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Chapter 1

The Electric Force

1- There are two kinds of the electric charges in the nature, which are positive and

negative charges.

2- The charges of opposite sign attract one another and the charges of the same sign repel

one another.

3- The Charge is quantized.

• 1 micro coulomb (1 µC) = 10-6 C

• 1 nano coulomb (1 nC) = 10-9 C

• 1 pico coulomb (1pC) = 10-12 C

1

General physics Phys 2180

3. Coulomb’s Law

Charles Coulomb (1736 - 1806) measured the magnitudes of the electric forces between

charged objects using the torsion balance shown in Figure (1).

From Coulomb’s experiments, we can generalize the following properties of the electric

force exerted between two stationary charged particles:

• The electric force is inversely proportional to the square of the separation r between the

1

particles and directed along the line joining them F ∝ ;

r2

• The electric force is proportional to the product of the charges q1 and q2 on the two

particles F ∝ q1 q 2 ;

•The electric force is attractive if the charges are of opposite sign and repulsive if the

charges have the same sign;

• The electric force is a conservative force.

2

General physics Phys 2180

We will use the term point charge to mean a particle of zero size that carries an electric

charge. We can express Coulomb’s law as an equation giving the magnitude of the

electric force (sometimes called the Coulomb force) between two point charges:

q1 q 2

Fe = K e

r2

Where ke is a constant called the Coulomb constant. The value of the Coulomb constant

depends on the choice of units. The Coulomb constant ke in SI units has the value

1

K= = 9 × 10 9 N.m 2 /C 2

4πε 0

where the constant εo (lowercase Greek epsilon) is known as the permittivity of free

space and has the value

ε o = 8.85 10 -12 C 2 / N.m 2

The smallest unit of charge e known in nature is the charge on an electron (- e) or a

proton (+ e) and has a magnitude

e = 1.602 x 10 −19 C

The electron and proton of a hydrogen atom are separated (on the average) by a distance

of approximately 5.3 x 10-11 m. Find the magnitudes of the electric force and the

gravitational force between the two particles.

3

General physics Phys 2180

Solution From Coulomb’s law, we find that the magnitude of the electric force is

-m

النواة+

M

q1 q 2 e x −e

Fe = K e 2

= Ke

r r2

= 9 x 10 9

x

(1.6 x 10 ) −19 2

(5.3 x 10 ) −11 2

= 8.2 x 10 −8 N

Using Newton’s law of universal gravitation and above Table for the particle masses, we

find that the magnitude of the gravitational force is

mM

FG = G

r2

=

(6.67 × 10 −11

)( )( 2

N.m 2 /Kg 2 9.11 × 10 −31 Kg 1.67 × 10 − 27 Kg )

(5.3 × 10 −11

m )

2

= 3.63 × 10 − 47 N

FE 8.23 × 10 −8

= − 47

= 2.27 × 10 39

FG 3.62 × 10

Thus, the gravitational force between charged atomic particles is negligible when

4

General physics Phys 2180

Figure (4)

When dealing with Coulomb’s law, you must remember that force is a vector

quantity and must be treated accordingly. The law expressed in vector form for the

electric force exerted by a charge q1 on a second charge q2, written F12, is

q1 q 2 ∧

F12 = K e r

r2

where rˆ is a unit vector directed from q1 toward q2, as shown in Figure 4-a. Because

the electric force obeys Newton’s third law, the electric force exerted by q2 on q1 is equal

in magnitude to the force exerted by q1 on q2 and in the opposite direction; that is,

F21 = - F12.

5

General physics Phys 2180

Figure (5)

if five charges are present, as shown in figure(5), then the resultant force exerted by

particles 2, 3, 4,and 5 on particle 1 is

Example 2

Consider three point charges located at the corners of a right triangle as shown in

Figure 6, where q1= q3 = 5.0 µC, q2= - 2.0 µC, and a = 0.10 m. Find the resultant force

exerted on q3.

6

General physics Phys 2180

y

F13

F13 y

F13 x

+ x

q3

Figure (6)

Solution First, note the direction of the individual forces exerted by q1 and q2 on q3. The

force F23 exerted by q2 on q3 is attractive because q2 and q3 have opposite

signs. The force F13 exerted by q1 on q3 is repulsive because both charges are

positive.

In the coordinate system shown in Figure(6), the attractive force F23 is to the left (in the

negative x direction).

The magnitude of the force F13 exerted by q1 on q3 is

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General physics Phys 2180

The repulsive force F13 makes an angle of 45° with the x axis. Therefore, the x and y

components of F13 are equal, with magnitude given by F13 cos 45° = 7.9 N.

