be determined using Lenz' law which states that

" The induced emfs are always of such a polarity as to oppose the change that generates them
"

Let us apply Lenz' law to problem 12. The direction of the magnetic field can be determined
using the right hand rule and is pointed to the right. If the current in the solenoid increases the
flux will also increase. The current in the external coil will flow in such a direction as to
oppose this change. This implies that the current in this coil will flow counter clock wise (the
field generated by the induced current is directed opposite to the field generated by the large
solenoid).

2. The Induced Electric-Field


A rod moving in a magnetic field will have an induced emf as a result of the magnetic force
acting on the free electrons. The induced emf will be proportional to the linear velocity v of
the rod. If we look at the rod from a reference frame in which the rod is at rest, the magnetic
force will be zero. However, there must still be an induced emf. Since this emf can not be
generated by the magnetic field, it must be due to an electric field which exists in the moving
reference frame. The magnitude of this electric field must be such that the same induced emf
is created as is generated in the reference frame in which the rod is moving. This requires that

(21)

The electric field E' that exists in the reference frame of the moving rod is called the induced
electric field. The emf generated between the ends of the rod is equal to

(22)

which is equivalent to eq.(4). If the induced electric field is position dependent, then we have
to replace eq.(22) with an integral expression

109
(23)

where the integral extends from one end of the rod to the other end of the rod.

The difference between the induced electric field and the electric field generated by a static
charge distribution is that in the former case the field is not conservative and the path integral
along a closed path is equal to

(24)

which is non-zero if the magnetic flux is time dependent.

3 Inductance
A changing current in a conductor (like a coil) produces a changing magnetic field. This time-
dependent magnetic field can induce a current in a second conductor if it is placed in this
field. The emf induced in this second conductor, [epsilon]2, will depend on the magnetic flux
through this conductor:

(25)

The flux [Phi]B1 depends on the strength of the magnetic field generated by conductor 1, and
is therefore proportional to the current I1 through this conductor:

(26)

Here, the constant L21 depends on the size of the two coils, on their separation distance, and
on the number of turns in each coil. The constant L21 is called the mutual inductance of the
two coils. Using this constant, eq.(25) can be rewritten as

(27)

The unit of inductance is the Henry (H) and from eq.(27) we conclude that

(28)

110
When the magnetic field generated by a coil changes (due to a change in current) the
magnetic flux enclosed by the coil will also change. This change in flux will induce an emf in
the coil, and since the emf is due to a change in the current through the coil it is called the
self-induced emf. The self-induced emf is equal to

(29)

In equation (29) L is called the self inductance of the coil. The self-induced emf will act in
such a direction to oppose the change in the current.

Example Problem: Mutual Induction

A long solenoid of radius R has n turns per unit length. A circular coil of wire of radius R'
with n' turns surround the solenoid. What is the mutual induction ? Does the shape of the coil
of wire matter ?

The field inside the solenoid is assumed to be that of an infinitely long solenoid and has a
strength equal to

(30)

The flux enclosed by the external coil is equal to

(31)

The induced emf in the external coil is equal to

(32)

The mutual inductance L12 is thus equal to

(33)

4. Magnetic Energy
If a steady current flows through an inductor, a time-independent magnetic field is created. If
suddenly the current source is disconnected, the change in the enclosed magnetic flux will

111
generate a self-induced emf which will try to keep the current flowing in the original
direction. The electric energy delivered by the self-induced emf was originally stored in the
inductor in the form of magnetic energy. The amount of magnetic energy stored in the
magnetic field can be determined by calculating the total power delivered by the power source
to create the magnetic field. Suppose that after the battery is connected to the inductor the
current increases at a rate of dI/dt. The self-induced emf created by this time-dependent
current is equal to

(34)

The current must deliver extra power to overcome this self-induced emf. The power required
will be time dependent and is equal to

(35)

The work done by the current is stored in the inductor as magnetic energy. The change dU in
the magnetic energy of the inductor is thus equal to

(36)

The total energy stored in the magnetic field of the inductor when the current reaches its final
value can be obtained by integrating eq.(36) between I = 0 and I = If.

(37)

For a solenoid of length l the self-inductance is equal to

(38)

The magnetic energy stored in the solenoid is thus equal to

(39)

where V is the volume of the solenoid. The magnetic energy can be expressed in terms of B
and V:

(40)

112
where B = u 0 n I is the magnetic field in the solenoid. The total magnetic energy of an
inductor can now be expressed in terms of the magnetic energy density u which is defined as

(41)

The magnetic energy stored in the magnetic field is equal to the energy density time the
volume. Although we have derived the formula for the magnetic energy density for the
special case of a very long solenoid, its derivation is valid for any arbitrary magnetic field.

Example Problem: The Toroid

A toroid of square cross section has an inner radius R 1 and an outer radius R 2. The toroid has
N turns of wire carrying a current I ; assume that N is very large.

a) Find the magnetic energy density as function of the radius.

b) By integrating the energy density, find the total magnetic energy stored in the solenoid.

c) Deduce the self-inductance from the formula U = L . I 2/2.

a) Apply Ampere's law using a spherical Amperian loop with radius r

(42)

The current enclosed by the Amperian loop is equal to

(43)

Using Ampere's law we can determine the magnetic field B :

(44)

The magnetic energy density is thus equal to

(45)

b) Suppose the height of the toroid is equal to h. Consider the a slice of the toroid shown in
Figure 3.

113
Figure 3. Cross section of the toroid.
The volume dV of this slice is equal to

(46)

The magnetic energy stored in this segment is equal to

(47)

The total magnetic energy stored in the toroid can be obtained by integrating eq.(47) with
respect to r between r = R 1 and r = R 2:

(48)

c) The magnetic energy stored in an inductor of inductance L is equal to 0.5 L I 2. Comparing


this with eq.(48) we conclude that the self inductance L of the toroid is equal to

(49)

5. The RL circuit
An RL circuit consists of a resistor and an inductor placed in series with a battery (see Figure
4). Applying Krichhoff's second rule to this single-loop circuit we obtain the following
differential equation

(50)

114
Figure 4. The RL circuit.
This differential equation has as a solution

(51)

This solution is valid if the battery is connected at t = 0. Equation (51) shows that the current
at t = 0 s is equal to 0 and grows steadily to reach a final value of e /R at t = [infinity]. The
time constant of the RL circuit is L/R. If the current has reached a steady value and the battery
is suddenly disconnected, the conductor can generate a current through the resistor which will
gradually decay as function of time. If the initial current is equal to [epsilon]/R, the current at
time t will be equal to

(52)

Example Problem: Joule Heat in RLCircuit

What Joule heat is dissipated by the current in eq.(52) in the resistor in the time interval
between t = 0 and t = [infinity] ? Compare with the initial magnetic energy in the inductor.

The current through the resistor is given in eq.(51). The power dissipated by this current in the
resistor is equal to

(53)

The total energy dissipated by this current in the resistor between t = 0 and t = [infinity] is
equal to

(54)

The magnetic energy stored in the inductor is equal to

115
(55)

and we conclude that all magnetic energy stored in the inductor is dissipated as Joule heat in
the resistor.

116
MAGNETIC MATERIALS
1. Magnetic Moments
An electron moving in an orbit around a nucleus produces an average current along its orbit.
As a consequence we can associate a magnetic moment with the orbiting electron. Suppose
the electron is moving with a velocity v in an orbit with radius r. The period of this motion is
equal to

(1)

During one period T the charge e will pass each given point on the orbit. The current
associated with this orbit is therefore equal to

(2)

The magnetic moment associated with this current is equal to

(3)

It is common to specify the orbit of an electron in terms of its angular momentum L. Using
the definition of the angular momentum L we can relate the electron velocity v and the radius
of its orbit r to the angular momentum L in the following manner:

(4)

where m is the mass of the electron. Using eq.(4) we can express the magnetic moment of the
electron in terms of the angular momentum L:

(5)

The magnetic moment of the electron is thus proportional the angular momentum L. The
angular momentum of the electron is quantized, and the only possible values are nh where n is
an integer (n = 0, 1, 2, 3, ...) and h is a constant (h = 1.06 . 10 -34 J s). The magnetic moment of
an electron with angular momentum L = 1 is equal to

(6)

117
Since this magnetic moment is associated with the orbital motion of the electron around the
nucleus it is called the orbital magnetic moment. Another contribution to the magnetic
moment is due to the rotational motion of the electron. Classically we can regard an electron
as a small ball of negative charge spinning around its axis. The intrinsic angular momentum,
generated by the electron spin, is equal to

(7)

This constant is also called the Bohr magneton.

