Behavior at conductor surface?
I'm feeling a bit confused about how electric fields actually behave at the surface of a conductor. I mean, I understand the mathematical derivation that says that the tangential component is zero and so on, but take this as a very specific example:
Say we overlay a room with a typical Cartesian coordinate system and set up an electric field going exactly straight from x to +x for y > 0. Now imagine taking a conducting square box, with one side parallel to the xaxis, and moving it from some y to some +y. Will the electric field actually bend at the top of the box and twist around 90 degrees? Is this measurable and, just roughly, how far do these distortions spread? That is, are they normal to the conductor just precisely at the surface and then a thousandth of a millimeter out they're back to pointing in their original direction or how does that work?
Any help in sorting this out would be greatly appreciated!