We can also express the resultant force acting on q3 in unit vector form as

Three point charges lie along the x axis as shown in Figure (7). The positive

charge q1 = 15.0 µC is at x = 2.00 m, the positive charge q2 = 6.00 µC is at the origin, and

the resultant force acting on q3 is zero. What is the x coordinate of q3?

8

General physics Phys 2180

Figure (7)

Solution Because q3 is negative and q1 and q2 are positive, the forces F13 and F23 are both

attractive, as indicated in Figure (7). From Coulomb’s law, F13 and F23 have

magnitudes

For the resultant force on q3 to be zero, F23 must be equal in magnitude and opposite in

direction to F13. Setting the magnitudes of the two forces equal, we have

Noting that ke and q3 are common to both sides and so can be dropped, we solve for x and

find that

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General physics Phys 2180

Solving this quadratic equation for x, we find that the positive root is x = 0.775 m There

is also a second root, x = - 3.44 m. This is another location at which the magnitudes of the

forces on q3 are equal, but both forces are in the same direction at this location.

.Problems

(1) Two protons in an atomic nucleus are typically separated by a distance of 2 x 10-

15

m. The electric repulsion force between the protons is huge, but the attractive

nuclear force is even stronger and keeps the nucleus from bursting apart. What is

the magnitude of the electric force between two protons separated by 2.00 x 10-

15

m?

(2) Three point charges are located at the corners of an equilateral triangle as shown

in Figure 9. Calculate the resultant electric force on the 7.00- µC charge.

Figure (9)

(3) Two identical conducting small spheres are placed with their centers 0.300m

apart. One is given a charge of 12.0 nC and the other a charge of -18.0 nC. (a)

Find the electric force exerted by one sphere on the other. (b) What If? The

spheres are connected by a conducting wire. Find the electric force between the

two after they have come to equilibrium.

10

General physics Phys 2180

Problems solutions

(1)

(2)

11

General physics Phys 2180

(3)

12

General physics Phys 2180

Chapter 2

Electric Field

Two field forces have been introduced into our study so far—the gravitational force

Fg and the electric force Fe .

The gravitational field g at a point in space equal to the gravitational force Fg acting

on a test particle of mass m divided by that mass:

Fg

g = .

m

The electric field vector E at a point in space is defined as the electric force Fe

acting on a positive test charge q0 placed at that point divided by the test charge:

Fe

E =

qo

Note that E is the field produced by some charge or charge distribution separate from

the test charge—it is not the field produced by the test charge itself. Also, note that the

existence of an electric field is a property of its source—the presence of the test charge is

not necessary for the field to exist. The test charge serves as a detector of the electric

field. The Equation electric field can be rearranged as

Fe = E q o

where we have used the general symbol q for a charge. This equation gives us the force

on a charged particle placed in an electric field. If q is positive, the force is in the same

direction as the field. If q is negative, the force and the field are in opposite directions ( as

shown in the following figure).

13

General physics Phys 2180

Figure (1)

To determine the direction of an electric field, consider a point charge q as a source

charge. This charge creates an electric field at all points in space surrounding it. A test

charge q0 is placed at point P, a distance r from the source charge, as in Figure 1-a.

According to Coulomb’s law, the force exerted by q on the test charge is

q qo ∧

Fe = K e r

r2

Fe

Q E=

qo

q ∧

∴ E = Ke r

r2

where rˆ is a unit vector directed from q toward q0.

If the source charge q is positive, Figure 1-b shows the situation with the test

charge removed—the source charge sets up an electric field at point P, directed away

from q. If q is negative, as in Figure 1-c, the force on the test charge is toward the source

charge, so the electric field at P is directed toward the source charge, as in Figure 1-d.

14

General physics Phys 2180

Note that at any point P, the total electric field due to a group of source charges equals

the vector sum of the electric fields of all the charges. Thus, the electric field at point P

due to a group of source charges can be expressed as the vector sum

∧

Where ri is the distance from the i th source charge qi to the point P and ri is a unit

vector directed from qi toward P.

A charge q1= 7.0 µC is located at the origin, and a second charge q2 = -5.0 µC is located

on the x axis, 0.30 m from the origin (Figure 2). Find the electric field at the point P,

which has coordinates (0, 0.40) m.