The total magnetic moment of an atom is equal to the vector sum of the orbital magnetic
moments and the intrinsic magnetic moments of all its electrons. The contribution of the
nuclear magnetic moment is small and often can be neglected. Each atom acts like a magnetic
dipole and produces a small, but measurable magnetic field.

Example Problem: Two-electron Interactions

a) Two electrons are separated by a distance of 1.0 x 10 -10 m. The first electron is on the axis
of spin of the second. What is the magnetic field that the magnetic moment of the second
electron produces at the position of the first ?

b) The potential energy of the magnetic moment of the first electron in this magnetic field
depends on the orientation of the electrons. What is the potential energy if the spins of the two
electrons are parallel ? If anti parallel ? Which orientation has the least energy ?

a) Figure 1 shows the orientation of the two electrons. The z-axis is defined to coincide with
the spin of electron 2. With each spinning electron a magnetic dipole moment can be
associated. Due to the negative charge of the electron the dipole moment is pointed in a
direction opposite to that of the spin of the electron and it has a magnitude equal to u spin =
9.27 x 10 -24 Am2. The magnetic field generated by electron will be the magnetic field
generated by a dipole with dipole moment u spin. On the z-axis (and for z >> R e) the field
strength will fall of as 1/z3 and at z = 1.0 x 10 -10 m has a strength equal to

(8)

118
Figure 1. Two-electron interactions.
b) The potential energy of a dipole with dipole moment u spin in a magnetic field of strength B
is equal to

(9)

where [theta] is the angle between the dipole moment and the magnetic field. The potential
energy of electron 1 reaches a maximum value when [theta] = [pi] and a minimum value
when [theta] = 0. Evaluating equation (9) for these extreme cases yields

(10)

The potential energy will have a minimum value when the spins are parallel and a maximum
value when the spins are anti-parallel.

2. Paramagnetism
Even though each atom in a material can have a magnetic moment, the direction of each
dipole is randomly oriented and their magnetic fields average to zero. If the material is
immersed in an external magnetic field, the dipoles will tend to align themselves with the
field in order to minimize the torque exerted on them by the external magnetic field. The
atoms in the material will produce an extra magnetic field in its interior that has the same
direction as the external magnetic field. This increase in strength of the magnetic field can be
quantified in terms of the permeability constant [kappa]m:

119
(11)

where Bfree is the external magnetic field. The definition of the permeability constant (see
eq.(11)) shows that [kappa]m >= 1. For all paramagnetic materials the permeability constant is
very close to 1, and as a consequence, the increase in the magnetic field strength is rather
small.

Example Problem: Filled Solenoid

Show that the self-inductance per unit length of a very long solenoid filled with a
paramagnetic material is equal to [kappa]m u0 n2 [pi] R2, where n is the number of turns of
wire per unit length and R is the radius of the solenoid.

The magnetic field in an empty solenoid is equal to

(12)

When the solenoid is filled with a paramagnetic material the strength of the magnetic field
will increase (see eq.(11)) and will be equal to

(13)

The magnetic flux enclosed by a section of the solenoid of unit length is equal to

(14)

The change in enclosed magnetic can be obtained from eq.(14) by differentiating both sides
with respect to time

(15)

The emf induced by this change in magnetic flux can be calculated using Faraday's law

(16)

From eq.(16) we conclude that the self-inductance of the solenoid filled with a paramagnetic
material is equal to

(17)

120
3. Ferromagnetism
The alignment of the spins of some of the electrons in a ferromagnetic material will increase
the magnetic field in this material in much the same way as the alignment of the orbital
magnetic dipole moments of atoms increases the field strength in a paramagnetic material. In
a ferromagnetic material the degree of alignment of the electron spins between neighboring
atoms is high as a result of a special force that tends to lock the spins of these electrons in a
parallel direction. This force is so strong that the spins remain aligned even when the external
magnetic field is removed. Materials with such properties are called permanent magnets.
The force that is responsible for the alignment of the electron spins occurs in only five
elements:

• Iron
• Nickel
• Cobalt
• Dysprosium
• Gadolinium

Although ferromagnetic materials will remain magnetized after the external magnetic field
has been removed, they can also be found in non-magnetized states. On a small scale
(domains with sizes of less than 0.1 - 5 mm) all spins will be perfectly aligned, on a large
scale the domains are oriented randomly, and the net magnetic field is equal to zero.
However, if the material is immersed in an external magnetic field, all dipoles will tend to
align along the external field lines, and the strong spin-spin force will keep the dipoles aligned
even after the external magnetic field has been removed. The increase of the magnetic field in
a ferromagnet can be very large. For iron, the increase in field strength can be as large as
5000.

The degree of alignment of the spins in a ferromagnetic material after the external magnetic
field has been removed depends on the temperature. An increase in the temperature of the
material will increase the chance of random rearrangement of the magnetic dipoles. Above a
certain temperature, called the Curie temperature, the magnetism of the ferromagnet
disappears completely.

Example Problem: Number of Aligned Electrons

Under conditions of maximum magnetization, the dipole moment per unit volume of cobalt is
1.5 x 10 5 Am 2/m3. Assuming that this magnetization is due to completely aligned electrons,
how many such electrons are there per unit volume ? How many aligned electrons are there
per atom ? The density of cobalt is 8.9 x 10 3 kg and the atomic mass is 58.9 g/mole.

The dipole moment of 1 m 3 of cobalt is equal to 1.5 x 10 5 Am 2. Each aligned electron


contributes a dipole moment of 9.27 x 10 -24 Am 2. The number of aligned electrons is thus
equal to

(18)

121
The number of atoms in 1 m 3 of cobalt is equal to

(19)

Comparing eq.(18) and eq.(19) we conclude that the total number of aligned electrons per
atom is equal to 0.18.

4. Diamagnetism
In a diamagnetic material the magnetization arises from induced magnetic dipoles. This in
contrast to the paramagnetic and ferromagnetic materials where the magnetic properties are
determined by the alignment of permanent magnetic dipoles. In a diamagnetic material the
dipole moments of the atoms do not align themselves with the magnetic field, but their
strength is changed by the external field.

Figure 2. Electron orbiting nucleus.


The change in the dipole moment as function of the applied magnetic field can be estimated
using a simple classical model in which the electron moves in a circular orbit around the
nucleus (see Figure 2). If no external magnetic field is present, the velocity v0 of the electron
is determined by the radius r0 of the orbit via the following relation

(20)

When the magnetic field is turned on, the electron will experience in addition to the electric
force a magnetic force equal to

(21)

122
This force is radially directed (inwards or outwards depending on the direction of v0 with
respect to B). The condition for uniform circular motion is now

(22)

Assuming that the size of the orbit of the electron does not change, we conclude that the effect
of the magnetic field is a change in the velocity of the electron. Combining eq.(22) and
eq.(20) we obtain

(23)

It is convenient to express the velocity of the electron in terms of its angular frequency

(24)

Substituting the expressions for v0 and v from eq.(24) into eq.(23) we obtain

(25)

or

(26)

The change in frequency [Delta][omega] is defined via the following relation

(27)

Substituting eq.(27) into eq.(26) we obtain

(28)

or

(29)

123
This frequency is called the Larmor frequency, and indicates the maximum change in the
velocity of the orbital electrons when an external magnetic field is applied. As a result of the
change in the velocity of the orbital electrons there will be a change in the orbital magnetic
moment. The orbital magnetic moment before the external magnetic field is applied can be
calculated using eq.(3)

(30)

When an external magnetic field is applied the angular frequency [omega] will change by
[Delta][omega]. Equation (30) shows that the associated change in the orbital magnetic
moment is equal to

(31)

The change of the angular frequency can be positive or negative, depending on the direction
of v0 with respect to the direction B. The angular frequency will increase if the direction of
the field and the electron velocity are not related via the right-hand rule (field into paper in
Figure 2). The change in the magnetic moment of the dipole is such that the net field strength
(external + orbital magnetic field) is lowered. This means an increase in the orbital magnetic
moment if the orbital magnetic field is directed in a direction opposite to the external field,
and a decrease in the orbital magnetic moment if the orbital magnetic field is directed in the
same direction as the external field. In both cases the total magnetic field strength is reduced,
and, consequently, the permeability constant [kappa]m is less than 1. For most diamagnetic
materials the permeability constant is very close to 1 (1 - [kappa]m ~ 1 x 10 -5).

