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Physics 422 – Spring 2006

EXAM 1 – Solutions

March 6, 2006

Problem 1: (20 points)

(

(

(

The inside of a grounded metal shell

(inner radius R , outer radius R ) is filled with a charge of uniform density, .

i) r < R

1

2

a) Find E( r) for

b) Find the potential at the center of the sphere

c) Find the electrostatic energy of the system

1

ii) r R

2

(a) Use the integral form of Gauss’

Law:

Symmetry E depends only on r

i) r < R
1 :
ii) r R : Sphere grounded inner surface ( r = R ) gets an induced charge = – Q
2
1
R
2 we have q
= 0 and as a result E( r) = 0. For r R
, q
= 0 and E( r) = 0
in
2
in
(b)

( c)

so that between R

1

and

Problem 2:

(30 points) An infinitely long conducting cylinder of radius R lies along the z–axis in the

presence of a uniform electric field

.
 ( a) What is the general solution for the potential, V, in cylindrical coordinates? ( b) What are the boundary conditions for this problem? ( c) Solve for V( , ) given in (a) using the boundary conditions in (b). ( d) What is the electric field just outside the cylinder? ( e) What is the induced charge density on the surface of the cylinder?
(a)
(b)
i) V = 0 for ñ = R
ii)
( c) Because we want V(ñ,è) to approach – E
expansion for V, i.e.
ñ cos è, and because P (cos è) = cos è, we consider only the n=1 term in the
o
1

(d) Because the cylinder is conducting, just outside the cylinder E is perpendicular to the cylinder axis, i.e. in the ñ direction:

(e)

Problem 3: (20 points) ( a) What is the electric field due to an infinite line charge with linear charge density, ?

( b) What is the potential due to a charged conducting wire of radius a, as a function of radial

distance from the center of the wire (because the wire goes to infinity, you can not assume that the potential is zero at infinity)?

( c) An infinitely long, straight conducting wire of radius a and charge per unit length, , is placed a distance b (b >> a) from the surface of an infinite, grounded, conducting plane. What is the potential, V( r), a distance r from the center of the wire towards the plate?

( d) What is the capacitance per unit length of the system in part ( c)?

(a)

(b)

where V

o

is a constant

( c) Put an image wire, with charge density – ë, a distance b below the grounded plate to generate the boundary condition. Then for a distance r below the center of the original wire, the potential (from the original wire and the image wire) is:

(d) To get the potential difference between the wire and the grounded plate, look at V(r=a) – V(r=b):

Problem 4:
(30 points) A parallel–plate capacitor has plates of area, A, separated by a distance x (the
length and width of the plates are >> x).
(
a) The capacitor is charged to potential V with a battery, so that the plates carry charges of +Q and –Q. The
o
battery is then disconnected. What is the change in energy of the capacitor U = U
– U
if the separation
final
initial
between the plates is increased a small distance from x to x + x?
(
b) How much work must be done by an external force in order to increase the separation?
(
c) Suppose the battery had remained connected as the external force increased the separation from x to x + x. What is
U = U
– U
for this case?
final
initial
(
d) How much work is done in changing the charge on the plates?
(
e) How much work is done by the external force in this process?
(a)
(b)
Work to separate the plates goes completely into increasing the electrostatic energy,

( c) Here, the charges on the plates change, but the potential across the plates remains constant at V .

o

(d)

The battery does work moving charge ÄQ onto the plates through a potential difference, V , W = ÄQ V
o
o

(e)

From (d), the field does ½ of the work on the battery, and therefore the external force must do the other ½ of the work on the

battery,