Figure (2)

15

General physics Phys 2180

Solution:

First, let us find the magnitude of the electric field at P due to each charge. The fields E1

due to the 7.0 µC charge and E2 due to the - 5.0 µC charge are shown in Figure 2. Their

magnitudes are

The vector E1 has only a y component. The vector E2 has an x component given by E2

3 4

Cos θ = E2 and a negative y component given by E2 Sin θ = E2. Hence, we can

5 5

express the vectors as

From this result, we find that E makes an angle φ of 66° with the positive x axis and has

a magnitude of 2.7 x 105 N/C

by a distance 2a. For the dipole shown in Figure 3, find the electric field E at P due to the

dipole, where P is a distance y >> a from the origin.

16

General physics Phys 2180

Solution:

At P, the fields E1 and E2 due to the two charges are equal in magnitude because P is

equidistant from the charges. The total field is E = E1 + E2 , where

Figure (3)

The y components of E1 and E2 cancel each other, and the x components are both in the

positive x direction and have the same magnitude. Therefore, E is parallel to the x axis

and has a magnitude equal to 2 E1 Cos θ. From Figure 3 we see that

a a

Cos θ = = 1

r

(y 2

+ a2 ) 2

Therefore

17

General physics Phys 2180

Representative electric field lines for the field due to a single positive point charge are

shown in Figure 8 a. The electric field lines representing the field due to a single negative

point charge are directed toward the charge (Fig.8 b). In either case, the lines are along

the radial direction and extend all the way to infinity. Note that the lines become closer

together as they approach the charge; this indicates that the strength of the field increases

as we move toward the source charge.

Figure (8)

The rules for drawing electric field lines are as follows:

• The lines must begin on a positive charge and terminate on a negative charge. In

the case of an excess of one type of charge, some lines will begin or end infinitely

far away.

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General physics Phys 2180

charge is proportional to the magnitude of the charge.

19

General physics Phys 2180

Problems

(1) In the figure bellow, determine the point (other than infinity) at which the electric

field is zero.

Solution:

20

General physics Phys 2180

(2) Three point charges are arranged as shown in the figure bellow:

(a) Find the vector electric field that the 6.00-nC and "3.00-nC charges together

create at the origin.

(b) Find the vector force on the 5.00-nC charge.

21

General physics Phys 2180

Solution:

(3) Four identical point charges (q = +10.0 µC) are located on the corners of a

rectangle as shown in the figure bellow. The dimensions of the rectangle are L=

60.0 cm and W = 15.0 cm. Calculate the magnitude and direction of the resultant

electric force exerted on the charge at the lower left corner by the other three

charges.

22

General physics Phys 2180

Solution:

23

General physics Phys 2180

Chapter 3

Electric Flux and Gauss’s Law

1- Electric Flux

Figure (1)

Consider an electric field that is uniform in both magnitude and direction, as shown

in Figure 1. The total number of lines penetrating the surface is proportional to the

product E A. This product of the magnitude of the electric field E and surface area A

perpendicular to the field is called the electric flux ΦE.

ΦE = E A

From the SI units of E and A, we see that ΦE has units of newton-meters squared per

coulomb (N. m2/ C.) Electric flux is proportional to the number of electric field lines

penetrating some surface.

Example 1

What is the electric flux through a sphere that has a radius of 1.0 m and carries a charge

of +1.0 µC at its center?

Solution

The magnitude of the electric field is giving by

24

General physics Phys 2180

The field points radially outward and is therefore everywhere perpendicular to the surface

of the sphere. The flux through the sphere (whose surface area A = 4 πr2 = 12.6 m2) is

thus

If the surface under consideration is not perpendicular to the field, as show in Figure

2, the electric flux ΦE given by

ΦE = E A Cos θ

Figure (2)

From this equation, we see that the flux through a surface of fixed area A has a maximum

value EA when the surface is perpendicular to the field (when the normal to the surface is

parallel to the field, that is, θ = 0° in Figure 2); the flux is zero when the surface is

parallel to the field (when the normal to the surface is perpendicular to the field, that is, θ

= 90°).

25

General physics Phys 2180

2- Gauss’s Law

In this section we describe a general relationship between the net electric flux

through a closed surface (often called a gaussian surface) and the charge enclosed by the

surface. This relationship, known as Gauss’s law, is of fundamental importance in the

study of electric fields.