124
AC CIRCUITS
1. Alternating Current
The current from a 110-V outlet is an oscillating function of time. This type is called
Alternating Current or AC. A source of AC is symbolized by a wavy line enclosed in a
circle (see Figure 1). The time dependence of the AC or the emf of the AC source is of the
form

(1)

where [epsilon]max is the maximum amplitude of the oscillating emf and [omega] is the
angular frequency.

Figure 1. Symbol of AC source.

2. AC Resistor Circuits
Figure 2 shows a single-loop circuit with a source of alternating emf and a resistor. The
current through the resistor will be a function of time. The magnitude of this current can be
obtained via Kirchhoff's second rule which implies that

(2)

Figure 2. Single-loop AC resistor circuit.


The current I is thus equal to

(3)

Equation (3) shows that the current oscillates in phase with the emf.

The power dissipated in the resistor depends on the current through and the voltage across the
resistor and is therefore also a function of time:

125
(4)

The average power dissipated in the resistor during one cycle is equal to

(5)

In the last step of the derivation of eq.(5) we used the relation between the period T and the
angular frequency [omega] (T = 2[pi]/[omega]). Often, eq.(5) is written in terms of the root-
mean-square voltage [epsilon]rms which is defined as

(6)

In terms of [epsilon]rms we can rewrite eq.(5) as

(7)

The root-mean-square voltage [epsilon]rms of the AC source is the value of the DC voltage that
dissipates the same power in the resistor as the AC voltage with a maximum voltage equal to
[epsilon]max. The household voltage of 115 Volt is the root-mean-square voltage; the actual
peak voltage coming out of a household outlet is 163 V.

3. AC Capacitor Circuits
Figure 3 shows a capacitor connected to a source of alternating emf. The charge on the
capacitor at any time can be obtained by applying Kirchhoff's second rule to the circuit shown
in Figure 3 and is equal to

(8)

The current in the circuit can be obtained by differentiating eq.(8) with respect to time

126
(9)

Figure 3. AC capacitor circuit.


The current in the circuit is 90deg. out of phase with the emf. Since the maxima in the current
occur a quarter cycle before the maxima in the emf, we say that the current leads the emf.

It is customary to rewrite eq.(9) as

(10)

where

(11)

is called the capacitive reactance. Note that eq.(10) is very similar to eq.(3) if the resistance
R is replaced by the capacitive reactance XC. The power delivered to the capacitor is equal to

(12)

The power fluctuates between positive and negative extremes, and is on average equal to zero.
These fluctuations corresponds to periods during which the emf source provides power to the
battery (charging) and periods during which the battery provides power to the emf source
(discharging).

4. AC Inductive Circuit
Figure 4 shows a circuit consisting of an inductor and a source of alternating emf. The self-
induced emf across the inductor is equal to LdI/dt. Applying Kirchhoff's second rule to the
circuit shown in Figure 4 we obtain the following equation for dI/dt:

127
(13)

Figure 4. AC Inductor Circuit.


The current I can be obtained from eq.(13) by integrating with respect to time and requiring
that the magnitude of the DC current component is equal to zero:

(14)

The current is again 90deg. out of phase with the emf, but this time the emf leads the current.
Equation (14) can be rewritten as

(15)

where

(16)

is called the inductive reactance. The power delivered to the inductor is equal to

(17)

and the average power delivered to the inductor is equal to zero.

Example Problem: AC Circuit

Consider the circuit shown in Figure 5. The emf is of the form [epsilon]0 sin([omega]t). In
terms of this emf and the capacitance C and the inductance L, find the instantaneous currents
through the capacitor and the inductor. Find the instantaneous current and the instantaneous
power delivered by the source of emf.

128
Figure 5. AC Circuit.
The circuit shown in Figure 5 is a simple multi-loop circuit. The currents in this circuit can be
determined using the loop technique. Consider the two current loops I1 and I2 indicated in
Figure 5. Applying Kirchhoff's second rule to loop number 1 we obtain

(18)

Applying Kirchhoff's second rule to loop number 2 we obtain

(19)

Equation (18) can be used to determine I1:

(20)

Equation (19) can be differentiated with respect to time to obtain I2:

(21)

The current delivered by the source of emf is the sum of I1 and I2

(22)

The power delivered by the source of emf is equal to

(23)

5. LC Circuits

129
Figure 6 shows a single-loop circuit consisting of an inductor and a capacitor. Suppose at time
t = 0 s the capacitor has a charge Q0 and the current in the circuit is equal to zero. The current
in the circuit can be found via Kirchhoff's second rule which requires that

(24)

Figure 6. LC circuit.
The current I(t) can be obtained from Q(t) by differentiating Q with respect to time:

(25)

Substituting eq.(25) into eq.(24) we obtain

(26)

or

(27)

A solution of eq.(27) is

(28)

where [phi] is a phase constant that must be adjusted to fit the initial conditions. The current
in the circuit can be obtained by substituting eq.(28) into eq.(25):

(29)

The initial conditions for the circuit shown in Figure 6 are

(30)

130
(31)

These boundary conditions are satisfied if [phi] = 0. In this case, the charge and the current in
the LC circuit are given by

(32)

and

(33)

The energy stored on the capacitor is a function of time since the charge on it is a function of
time. The energy stored is equal to

(34)

The energy stored in the inductor is also time dependent since the current through it is a
function of time. The energy stored is equal to

(35)

Equation (34) and eq.(35) show that the maximum energy is stored in the inductor when the
energy stored in the capacitor is zero and vice-versa. The total energy of the circuit can be
obtained by summing the energy stored in the capacitor and the energy stored in the inductor:

(36)

Equation (36) shows that the energy stored in the circuit is conserved. This is expected since
no Joule heat will be generated in a circuit in which none of the elements has any resistance.

In practice, the circuit shown in Figure 6 will have some resistance (even good conductors
will have a finite resistance). A realistic LRC circuit is shown in Figure 7. Applying
Kirchhoff's second rule to the circuit shown in Figure 7 we obtain

(37)

131
Since the current I is equal to dQ/dt we can rewrite eq.(37) as

(38)

Figure 7. LRC Circuit.


A solution of the differential equation shown in eq.(38) is

(39)

The constant [gamma] can be determined by substituting eq.(39) into eq.(38):

(40)

This equation has to be satisfied at all times. This will only be the case if the terms within the
parenthesis are equal to zero:

(41)

(42)

The constant [gamma] is determined by eq.(42)

(43)

The angular frequency [omega] can be obtained from eq.(41) by substituting eq.(43) for
[gamma]

(44)

132
Equation (39) shows that the presence of the resistor in the circuit will produce damped
harmonic motion. The damping constant [gamma] is proportional to the resistance R (see
eq.(43)). The change in the energy of the system can be studied by looking at the maximum
charge on the capacitor. At time t = 0 s the capacitor is fully charged with a charge equal to
Q0 and the energy stored in the capacitor is equal to

(45)

After one cycle (t = 2[pi]/[omega]) the maximum charge on the capacitor has decreased. This
implies that also the energy stored on the capacitor has decreased

(46)

The relative change in the electrical energy of the system is therefore equal to

(47)

The loss of electrical energy in a LRC circuit is usually expressed in terms of the quality Q-
value"

(48)

A high quality factor indicates a low resistance and consequently a small relative energy loss
per cycle.

