Go Back   Physics Help Forum > College/University Physics Help > Advanced Electricity and Magnetism

Advanced Electricity and Magnetism Advanced Electricity and Magnetism Physics Help Forum

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old May 10th 2011, 02:49 PM   #11
Forum Admin
 
topsquark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: On the dance floor, baby!
Posts: 2,814
Okay, time to eat a little crow.

I had a reason for my mistake, but mind you it was still a rather large mistake. Looking back practically all of my experience with Gauss' Law has been with conductors and conductors have the rather special property that (in the static case) no electric fields can exist inside them. Apparently I got to the point of thinking that no electric field could exist inside any closed surface that did not contain a charge distribution. My apologies for that!

To answer your original question: There is no reason for the electric field to be 0 in a region if the exterior charge distribution is non-uniform. (Unless that region is in a conductor.)

-Dan
__________________
Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

See the forum rules here.
topsquark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 22nd 2011, 10:26 PM   #12
dec
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 6
I feel your frustration. It's happened to me many times, topsquark.

I believe the missing ingredient is that the charge on a simply connected closed conducting surface will rearrange such that the electric field on every surface element is normal to the surface. This means that the surface must be smooth, so that the norm is well defined for each element.

Interestingly, this will not work for a superconductor in the same way as a normal conductor. Rearrangement of charge is to a minimum energy state. In a normal conductor this is via resistive dissipation. A superconductor must radiate to obtain a minimum energy state.
dec is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

  Physics Help Forum > College/University Physics Help > Advanced Electricity and Magnetism

Tags
electric, field, inside, nonuniform, shells



Search tags for this page
Click on a term to search for related topics.
Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Physics Forum Discussions
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Electrostatic force,electric field,electric potential,electric flux jasonlewiz Electricity and Magnetism 0 Jul 23rd 2010 10:19 PM
A neutral metal rod in a uniform magnetic field... ZergLurker Advanced Electricity and Magnetism 1 Apr 12th 2010 11:43 PM
Uniform line charge of linear charge density + E field chevy900ss Electricity and Magnetism 12 Mar 17th 2010 07:09 PM
electric field inside a conducting sphere nikhil Electricity and Magnetism 1 Jan 9th 2010 11:04 PM
electric dipole/ magnitude of electric field tag16 Electricity and Magnetism 0 Oct 12th 2009 04:23 PM


Facebook Twitter Google+ RSS Feed