Figure (3)

Let us again consider a positive point charge q located at the center of a sphere of radius

r, as shown in Figure 3. we know that the magnitude of the electric field everywhere on

the surface of the sphere is

q

E = Ke

r2

The field lines are directed radially outward and hence are perpendicular to the surface at

every point on the surface. That is, at each surface point, E is parallel to the vector ∆Ai

representing a local element of area ∆Ai surrounding the surface point. Therefore,

26

General physics Phys 2180

where we have moved E outside of the integral because E is constant over the surface

q

and given by E = K e Furthermore, because the surface is spherical,

r2

According to the superposition principle, which states that the electric field due to many

charges is the vector sum of the electric fields produced by the individual charges.

Therefore, we can express the flux through any closed surface as

Figure (4)

Figure 4 shows that the number of lines through S1 is equal to the number of lines

through the non-spherical surfaces S2 and S3. Therefore, we conclude that the net flux

27

General physics Phys 2180

q

through any closed surface surrounding a point charge q is given by and is

εo

independent of the shape of that surface.

Figure (5)

Consider the system of charges shown in Figure 5. The surface S surrounds only

q1

one charge, q1; hence, the net flux through S is . The flux through S due to charges

εo

q2, q3, and q4 outside it is zero because each electric field line that enters S at one point

leaves it at another. The surface S\ surrounds charges q2 and q3; hence, the net flux

q 2 + q3

through it is . Finally, the net flux through surface S\\ is zero because there is no

εo

charge inside this surface. That is, all the electric field lines that enter S\\ at one point

leave at another. Notice that charge q4 does not contribute to the net flux through any of

the surfaces because it is outside all of the surfaces.

Gauss’s law, which is a generalization of what we have just described, states that the

net flux through any closed surface is

28

General physics Phys 2180

where qin represents the net charge inside the surface and E represents the electric field at

any point on the surface.

Starting with Gauss’s law, calculate the electric field due to an isolated point charge q.

Solution:

We choose a spherical gaussian surface of radius r centered on the point charge, as shown

in Figure 6. The electric field due to a positive point charge is directed radially outward

by symmetry and is therefore normal to the surface at every point. Thus, E is parallel to

dA at each point. Therefore,

where we have used the fact that the surface area of a sphere is 4πr2. Now, we solve for

the electric field:

29

General physics Phys 2180

Problems

(1) An electric field with a magnitude of 3.50 kN/C is applied along the x axis.

Calculate the electric flux through a rectangular plane 0.350 m wide and 0.700 m

long assuming that (a) the plane is parallel to the yz plane; (b) the plane is parallel

to the xy plane; (c) the plane contains the y axis, and its normal makes an angle of

40.0° with the x axis.

Solution:

(2) Four closed surfaces, S1 through S4, together with the charges -2Q , +Q , and -Q

are sketched in the figure bellow. (The colored lines are the intersections of the

surfaces with the page.) Find the electric flux through each surface.

30

General physics Phys 2180

Solution:

(3) A charge of 170 µC is at the center of a cube of edge 80.0 cm. (a) Find the total

flux through each face of the cube. (b) Find the flux through the whole surface of

the cube.

Solution:

31

General physics Phys 2180

Chapter 4

Electric Potential

charge distribution, the electric force acting on the test charge is qo E. The force qo E is

conservative because the force between charges described by Coulomb’s law is

conservative. When the test charge is moved in the field by some external agent, the work

done by the field on the charge is equal to the negative of the work done by the external

agent causing the displacement ds.

field on the charge is F. ds = qoE. ds. As this amount of work is done by the field, the

potential energy of the charge–field system is changed by an amount dU = qoE. ds. For a

finite displacement of the charge from point A to point B, the change in potential energy

of the system ∆U = UB - UA is

The integration is performed along the path that qo follows as it moves from A to B.

Because the force qo E is conservative, this line integral does not depend on the path

taken from A to B.

The potential energy per unit charge U/qo is independent of the value of qo and has a

value at every point in an electric field. This quantity U/qo is called the electric

potential (or simply the potential) V. Thus, the electric potential at any point in an

electric field is

32

General physics Phys 2180

The potential difference ∆V= VB - VA between two points A and B in an electric field is

defined as the change in potential energy of the system when a test charge is moved

between the points divided by the test charge qo:

The potential difference between A and B depends only on the source charge distribution

(consider points A and B without the presence of the test charge), while the difference in

potential energy exists only if a test charge is moved between the points. Electric

potential is a scalar characteristic of an electric field, independent of any charges

that may be placed in the field.

If an external agent moves a test charge from A to B without changing the kinetic

energy of the test charge, the agent performs work which changes the potential energy of

the system: W = ∆U.