133
Figure 8. Driven LCR circuit.
As a result of the damping in a LRC circuit the amplitude of the oscillations will gradually
decrease. In order to sustain an oscillation in a LRC circuit, energy needs to be supplied, for
example by connecting an oscillating source of emf to the circuit. Consider the circuit shown
in Figure 8 consisting of an alternating source of emf, a resistor R, a capacitor C, and an
inductor L. Suppose the emf has an angular frequency [omega] and a maximum amplitude
[epsilon]max:

(49)

Applying Kirchhoff's second rule to the circuit shown in Figure 8 produces the following
relation

(50)

Under steady-state conditions, the current in the circuit will oscillate with the same angular
frequency [omega] as the source of emf, but not necessarily in phase. The most general
solution for the current is therefore

(51)

where [phi] is called the phase angle between the current and the emf. The maximum current
Imax and the phase angle [phi] can be determined by substituting eq.(51) in eq.(50):

(52)

Equation (52) can be rewritten using trigonometric identities as

(53)

This equation can only be satisfied if the expressions in the brackets are equal to zero. This
requires that

(54)

and

(55)

134
Eq.(55) can be used to determine the phase angle:

(56)

Equation (54) can be used to determine the maximum current:

(57)

Substituting eq.(56) into eq.(57) we obtain for the maximum current

(58)

The quantity

(59)

is called the impedance of the LCR circuit.

Equation (58) shows that the maximum amplitude is achieved when

(60)

The maximum amplitude of the current is

(61)

The system will reach its maximum amplitude when the driving frequency [omega] of the
applied emf is equal to

(62)

This frequency is the natural frequency of the LC circuit discussed previously. When the
system is driven at the natural frequency, it is said to be in resonance.

135
6. The Phasor Diagram
A short cut that can be used to determine the amplitude and phase of current in an AC circuit
is the phasor diagram. In a phasor diagram the amplitude of a sinusoidal function is
represented by a line segment of length equal to its amplitude. The phase is represented by the
angle between the line segment and the horizontal axis. The sum of voltage drops across the
components of the circuit is then equivalent to the vector sum of the phasors. To illustrate the
use of phasor diagrams we determine the amplitude and phase of the LCR circuit just
discussed. The applied emf and induced current are given by the following equations:

(63)

The voltages across the resistor, the capacitor and the inductor are equal to

(64)

The three phasors corresponding to these three voltages are shown in the phasor diagram in
Figure 9. The voltage drop across the resistor has the same phase as the current. The vector
sum of these three vectors is also indicated and should be equal to the applied emf. The
amplitude of the vector sum of the three phasors must be equal to the amplitude of the applied
emf. Thus

(65)

The phase of the vector sum of the phasors in Figure 9 is equal to [omega]t, and the angle
between the current (and the phasor representing the voltage drop across the resistor) and the
vector sum of the phasors is equal to the phase angle [phi]. From Figure 9 it is obvious that

(66)

136
Figure 9. Phasor circuit for LCR circuit.

Example Problem: LCC Circuit

Consider the circuit shown in Figure 10. The oscillating source of emf delivers a sinusoidal
emf of amplitude 0.80 V and frequency 400 Hz. The inductance is 5.0 x 10-2 H, and the
capacitances are 8.0 x 10-7 F and 16.0 x 10-7 F. Find the maximum instantaneous current in
each capacitor.

Consider first the two capacitors. The emf across each of the capacitor must always be the
same. This implies that

(67)

Figure 10. LCC Circuit.


Rewriting eq.(67) in terms of the current I1 through capacitor C 1 and the current I2 through
capacitor C 2 we obtain

(68)

or

137
(69)

Equation (69) can only be true at all times if the integrand is equal to zero. This requires that

(70)

In order to determine the maximum current in the circuit we use the phasor technique just
discussed. Consider the phasor diagram shown in Figure 11. The phasor labeled I indicates
the current in the circuit. The voltages across the inductor and the capacitor are 90 degrees out
of phase with the current and are indicated in Figure 11 by the phasors labeled VL and VC.
The total voltage drop across the circuit elements (vector sum of VL and VC) is also 90
degrees out of phase with the current. Since the total voltage drop across the circuit elements
must be equal to the applied emf, we conclude that the phase angle between the current and
the emf is +/- 90 degrees. The sign depends on the values of inductance, the capacitance and
the angular frequency of the emf.

Figure 11. Phasor diagram for LCC Circuit.


The magnitude of the vector sum of the voltages across the inductor and the capacitor must be
equal to the magnitude of the emf. Thus

(71)

Equation (71) can be used to determine the maximum current in the circuit:

(72)

The capacitance C used in eq.(72) is the net capacitance of the parallel network consisting of
capacitor C 1 and capacitor C 2 (C = C 1 + C2). The sum of the currents flowing through

138
capacitors is equal to the maximum current in eq.(73). To determine the current through
capacitor C1 and capacitor C2 we can combine eq.(72) and eq.(70). In this manner we obtain

(73)

and

(74)

Example Problem: RC Circuit

An RC circuit consists of a resistor with R = 0.80 [Omega] and a capacitor with C = 1.5 x 10-4
F connected in series with an oscillating source of emf. The source generates a sinusoidal emf
with emax = 0.40 V and angular frequency equal to 9 x 103 rad/s. Find the maximum current in
the circuit. Find the phase angle of the current and draw a phasor diagram, with the correct
lengths and angles for the phasors. Find the average dissipation of power in the resistor.

The applied emf and the potential drops across the circuit elements in the RC circuit are listed
in eq.(75).

(75a)

(75b)

(75c)

The phasors representing the voltage drops across the resistor and across the capacitor are
shown in Figure 12. The vector sum of these phasors is also indicated. The magnitude of the
vector sum of the phasors must be equal to the magnitude of the applied emf. Thus

(76)

The maximum current is thus equal to

139
(77)

Figure 12. Phasor diagram for an RC Circuit.


The phase angle [phi] can be calculated easily (see Figure 12). It is determined by

(78)

7. The Transformer
A transformer consists of two coils wound around an iron core (see Figure 13). The iron core
increases the strength of the magnetic field in its interior by a large fraction (up to 5000) and
as a consequence, the field lines must concentrate in the iron. One of the coils, the primary
coil, is connected to a source of alternating emf.

The emf induced in the primary coil is related to the rate of change of magnetic flux
(Faraday's law of induction):

(79)

Applying Kirchhoff's second rule to the primary circuit, we conclude that the induced emf in
the coil must be equal to the applied emf. Thus

(80)

140
Figure 13. The transformer.
All field lines that pass through a winding of coil 1 will also pass through a winding of coil 2.
The flux through each winding of the primary coil is therefore equal to the flux through each
winding of the secondary coil. If the primary coil has N1 windings and the secondary coil has
N2 windings, then the total flux through the two coils are related

(81)

or

(82)

The change in the enclosed flux of the primary coil will be related in the same way to the
change of flux in the secondary coil:

(83)

The emf induced across the secondary coil can be obtained using Faraday's law and can be
expressed in terms of the emf in the primary circuit:

(84)

This emf is available to the various loads in the secondary circuit.

If the secondary circuit is open, no current will flow in it, and the primary circuit is nothing
else than a single-loop circuit with an alternating source of emf and an inductor. The average
power dissipated by the emf in such a circuit is zero, and consequently the transformer does
not consume any electric power.

