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ELECTROSTATICS

Coulomb's Law
Like charges repel, unlike charges attract. The electric force acting on a point charge q1 as a result of the presence of a second point charge q2 is given by Coulomb's Law:

where ε0 = permittivity of space. Note that this satisfies Newton's third law because it implies that exactly the same magnitude of force acts on q2. Coulomb's law is a vector equation and includes the fact that the force acts along the line joining the charges. Like charges repel and unlike charges attract. Coulomb's law describes a force of infinite range which obeys the inverse square law, and is of the same form as the gravity force.

Electric Field
Electric field is defined as the electric force per unit charge. The direction of the field is taken to be the direction of the force it would exert on a positive test charge. The electric field is radially outward from a positive charge and radially in toward a negative point charge.

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it will obtain a measure of the net electric charge within the surface. It is an important tool since it permits the assessment of the amount of enclosed charge by mapping the field on a surface outside the charge distribution. it simplifies the calculation of the electric field. measuring the perpendicular field times its area. If it picks any closed surface and steps over that surface. Gauss' law permits the evaluation of the electric field in many practical situations by forming a symmetric Gaussian surface surrounding a charge distribution and evaluating the electric flux through that surface. Integral Form The area integral of the electric field over any closed surface is equal to the net charge enclosed in the surface divided by the permittivity of space. Gauss' Law. For geometries of sufficient symmetry. Another way of visualizing this is to consider a probe of area A which can measure the electric field perpendicular to that area. 2|Page . Electric Flux The concept of electric flux is useful in association with Gauss' law. Gauss' law is a form of one of Maxwell's equations. the four fundamental equations for electricity and magnetism. The electric flux through a planar area is defined as the electric field times the component of the area perpendicular to the field. no matter how that internal charge is configured.Gauss's Law The total of the electric flux out of a closed surface is equal to the charge enclosed divided by the permittivity. The electric flux through an area is defined as the electric field multiplied by the area of the surface projected in a plane perpendicular to the field. If the area is not planar. Gauss's Law is a general law applying to any closed surface. then the evaluation of the flux generally requires an area integral since the angle will be continually changing.

The total flux over the entire surface is given by Applications of Gauss’ Law (1) Electric Field of Point Charge The electric field of a point charge Q can be obtained by a straightforward application of Gauss' law. where dΩ is the solid angle subtended by the surface area element at the point of charge. where Ω. Proof of Gauss’s Law =E. it is understood that the magnitude of the vector is equal to the area and the direction of the vector is perpendicular to the area. it would experience a force 3|Page . Considering a Gaussian surface in the form of a sphere at radius r. the electric field has the same magnitude at every point of the sphere and is directed outward.When the area A is used in a vector operation like this. The electric field at radius r is then given by: If another charge q is placed at r.dS=EdS cosθ. The electric flux is then just the electric field times the area of the sphere.

(2) Electric Field of Line Charge (3) Electric Field of Conducting Sphere The electric field of a conducting sphere with charge Q can be obtained by a straightforward application of Gauss' law. the electric field has the same magnitude at every point of the surface and is directed outward.so this is seen to be consistent with Coulomb's law. Considering a Gaussian surface in the form of a sphere at radius r > R. 4|Page . The electric flux is then just the electric field times the area of the spherical surface.

and by its symmetry can be seen to be zero at all points inside the spherical conductor (4) Electric Field: Sphere of Uniform Charge The electric field of a sphere of uniform charge density and total charge Q can be obtained by applying Gauss' law. Inside the sphere of charge. The electric field outside the sphere (r > R) is seen to be identical to that of a point charge Q at the center of the sphere. the field is given by: (5) Electric Field: Sheet of Charge For an infinite sheet of charge. Considering a Gaussian surface in the form of a sphere at radius r > R. In this case a cylindrical 5|Page . For a radius r < R. Since all the charge will reside on the conducting surface. Therefore only the ends of a cylindrical Gaussian surface will contribute to the electric flux . a Gaussian surface at r< R will enclose no charge. the electric field has the same magnitude at every point of the surface and is directed outward. the electric field will be perpendicular to the surface. a Gaussian surface will enclose less than the total charge and the electric field will be less. The electric flux is then just the electric field times the area of the spherical surface.The electric field is seen to be identical to that of a point charge Q at the center of the sphere.

Considering a cylindrical Gaussian surface oriented perpendicular to the surface. Likewise it tells us that the field in the interior of the conductor While strictly true only for an is zero. It tells us that and the electric field is simply the field is perpendicular to the surface. since otherwise charge would be moving infinite conductor. we approach any conductor at equilibrium. it tells us the limiting value as and not at equilibrium.Gaussian surface perpendicular to the charge sheet is used. 6|Page . it can be seen that the only contribution to the electric flux is through the top of the Gaussian surface. (6) Electric Field: Conductor Surface Examining the nature of the electric field near a conducting surface is an important application of Gauss' law. The flux is given by The fact that the conductor is at equilibrium is an important constraint in this problem. The resulting field is half that of a conductor at equilibrium with this surface charge density. because otherwise it would exert a force parallel to the surface and produce charge motion.