The work done by an external agent in moving a charge q through an electric field at

constant velocity is

The SI unit of both electric potential and potential difference is joules per coulomb,

which is defined as a volt (V):

33

General physics Phys 2180

That is, 1 J of work must be done to move a 1-C charge through a potential difference

of 1 V.

Consider a uniform electric field directed along the negative y axis, as shown in

Figure 1-a. Let us calculate the potential difference between two points A and B separated

by a distance |s| = d, where s is parallel to the field lines.

Because E is constant, we can remove it from the integral sign; this gives

The negative sign indicates that the electric potential at point B is lower than at point A;

that is, VB < VA. Electric field lines always point in the direction of decreasing electric

potential, as shown in Figure 1-a.

Figure (1)

34

General physics Phys 2180

Now suppose that a test charge qo moves from A to B. The change in the potential energy

of the charge–field system is given by

positive charge and an electric field loses electric potential energy when the

charge moves in the direction of the field. This means that an electric field does

work on a positive charge when the charge moves in the direction of the electric

field.

(2) If qo is negative, then ∆U is positive and the situation is reversed: A system

consisting of a negative charge and an electric field gains electric potential energy

when the charge moves in the direction of the field.

Figure (2)

Now consider the more general case of a charged particle that moves between A and

B in a uniform electric field such that the vector s is not parallel to the field lines, as

shown in Figure 2. In this case the potential difference is given by

35

General physics Phys 2180

where again we are able to remove E from the integral because it is constant. The change

in potential energy of the charge–field system is

Finally, we conclude that all points in a plane perpendicular to a uniform electric field

are at the same electric potential. We can see this in Figure 2, where the potential

difference VB - VA is equal to the potential difference VC - VA.

consisting of a continuous distribution of points having the same electric potential.

Example 1 (The Electric Field Between Two Parallel Plates of Opposite Charge)

the battery terminals. A 12-V battery is connected between two parallel plates, as shown

in Figure 3. The separation between the plates is d = 0.30 cm, and we assume the electric

field between the plates to be uniform. Find the magnitude of the electric field between

the plates.

Figure (3)

36

General physics Phys 2180

Solution:

A proton is released from rest in a uniform electric field that has a magnitude of

8.0 x 104 V/m (Figure 4). The proton undergoes a displacement of 0.50 m in the

direction of E.

(A) Find the change in electric potential between points A and B.

(B) Find the change in potential energy of the proton–field system for this displacement.

Figure (4)

(B) the change in potential energy of the proton–field system for this displacement

37

General physics Phys 2180

To find the electric potential at a point located a distance r from the charge, we begin

with the general expression for potential difference:

Figure (5)

where A and B are the two arbitrary points shown in Figure 5. At any point in space, the

electric field due to the point charge is

38

General physics Phys 2180

q ∧

E = Ke r

r2

where rˆ is a unit vector directed from the charge toward the point. The quantity E . ds

can be expressed as

Because the magnitude rˆ of is 1, the dot product rˆ. ds = ds cos θ (, where θ is the angle

between rˆ and ds. Furthermore, ds cos θ is the projection of ds onto r; thus,

ds cos θ = dr

This equation shows us that the integral of E. ds is independent of the path between

points A and B. Multiplying by a charge qo that moves between points A and B, we see

that the integral of qo E. ds is also independent of path.

be V = 0 at rA → ∞ . With this reference choice, the electric potential created by a point

charge at any distance r from the charge is

We obtain the electric potential resulting from two or more point charges by

applying the superposition principle. That is, the total electric potential at some point P

39

General physics Phys 2180

due to several point charges is the sum of the potentials due to the individual charges. For

a group of point charges, we can write the total electric potential at P in the form

Figure (6)

A charge q1= 2.00 µC is located at the origin, and a charge q2 = - 6.00 µC is located at (0,

3.00) m, as shown in Figure 6-a.

(A) Find the total electric potential due to these charges at the point P, whose

coordinates are (4.00, 0) m.

(B) Find the change in potential energy of the system of two charges plus a charge q3

= 3.00 µC as the latter charge moves from infinity to point P (Figure6-b).

40

General physics Phys 2180

Solution:

(A)

(B)

When the charge q3 is at infinity, let us define Ui= 0 for the system, and when the charge

is at P, Uf= q3 VP; therefore,

41

General physics Phys 2180

Chapter 5

Capacitance and Dielectrics

Definition of Capacitance

Consider two conductors carrying charges of equal magnitude and opposite sign, as

shown in Figure 1. Such a combination of two conductors is called a capacitor.The

conductors are called plates. A potential difference ∆V exists between the conductors due

to the presence of the charges.