If the secondary circuit is connected to a load, a current will flow. This induced current will
change the magnetic flux in the transformer and induce a current in the primary coil. If this
occurs, the primary circuit will consume power. In an ideal capacitor, the power delivered by
the source of emf in the primary circuit equal the power that the secondary circuit delivers to
its load. Thus

141
(85)

142
THE DISPLACEMENT CURRENT AND
MAXWELLS EQUATIONS
1. The displacement current
The calculation of the magnetic field of a current distribution can, in principle, be carried out
using Ampere's law which relates the path integral of the magnetic field around a closed path
to the current intercepted by an arbitrary surface that spans this path:

(1)

Ampere's law is independent of the shape of the surface chosen as long as the current flows
along a continuous, unbroken circuit. However, consider the case in which the current wire is
broken and connected to a parallel-plate capacitor (see Figure 1). A current will flow through
the wire during the charging process of the capacitor. This current will generate a magnetic
field and if we are far away from the capacitor, this field should be very similar to the
magnetic field produced by an infinitely long, continuous, wire. However, the current
intercepted by an arbitrary surface now depends on the surface chosen. For example, the
surface shown in Figure 1 does not intercept any current. Clearly, Ampere's law can not be
applied in this case to find the magnetic field generated by the current.

Figure 1. Ampere's law in a capacitor circuit.


Although the surface shown in Figure 1 does not intercept any current, it intercepts electric
flux. Suppose the capacitor is an ideal capacitor, with a homogeneous electric field E between
the plates and no electric field outside the plates. At a certain time t the charge on the
capacitor plates is Q. If the plates have a surface area A then the electric field between the
plates is equal to

(2)

The electric field outside the capacitor is equal to zero. The electric flux, [Phi] E, intercepted
by the surface shown in Figure 1 is equal to

143
(3)

If a current I is flowing through the wire, then the charge on the capacitor plates will be time
dependent. The electric flux will therefore also be time dependent, and the rate of change of
electric flux is equal to

(4)

The magnetic field around the wire can now be found by modifying Ampere's law

(5)

where [Phi] E is the electric flux through the surface indicated in Figure 1 In the most general
case, the surface spanned by the integration path of the magnetic field can intercept current
and electric flux. In such a case, the effects of the electric flux and the electric current must be
combined, and Ampere's law becomes

(6)

The current I is the current intercepted by whatever surface is used in the calculation, and is
not necessarily the same as the current in the wires. Equation (6) is frequently written as

(7)

where Id is called the displacement current and is defined as

(8)

Example Problem: Parallel-Plate Capacitor

A parallel-plate capacitor has circular plates of area A separated by a distance d. A thin


straight wire of length d lies along the axis of the capacitor and connects the two plates. This
wire has a resistance R. The exterior terminals of the plates are connected to a source of
alternating emf with a voltage V = V0 sin([omega] t).

a) What is the current in the thin wire ?

144
b) What is the displacement current through the capacitor ?

c) What is the current arriving at the outside terminals of the capacitor ?

d) What is the magnetic field between the capacitor plates at a distance r from the axis ?
Assume that r is less than the radius of the plates.

a) The setup can be regarded as a parallel circuit of a resistor with resistance R and a capacitor
with capacitance C (see Figure 2). The current in the thin wire can be obtained using Ohm's
law

(9)

Figure 2. Circuit Parallel-Plate Capacitor.

b) The voltage across the capacitor is equal to the external emf. The electric field between the
capacitor plates is therefore equal to

(10)

The electric flux through the capacitor is therefore equal to

(11)

The displacement current Id can be obtained by substituting eq.(11) into eq.(8)

(12)

The current at the outside terminals of the capacitor is the sum of the current used to charge
the capacitor and the current through the resistor. The charge on the capacitor is equal to

(13)

145
The charging current is thus equal to

(14)

The total current is therefore equal to

(15)

d) The magnetic field lines inside the capacitor will form concentric circles, centered around
the resistor (see Figure 3). The path integral of the magnetic field around a circle of radius r is
equal to

(16)

Figure 3. Amperian loop used to determine the magnetic field inside a capacitor.
The surface to be used to determine the current and electric flux intercepted is the disk of
radius r shown Figure 3. The electric flux through this disk is equal to

(17)

The displacement current intercepted by this surface is equal to

(18)

The current intercepted by the surface is equal to the current through the resistor (eq.(9)).
Ampere's law thus requires

146
(19)

The strength of the magnetic field is thus equal to

(20)

2. Maxwells Equations
The fundamental equations describing the behavior of electric and magnetic fields are known
as the Maxwell equations. They are

(21)

(22)

(23)

(24)

Maxwell's equations provide a complete description of the interactions among charges,


currents, electric fields, and magnetic fields. All the properties of the fields can be obtained by
mathematical manipulations of these equations. If the distribution of charges and currents is
given, than these equations uniquely determine the corresponding fields.

Example Problem: Conservation of Charge

Prove that Maxwell's equations mathematically imply the conservation of electric charge; that
is, prove that if no electric current flows into or out a given volume, then the electric charge
within this volume remains constant.

Equation (21) shows that the enclosed charge Q is related to the electric flux [Phi] E:

(25)

The rate of change of the enclosed charge can be determined by differentiating eq.(25) with
respect to time

147
(26)

The closed surface used in eq.(24) to determine the flux and current intercepted can be
replaced by a bag whose mouth has shrunk to zero. The path integral of the magnetic field
along the mouth is therefore equal to zero, and eq.(24) can be written as

(27)

Using eq.(26) we can rewrite eq.(27) as

(28)

In other words, if no current flows in or out of the enclosed volume (I = 0) then the electric
charge within this volume will remain constant. This implies conservation of charge.

3. Cavity Oscillations
The electric field between the plates of a parallel-plate capacitor is determined by the external
emf. If the distance between the plates is d (see Figure 4) then the electric field between the
plates is equal to

(29)

This time-dependent electric field will induce a magnetic field with a strength that can be
obtained via Ampere's law. Consider a circular Amperian loop of radius r. The path integral
of the magnetic field around this loop is equal to

(30)

The electric flux though the surface spanned by this path is equal to

(31)

148
Figure 4. The oscillating parallel-plate capacitor.
The displacement current is thus equal to

(32)

Using Ampere's law we obtain for the magnetic field

(33)

This time-dependent magnetic field will induce an electric field. The total electric field inside
the capacitor will therefore be the sum of the constant electric field generated by the source of
emf and the induced electric field, generated by the time-dependent magnetic field. The
strength of the induced electric field can be calculated using Faraday's law of induction.
Consider the closed path indicated in Figure 4. We take the induced electric field on the
capacitor axis equal to zero. The path integral of the induced electric field along the path
indicated is then equal to

(34)

where Eind is reckoned to be positive if it is directed upwards. The magnetic flux through the
surface spanned by the loop indicated in Figure 4 is equal to

(35)

Thus

(36)

149
The induced electric field, Eind, can be obtained from Faraday's law of induction (eq.(23)) and
is equal to

(37)

The total electric field is therefore equal to

(38)

But the addition of the induced field implies that a correction needs to be made to the
magnetic field calculated before (eq.(33)). This in turn will modify the induced current and
this process will go on forever. If we neglect the additional corrections, then eq.(38) shows
that the electric field vanishes at a radius R if

(39)

or

(40)

If we create a cavity by enclosing the capacitor with a conducting cylinder of radius R then
eq.(40) can be used to determine the frequency of the driving emf that will produce a standing
wave. This frequency is called the resonance frequency and it is equal to

(41)

For a cavity with R = 0.5 m the resonance frequency is 1.2 GHz. Electromagnetic radiation
with a frequency in this range is called microwave radiation, and the cavity is called a
microwave oven.

4. The Electric Field of an Accelerated Charge


The electric field produced by a stationary charge is stationary. When the charge accelerates,
it produces extra electric and magnetic fields that travel outward from the position of the
charge. These radiation fields are called electromagnetic waves. They travel with the speed
of light (in vacuum) and carry energy and momentum away from the charge. Their properties

150
are determined by the properties of the accelerated charge, and in this manner provide a
means to transmit information at the speed of light over long distances.

Consider a charge q initially at rest (for t < 0). Between t = 0 and t = [tau], the charge
accelerates with an acceleration a. After t = [tau] the charge moves with a constant velocity (v
= a[tau]). We will assume that the final velocity of the charge is small compared to the speed
of light (v << c) and that the time period [tau] during which the charge accelerates is short.
The electric field generated by the charge at a time t > [tau] consists of three separate regions
(see Figure 5). In the region r > ct the field lines will be that of a point charge at rest at the
origin (electromagnetic waves travel with the speed of light, and the region with r > ct can not
know yet that the charge has moved away from the origin). In the spherical region with radius
r < c(t - [tau]), centered at x = vt, the electric field will that of a uniformly moving charge.
The disturbance produced by the accelerated charge is confined to the region between these
two spheres and the effect of the acceleration is a kink in the field lines. The electric field in
this region has two components: a radial component and a transverse component.

The radial component is determined by Gauss' law. Consider a spherical Gaussian surface
located between the two spheres shown in Figure 5. The charge enclosed by this surface is
equal to q. The electric flux through this surface depends only on the radial component of the
field. Applying Gauss' law we conclude that the radial component of the electric field is
simply the usual Coulomb field

(42)

Figure 5. Electric field lines generated by an accelerated charge.


The relation between the radial component of the electric field and the transverse component
of the electric field can be determined by carefully examining one field line (see Figure 6).
The field line shown in Figure 6 makes an angle [theta] with the direction of the moving
charge. The ratio between the magnitude of the transverse electric field and the radial electric
field is equal to

(43)

Since the radial field is known, eq.(42), we can use eq.(43) to determine the transverse
component of the electric field:

151
(44)

The distance r at which the kink occurs is related to the time t at which we look at the field:

(45)

Eliminating the dependence on t in eq.(44) we obtain the following expression for the
transverse component of the electric field:

(46)

Figure 6. Calculation of transverse electric field.


Equation (46) shows that the transverse electric field is directly proportional to the
acceleration a and inversely proportional to the distance r. The Coulomb component of the
field falls of as 1/r2. This shows that the transverse component, also called the radiation field,
remains significant at distances where the Coulomb field practically disappears.

The equation for the transverse electric field (eq.(46)) is valid in general, even if the
acceleration is not constant. If the charge oscillates back and forth with a simple harmonic
motion of frequency [omega], then the acceleration at time t will be equal to

(47)

In order to determine the radiation field at a time t and a distance r, we have to realize that the
acceleration a used in eq.(46) should be the acceleration at time t - r/c, where r/c is the time
required for a signal to travel over a distance r. The radiation field for the oscillating charge is
therefore equal to

(48)

152
Example Problem: Radio Antenna

On a radio antenna (a straight piece of wire), electrons move back and forth in unison.
Suppose that the velocity of the electrons is v = v0 cos([omega] t), where v0 = 8.0 x 10 -3 m/s
and [omega] = 6.0 x 10 6 rad/s.

a) What is the maximum acceleration of the electrons ?

b) Corresponding to this maximum acceleration, what is the strength of the transverse electric
field produced by one electron at a distance of 1.0 km fro the antenna in a direction
perpendicular to the antenna ? What is the time delay (or retardation) between the instant of
maximum acceleration and the instant at which the corresponding electric field reaches a
distance of 1.0 km ?

c) There are 2.0 x 10 24 electrons on the antenna. What is the collective electric field produced
by all electrons acting together ? Assume the antenna is sufficiently small so that all electrons
contribute just about the same electric field at a distance of 1.0 km.

a) The acceleration of the electrons can be obtained by differentiating their velocity with
respect to time:

(49)

The maximum acceleration is thus equal to

(50)

b) The maximum transverse electric field at a distance of 1.0 km (= 1000 m), in a direction
perpendicular to the antenna ([theta] = 90deg.), can be obtained using eq.(48):

(51)

Since the propagation speed of the radiation field is equal to the speed of light, c, the maxima
in the radiation field will occur a time period [Delta]t after the maxima in the acceleration of
the electron. The length of this period, [Delta]t, is equal to

(52)

c) Assuming that all the electrons are in phase, then the maximum total transverse electric
field at a distance of 1.0 km is equal to the number of electrons times the maximum transverse
electric field produced by a single electron. Thus

153
(53)

5. The magnetic field of an accelerated charge


When a charge accelerates from rest it will produce a magnetic field. Initially, the magnetic
field will be equal to zero (charge at rest). As a result of the acceleration a disturbance will
move outward and change the magnetic field from its initial value (B = 0 T) to its final value,
in much the same way as we observed for the electric field. The magnetic field can be
obtained from the electric flux via the Maxwell-Ampere law which states that

(54)

Note that the current I does not appear in eq. (54). Since we are looking in the region away
from the moving charge, the current intercepted by a surface spanned by the path used to
evaluate the path integral of B is equal to zero. The induced magnetic field will be time-
dependent and, therefore, will induce an electric field via Faraday's law. This induced electric
field will again be time dependent and induce another magnetic field, and this process
continues. The combined electric and magnetic radiation fields produced by the accelerating
charge are called electromagnetic waves. They are self-supporting; the electric field induces a
magnetic field, and the induced magnetic field induces an electric field. Because the electric
and magnetic fields naturally support each other, the electromagnetic wave does not require a
medium for its propagation, and it readily propagates in vacuum. The Maxwell equations can
be used to show that the product of u 0 and [epsilon]0 is equal to 1/c2. Or,

(55)

This equation was one of the great and early triumphs of Maxwell's electromagnetic theory of
light. It shows that electricity and magnetism are two different aspects of the same
phenomena.

154
LIGHT AND RADIO WAVES
1. Electromagnetic waves
Electromagnetic waves are produced by accelerating charges. The fields of the wave are self-
supporting - the electric field induces the magnetic field, and the magnetic field induces the
electric field. Both radio waves and light are electromagnetic waves; their main difference is
their frequency. Radio waves are created by the acceleration of electrons in a radio antenna,
and light waves are created by the oscillations of the electrons within atoms. The
electromagnetic wave has two components: the electric radiation field and the magnetic
radiation field.

The magnitude of the electric radiation field is directly proportional to the acceleration, and it
is inversely proportional to the radial distance from the accelerating charge. In other words

(1)

where a(t) is the acceleration of the charge at time t, and c is the speed of propagation of the
disturbance (speed of light).

Suppose we look at the electric field a long distance away from the accelerating charge. At
this point the radial electric field, which falls of as 1/r2, can be neglected and only the
transverse component of the field needs to be considered. We will assume that the charge
accelerates during a short time interval and then continues to move with a constant velocity
(see discussion in Chapter 35). If we want to study the variation of the transverse field over a
limited range of distances, small compared to r, then the factor 1/r can be treated as a
constant. The coordinate system that we will be using to study the propagation of the
electromagnetic wave will have its x axis defined as the direction of propagation of the field.
The y axis is taken to be parallel to the direction of the electric radiation field (see Figure 1).
The electric radiation field produced by an accelerating charge will be non-zero only during a
time interval [tau] which is the time interval during which the charge accelerates (see Chapter
35). These electromagnetic waves are called plane waves (although they are actually small
patches of a spherical wave front). The propagating plane wave will change the electric field,
which is initially zero, to a value Ey. This field will be exist during a time interval [tau] after
which the transverse electric field returns to zero. The region is space in which the transverse
field is non-zero and which propagates with the speed of light is also called a wave packet.
The electric field of the wave packet can be written as

(2)

155
Figure 1. Propagation of wave packet.
The propagating wave packet will change the electric field when it passes a certain point in
space, and this changing electric field will induce a magnetic field. The induced magnetic
field will point along the z axis and its magnitude can be determined using the Maxwell-
Ampere law

(3)