Figure (1)

The capacitance C of a capacitor is defined as the ratio of the magnitude of the charge on

either conductor to the magnitude of the potential difference between the conductors:

From this Equation we see that capacitance has SI units of coulombs per volt. The SI

unit of capacitance is the farad (F), which was named in honor of Michael Faraday:

1 F = 1 C/V

Calculating Capacitance

conductors in the following manner: assume a charge of magnitude Q, and calculate the

42

General physics Phys 2180

potential difference using the techniques described in the preceding chapter. We then use

the expression C = Q/∆V to evaluate the capacitance.

The electric potential of the sphere of radius R is simply ke Q/R, and setting V = 0 for the

infinitely large shell, we have

This expression shows that the capacitance of an isolated charged sphere is proportional

to its radius and is independent of both the charge on the sphere and the potential

difference.

1- Parallel-Plate Capacitors

Two parallel metallic plates of equal area A are separated by a distance d, as shown in

Figure 2. One plate carries a charge Q , and the other carries a charge -Q .

Figure (2)

43

General physics Phys 2180

The surface charge density on either plate is σ = Q/A. If the plates are very close together

(in comparison with their length and width), we can assume that the electric field is

uniform between the plates and is zero elsewhere. The value of the electric field between

the plates is

Because the field between the plates is uniform, the magnitude of the potential difference

between the plates equals Ed ; therefore,

That is, the capacitance of a parallel-plate capacitor is proportional to the area of its plates

and inversely proportional to the plate separation.

A parallel-plate capacitor with air between the plates has an area A = 2.00 x 10-4 m2 and a

plate separation d = 1.00 mm. Find its capacitance.

Solution:

44

General physics Phys 2180

From the definition of capacitance, we can, in principle, find the capacitance of any

geometric arrangement of conductors. Assume a solid cylindrical conductor of radius a

and charge Q is coaxial with a cylindrical shell of negligible thickness, radius b , a, and

Figure (3)

45

General physics Phys 2180

charge -Q concentric with a smaller conducting sphere of radius a and charge Q (Fig. 4).

Figure (4)

46

General physics Phys 2180

Combinations of Capacitors

capacitors. The individual potential differences across capacitors connected in parallel are

the same and are equal to the potential difference applied across the combination.

Figure (5)

Let us call the maximum charges on the two capacitors Q1 and Q2. The total charge Q

stored by the two capacitors is

That is, the total charge on capacitors connected in parallel is the sum of the charges on

the individual capacitors. Because the voltages across the capacitors are the same, the

charges that they carry are

47

General physics Phys 2180

Suppose that we wish to replace these two capacitors by one equivalent capacitor having

a capacitance Ceq, as in Figure 4c.

If we extend this treatment to three or more capacitors connected in parallel, we find the

equivalent capacitance to be

Two capacitors connected as shown in Figure 6a and the equivalent circuit diagram in

Figure 6b are known as a series combination of capacitors.

Figure (6)

The charges on capacitors connected in series are the same. From Figure 6a, we see that

the voltage ∆V across the battery terminals is split between the two capacitors:

48

General physics Phys 2180

where ∆V1 and ∆V2 are the potential differences across capacitors C1 and C2,

respectively. In general, the total potential difference across any number of

capacitors connected in series is the sum of the potential differences across the

individual capacitors.

Because we can apply the expression Q = C ∆V to each capacitor shown in Figure 5b, the

potential differences across them are

When this analysis is applied to three or more capacitors connected in series, the

relationship for the equivalent capacitance is

49

General physics Phys 2180

Find the equivalent capacitance between a and b for the combination of capacitors shown

in Figure 7a. All capacitances are in microfarads.

Figure (7)

Finally, the 2.0 µF and 4.0 µF capacitors in Figure 7c are in parallel and thus have an

equivalent capacitance of 6.0 µF.

Suppose that q is the charge on the capacitor at some instant during the charging process.

At the same instant, the potential difference across the capacitor is ∆V = q/C. We know

that the work necessary to transfer an increment of charge dq from the plate carrying

charge -q to the plate carrying charge q (which is at the higher electric potential) is

50

General physics Phys 2180

The total work required to charge the capacitor from q =0 to some final charge q = Q is

The work done in charging the capacitor appears as electric potential energy U stored in

the capacitor. We can express the potential energy stored in a charged capacitor in the

following forms:

Because the volume occupied by the electric field is Ad, the energy per unit volume uE =

U/Ad, known as the energy density, is

The energy density in any electric field is proportional to the square of the

magnitude of the electric field at a given point

51

General physics Phys 2180

Problems

1- An air-filled capacitor consists of two parallel plates, each with an area of 7.60

cm2, separated by a distance of 1.80 mm. A 20.0-V potential difference is applied

to these plates. Calculate (a) the electric field between the plates, (b) the surface

charge density, (c) the capacitance, and (d) the charge on each plate.