Consider a surface with width [Delta]x and length [Delta] z (see Figure 2). The width [Delta]x
is chosen to be equal to the width of the wave packet ([Delta]x = c[tau]). The electric flux
intercepted by the surface spanned by this path is zero before the wave packet arrives. During
a time [Delta]t = [Delta]x / c the wave packet will sweep over the loop and fill the loop with
electric flux. The maximum electric flux intercepted by this surface is equal to he product of
the electric field Ey and the surface area ([Delta]x[Delta]z). The rate of change of electric flux
is therefore equal to

(4)

The path integral of the magnetic field along the loop shown in Figure 2 is equal to

(5)

156
Figure 2. Calculation of induced magnetic field.
The Maxwell-Ampere law can now be used to determine Bz

(6)

The induced magnetic field is time-dependent and will, in turn, induce an electric field. The
induced electric field can be determined using Faraday's law of induction which relates the
path integral of the induced electric field to the rate of change of magnetic flux

(7)

Consider the loop shown in Figure 3 with a width [Delta]x and a height [Delta]y, where
[Delta]x is taken to be the width of the wave packet. The magnetic flux intercepted by the
surface spanned by this loop will go from zero (when the wave packet has no overlap with the
loop) to its maximum value of Bz[Delta]x[Delta]y in a time interval [Delta]t = [Delta]x/c. The
rate of change of magnetic flux is thus equal to

(8)

The minus sign in this equation is a result of the direction of the path indicated (using the
right-hand rule you can show that the magnetic field lines along the negative z-axis make a
positive contribution to the intercepted flux, while field lines along the positive z-axis make a
negative contribution to the intercepted flux). The path integral of the electric field along the
path indicated in Figure 3 at a time when one edge of the loop is inside the wave packet is
equal to

(9)

Applying Faraday's law of induction we can determine the induced electric field Ey

157
(10)

Figure 3. Calculation of induced electric field.


The electromagnetic wave will be able to sustain itself if this induced electric field is equal to
the original electric filed. Comparing eq.(10) and eq.(6) we conclude that this requires that

(11)

or

(12)

Equation (12) is a theoretical expression for the speed of propagation of an electromagnetic


wave in vacuum, and shows that the electromagnetic waves propagate with the speed of light
(which is just one type of electromagnetic radiation).

Example Problem: Radio Receiver

a) One type of antenna for a radio receiver consists of a short piece of straight wire; when the
electric field of the radio wave strikes this wire it makes currents flow along it, which are
detected an amplified by a receiver. Suppose the electric field of the radio wave is vertical.
What must be the orientation of the wire for maximum sensitivity ?

b) Another type of antenna consists of a circular loop; when the magnetic field of the radio
wave strikes this loop it induces currents around it. Suppose that the magnetic field of a radio
wave is horizontal. What must be the orientation of the loop for maximum sensitivity ?

158
Figure 4. Electric field sensed by antenna.
a) The electric field of the radio wave will exert a force on the electrons in the antenna.
However, only the component of the electric field along the direction of the antenna will
contribute to the current induced in the antenna. The magnitude of the current will be
proportional to the magnitude of this component of the electric field. Consider the orientation
of the antenna shown in Figure 4. The direction of the electric field of the radio wave is the
vertical direction. If the antenna makes an angle [theta] with the vertical then the component
of the electric field along the antenna is given by

(13)

Equation (13) shows that the magnitude of the electric field along the antenna, and therefore
the magnitude of the induced current, will be maximum when [theta] = 0deg..

b) A changing magnetic field will induce an emf in a conducting loop (Faraday's law of
induction). The induced emf is proportional to the magnetic flux intercepted by the surface
spanned by the loop. In order to maximize the induced current, we have to maximize the
induced emf, and therefore maximize the magnetic flux intercepted by the loop. This can be
achieved of the loop is located perpendicular to the direction of the magnetic field.

2. Plane Harmonic Waves


Although the relation between the electric and magnetic field strength shown in eq.(10) was
obtained for a wave packet consisting of a region of constant electric field, the results are of
general validity because an arbitrary wave can be regarded as a succession of short wave
packets with piece wise constant electric fields. Equation (10) is therefore valid in general.
Other general features of electromagnetic waves are:

1. the electric field is perpendicular to the direction of propagation

2. the magnetic field is perpendicular to both the electric field and the direction of
propagation.

The direction of E and B are related by the right-hand rule; if the fingers are curled from E
to B, then the thumb lies along the direction of propagation.

159
Most radiation fields are generated by charges moving with simple harmonic motion. In this
case the acceleration of the charge will be a harmonic function of time:

(14)

where [omega] is the angular frequency of the motion. The electric field along the x axis is
directed along the y axis and is equal to

(15)

The magnetic field will be directed along the z axis and has a magnitude equal to

(16)

Electromagnetic waves described by eq.(15) and eq.(16) are called plane harmonic waves.
The waves described by eq.(15) and eq.(16) are waves traveling in the positive x direction.
The electric and magnetic fields of a plane wave traveling in the negative x direction are
given by the following equations

(17)

(18)

The minus sign in eq. (18) is required to make the direction of E and B consistent with the
direction of propagation. The direction of the electric field of a electromagnetic wave is called
the polarization of the wave.

Example Problem: Circularly Polarized Waves

An electromagnetic wave traveling along the x axis consists of the following superposition of
two waves polarized along the y and z directions, respectively:

(19)

This electromagnetic wave is said to be circularly polarized.

a) Show that the magnitude of the electric field is E0 at all points of space and at all times.

b) Consider the point x = y = z = 0. What is the angle between E and the z axis at time t = 0 ?
At time t = [pi] /2[omega] ? At time t = [pi] /[omega] ? At time t = 3[pi] /2[omega] ? Draw a

160
diagram showing the x and y axes and the direction of E at these times. In a few words,
describe the behavior of E as function of time.

a) The magnitude of the electric field can be obtained from its components along the y and z
axes:

(20)

b) At time t = 0 the electric field is equal to

(21)

At time t = [pi] /2[omega] :

(22)

At time t = [pi] /[omega] :

(23)

At time t = 3 [pi] /2[omega] :

(24)

The electric field of the circularly polarized wave is constant in magnitude, but its direction is
time dependent (see Figure 5):

(25)

Example Problem: Polarization of Electromagnetic Waves

An electromagnetic wave has the form

(26)

a) What is the direction of propagation of the wave ?

161
b) What is the direction of polarization of the wave, that is, what angle does the direction of
the polarization make with the x, y, and z axes ?

c) Write down a formula for the magnetic field of this wave as function of space and time.

Figure 5. Circularly polarized light.

a) Equation (26) can be rewritten as

(27)

Comparing eq.(27) with eq.(17) we conclude that eq.(27) describes an electromagnetic wave
traveling in the negative z direction.

b) Since the electromagnetic wave travels along the z axis, the direction of polarization of the
wave will be in the x-y plane (the direction of the electric field is always perpendicular to the
direction of propagation). Eq.(27) shows that the direction of polarization of the
electromagnetic wave is independent of time. The angle between the direction of polarization
and the positive x axis is equal to (see Figure 6)

(28)

c) The magnitude of the magnetic field is equal to the magnitude of the electric field divided
by the speed of light (see eq.(10)). The direction of the magnetic field is perpendicular to both
the electric field and the direction of propagation. Since the direction of propagation is along
the z axis, the direction of the magnetic field will be in the x-y plane. If the negative z axis is
going in to the paper, then the right-hand rule requires that the magnetic field is pointing in
the direction indicated in Figure 6. The magnetic field is thus given by

(29)

162
Figure 6. Direction of electric field in problem 8.

3. The Generation of Electromagnetic Waves


The electric field of a plane harmonic wave is position and time dependent. For an
electromagnetic wave propagating in the positive x direction the transverse electric field is
equal to

(30)

At a fixed time t the electric field is a harmonic function of x. The wavelength [lambda] of
the wave is the distance over which the electric field changes from its maximum value (E0) to
its minimum value (- E0) and back to its maximum value (E0). The electric field has the same
value at points separated by one wavelength. This requires that

(31)

or

(32)

This condition is true at all times t and all distances x if

(33)

or

(34)

163
The ratio [omega]/2[pi] is called the frequency of the wave. Using the frequency [nu] we can
rewrite eq.(34) as

(35)

Radio waves and TV waves have wavelengths ranging from a few centimeters to 105 meter.
Microwaves have wavelengths as short as a millimeter. These waves (radio, tv, and
microwaves) can be generated by oscillating charges in an antenna. Waves with wavelengths
less than a millimeter can not be generated by oscillating currents in an antenna. Instead, they
are generated by electrons oscillating within molecules and atoms. This type of motion
produces infrared, visible, and ultraviolet light, and X-rays. The corresponding wavelengths
range from 10-3 m to 10-11 m (visible light has wavelengths between 7 x 10-7 and 4 x 10-7m).
Protons and neutrons moving in a nucleus emit gamma rays which have a wavelength
between 10-11 m and 10-16 m.

4. Energy of a Wave
The electric and magnetic fields of an electromagnetic wave contain energy. As the wave
moves along, so does this energy. Consider a wave packet with width [Delta]x moving in the
positive x direction. The transverse electric field is directed along the positive y axis and the
magnetic field is directed along the positive z axis. The energy density of the electric field, u E,
is equal to

(36)

The energy density of the magnetic field, u B, is equal to

(37)

The energy stored in the wave packet is equal to the energy density times the volume, or

(38)

where A is the surface area of the wave packet under consideration. However, for an
electromagnetic wave the magnitude of the magnetic field is equal to the magnitude of the
electric field divided by the speed of light (see eq.(10)). Equation (38) can now be rewritten as

(39)

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Using eq.(12) we can eliminate the dependence of eq.(39) on [epsilon]0:

(40)

or

(41)

If we consider a fixed volume (fixed in space, with width [Delta]x) then eq.(41) is the
maximum energy stored in this volume and it occurs at a particular time at which the wave
packet completely overlaps with this volume. During a time interval [Delta]t = [Delta]x/c the
wave packet moves out of the volume and the energy stored in this volume will return to zero.
The rate of flow of energy through this volume is thus equal to

(42)

The energy flux (per unit area) through the volume is given by

(43)

The flux of energy associated with an electromagnetic wave is often expressed in terms of the
Poynting vector. The Poynting vector is a vector with a direction along the flow and a
magnitude given by eq.(43). The Poynting vector is defined, in general, as

(44)

Although we have derived the energy flux of the electromagnetic wave for a wave packet, the
results also apply for plane harmonic waves. If the angular frequency of the transmitter is
[omega], then at a fixed distance, the electric and magnetic fields will oscillate in time with
the same angular frequency

(45)

(46)

The energy flux can be obtained by substituting eq.(45) and eq.(46) in eq.(44)

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(47)

The time-averaged energy flux is equal to

(48)

Example Problem: Energy of a Laser Beam

The beam of a powerful laser has a diameter of 0.2 cm and carries a power of 6 kW. What is
the time-average Poynting vector of this beam ? What are the amplitudes of the electric and
magnetic fields ?

The laser beam carries a power of 6 kW. The flux of energy in the beam is equal to the power
delivered divided by the surface over which this power is delivered. Thus

(49)

The amplitude of the electric field can be obtained using eq.(48)

(50)

The amplitude of the magnetic field can be obtained by dividing the amplitude of the electric
field by the speed of light

(51)

Example Problem: Energy and Current Flow

A steady current of 12 A flows in a copper wire of radius 0.13 cm.

a) What is the longitudinal electric field in the wire ?

b) What is the magnetic field at the surface of the wire ?

c) What is the magnitude of the radial Poynting vector at the surface of the wire ?

d) Consider a 1.0-m segment of this wire. According to the Poynting vector, what amount of
power flows into this piece of wire from the surrounding space ?

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e) Show that the power calculated in part (d) coincides with the power of the Joule heat
developed in the 1.0-m segment of wire.

a) Consider a 1-m segment of the wire. The resistance of this segment is equal to

(52)

The voltage across this segment can be obtained using Ohm's law

(53)

The longitudinal electric field in this segment is thus equal to

(54)

b) The magnetic field at the surface of the wire can be obtained using Ampere's law

(55)

c) The Poynting vector will be perpendicular to both the electric field and the magnetic field.
Using the right-hand rule it can be shown that the Poynting vector is pointing along the radial
direction, towards the center of the wire. The magnitude of the Poynting vector is equal to

(56)

d) Since the Poynting vector is directed radially inwards, the power flowing into a 1-m long
segment of the wire is just equal to the magnitude of the Poynting vector times the surface
area of the 1-m long segment

(57)

e) The Joule heat developed in the 1-m long segment of the wire is equal to

(58)

which is equal to the power flowing into the wire, calculated in part d).

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5. Momentum of a Wave
When an electromagnetic wave strikes a charged particle, it will exert a force on it. The forces
acting on the charged particle are the electric force and the magnetic force. The electric force
will be directed along the y axis and has a magnitude equal to

(59)

The electric force will therefore only change the y component of the velocity of the charge.
The x component of the velocity will be effected by the magnetic field. The x component of
the magnetic force is given by

(60)

Equation (60) can be rewritten in terms of the electric field Ey:

(61)

The electric field does work on the particle, and the rate of increase of its energy is given by

(62)

Comparing eq.(61) and (62) we conclude that

(63)

Equation (63) shows that the rate at which the particle acquires x momentum from the wave is
proportional to the rate at which it acquires energy. Equation (64) can be rewritten as

(64)

If the wave loses all its energy and momentum to the particle then eq.(64) can be interpreted
as stating that the change in the momentum of the charged particle is equal to

(65)

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where U is the total energy of the wave. Since linear momentum is a conserved quantity,
eq.(65) indicates that the wave initially carries a linear momentum equal to U/c. Equation (63)
can be rewritten using eq.(42):

(66)

The momentum flow oscillates in the same way as the energy flow.

The change in the x component of the momentum per unit time is equal to the x component of
the force exerted on the particle. Thus

(67)

Equation (67) can be expressed in terms of the Poynting vector

(68)

The force exerted by the wave per unit area is equal to

(69)

and is called the pressure of radiation. Note: this formula is only correct if the wave is
completely absorbed. If the wave is totally reflected then the pressure of radiation is twice that
given in eq.(69).

Example Problem: Solar Sails

Astronauts of the future could travel all over the Solar System in a spaceship equipped with a
large "sail" coated with a reflecting material. Such a "sail" would act as a mirror; the pressure
of sunlight on this mirror could support and propel the spaceship. How large a "sail" do we
need to support a spaceship of 70 metric tons (equal to the mass of Skylab) against the
gravitational pull of the sun ? Ignore the mass of the "sail".

Suppose the area of the sail is A and that the spaceship is located at the same distance from
the sun as the earth is. At this point the average energy flux in the sun light is equal to 1.4 . 10
3
W/m2. The force exerted by the reflected sun light is equal to

(70)

The gravitational force between the space ship and the sun is equal to

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(71)

and this force is pointed in a direction opposite to that of the radiation force in eq.(70). These
two equation can be used to determine that a sail of 4.4 x 10 7 m2 is needed to balance the
attractive gravitational force with a repulsive radiation force.

6. The Doppler Shift of Light


If electromagnetic waves are emitted with a frequency [nu] from an emitter, than a receiver, at
rest with respect to the emitter, will detect electromagnetic waves with the same frequency
[nu]. If the emitter moves with respect to the source then the frequency received will not be
the same as the frequency emitted. Suppose the emitter produces electromagnetic waves with
frequency [nu]0. If the electromagnetic waves are detected by a receiver moving away from
the emitter with a velocity v, than the frequency received by the receiver is equal to

(72)

If the received is approaching the emitter with a velocity v than the frequency received by the
receiver is equal to

(73)

This shift in frequency is called the Doppler Shift.

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