Solution:

∆V 20

(a) E = = = 11.1 x 10 3 volt / m

d 1.8 x 10 −3

σ

E =

εo

(b) σ = E ε o = 11.1 x 10 3 x 8.85 x 10 −12

= 98.235 x 10 −9 C / m 2

(c) C = o = −3

= 37.367 x 10 −13 C = 3.7367 pF

d 1.8 x 10

capacitor, the plates carry a surface charge density of 30.0 nC/cm2. What is the

spacing between the plates?

Solution:

σ d

∆V = E d =

εo

∆V ε o 150 x 8.85 x 10 −12

d = =

σ 30 x 10 −9

= 44.25 x 10 −3 m

52

General physics Phys 2180

3- Two capacitors, C1 = 5.00 µF and C2 = 12.0 µF, are connected in parallel, and

the resulting combination is connected to a 9.00-V battery. (a) What is the

equivalent capacitance of the combination? What are (b) the potential difference

across each capacitor and (c) the charge stored on each capacitor?

Solution:

C eq = C1 + C 2 = 5 x 10 −6 + 12 x 10 −6

(a)

= 17 x 10 −6 F = 17 µF

(b) The individual potential differences across capacitors connected in parallel are

the same and are equal to the potential difference applied across the

combination, So ∆V1 = ∆V2 = ∆V = 9 volt

Q1 = C1 x ∆V = 5 x 10 −6 x 9 = 45 x 10 −6 C = 45 µC

(c)

Q2 = C 2 x ∆V = 12 x 10 −6 x 9 = 108 x 10 −6 C = 108 µC

53

General physics Phys 2180

pF and give an equivalent capacitance of 2.00 pF when connected in series. What

is the capacitance of each capacitor?

Solution:

C1 + C 2 = 9

∴ C1 = 9 − C 2 (1)

1 1 1

+ =

C1 C2 2

1 1 1

+ =

9 − C2 C2 2

C2 + 9 − C2 1

=

C 2 (9 − C 2 ) 2

9 C 2 − C 22 = 18

C 22 − 9 C + 18 = 0

(C 2 − 6 ) (C 2 − 3) = 0

C 2 = 3 pF or C 2 = 6 pF

and from Eq . (1)

C 1 = 6 pF or C 1 = 3 pF

∴ C 1 = 3 pF and C 2 = 6 pF

54

General physics Phys 2180

5- Find the equivalent capacitance between points a and b for the group of capacitors

connected as shown in the Figure . Take C1 = 5.00 µF, C2 = 10.0 µF, and C3 =

2.00 µF.

Solution:

55

General physics Phys 2180

Chapter 6

Current and Resistance

1- Electric Current

The amount of flow of electric charges through a piece of material depends on the

material through which the charges are passing and the potential difference across the

material.

Figure (1)

To define current more precisely, suppose that charges are moving perpendicular

to a surface of area A, as shown in Figure 1. (This area could be the cross-sectional area

of a wire, for example.) The current is the rate at which charge flows through this

surface. If ∆Q is the amount of charge that passes through this area in a time interval ∆t,

the average current Iav is equal to the charge that passes through A per unit time:

If the rate at which charge flows varies in time, then the current varies in time; we define

the instantaneous current I as the differential limit of average current:

56

General physics Phys 2180

area in 1 s.

The charges passing through the surface in Figure 1 can be positive or negative,

or both. It is conventional to assign to the current the same direction as the flow of

positive charge.

motion of negatively charged electrons. Therefore, when we speak of current in an

ordinary conductor, the direction of the current is opposite the direction of flow of

electrons.

Figure (2)

57

General physics Phys 2180

2- Resistance

density J in the conductor is defined as the current per unit area. Because the current I

= n q vd A, the current density is

Note that , the current density is in the direction of charge motion for positive charge

carriers and opposite the direction of motion for negative charge carriers.

potential difference is maintained across the conductor. In some materials, the current

density is proportional to the electric field:

Materials that obey above Equation are said to follow Ohm’s law.

straight wire of uniform cross-sectional area A and length L, as shown in Figure 3. A

potential difference ∆V = Vb - Va is maintained across the wire, creating in the wire an

electric field and a current.

58

General physics Phys 2180

Figure (3)

Therefore, we can express the magnitude of the current density in the wire as

We can define the resistance as the ratio of the potential difference across a conductor

to the current in the conductor:

The resistance has SI units of volts per ampere. One volt per ampere is defined to be one

ohm (Ω):

59

General physics Phys 2180

where ρ has the units ohm-meters (Ω.m). Because R = L/ σ A, we can express the

resistance of a uniform block of material along the length L as

Example 2:

Calculate the resistance of an aluminum cylinder that has a length of 10.0 cm and a cross-

sectional area of 2.00 x 10-4 m2. Repeat the calculation for a cylinder of the same

dimensions and made of glass having a resistivity of 3.0 x 1010 Ω.m.

Solution

60

General physics Phys 2180

Example 3:

(A) Calculate the resistance per unit length of a 22-gauge Nichrome wire, which has a

radius of 0.321 mm.

(B) If a potential difference of 10 V is maintained across a 1.0-m length of the

Nichrome wire, what is the current in the wire?

Note that "The resistivity of Nichrome is 1.5 x 10-6 Ω.m"

Solution:

(B)

linearly with temperature according to the expression

where ρ is the resistivity at some temperature T (in degrees Celsius), ρ0 is the resistivity

at some reference temperature T0 (usually taken to be 20°C), and α is the temperature

coefficient of resistivity.

61

General physics Phys 2180

where ∆ρ= ρ - ρo is the change in resistivity in the temperature interval ∆T= T - T0.

Let us consider now the rate at which the system loses electric potential energy as the

charge Q passes through the resistor:

The power P, representing the rate at which energy is delivered to the resistor, is

62

General physics Phys 2180

When I is expressed in amperes, ∆V in volts, and R in ohms, the SI unit of power is the

watt

Example 4:

Nichrome wire that has a total resistance of 8.00 Ω. Find the current carried by the wire

and the power rating of the heater.

Solution:

63

General physics Phys 2180

Combination of Resistors

1- Series combination

When two or more resistors are connected together as in Figure 3, they are said to

be in series. The potential difference applied across the series combination of

resistors will divide between the two resistors.

Figure 3

In Figure 3-a, because the voltage drop from a to b equals IR1 and the voltage drop from

b to c equals IR2, the voltage drop from a to c is

The potential difference across the battery is also applied to the equivalent resistance Req

in Figure 3-b:

64

General physics Phys 2180

resistors is the numerical sum of the individual resistances and is always greater

than any individual resistance.

2- Parallel combination

Now consider two resistors connected in parallel, as shown in Figure 4.

(a) (b)

Figure (4)

The current I that enters point a must equal the total current leaving that point:

65

General physics Phys 2180

We can see from this expression that the inverse of the equivalent resistance of two

or more resistors connected in parallel is equal to the sum of the inverses of the

individual resistances. Furthermore, the equivalent resistance is always less than the

smallest resistance in the group.

Example 5:

(A) Find the equivalent resistance between points a and c.

(B) What is the current in each resistor if a potential difference of 42 V is maintained

between a and c?

Solution:

(A) The combination of resistors can be reduced in steps, as shown in Figure 5. The

8.0-Ω and 4.0-Ω resistors are in series; thus, the equivalent resistance between a

and b is 12.0 Ω . The 6.0-Ω and 3.0-Ω resistors are in parallel, so we find that the

66

General physics Phys 2180

to c is 14.0 Ω.

Figure (5)

(B) The currents in the 8.0-Ω and 4.0-Ω resistors are the same because they are in

series. In addition, this is the same as the current that would exist in the 14.0-Ω

equivalent resistor subject to the 42 V potential difference. Therefore,

67

General physics Phys 2180

When this 3.0-A current enters the junction at b, however, it splits, with part passing

through the 6.0-Ω resistor (I1) and part through the 3.0-Ω resistor (I2).

Because the potential difference is Vbc across each of these parallel resistors, we see that:

I1 + I2 = 3.0 A

Then : I1 = 1.0 A and I2 = 2.0 A.

Example 3

Three resistors are connected in parallel as shown in Figure 6-a. A potential difference of

18.0 V is maintained between points a and b.

Figure 6

68

General physics Phys 2180

(B) Calculate the power delivered to each resistor and the total power delivered to the

combination of resistors.

(C) Calculate the equivalent resistance of the circuit.

Solution:

(A)

(C)

69

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