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Chapter 28. Gauss’s Law

The nearly spherical shape of the girl’s head determines the electric field that causes her hair to stream outward. Using Guass’s law, we can deduce electric fields, particularly those with a high degree of symmetry, simply from the shape of the charge distribution. Chapter Goal: To understand and apply Gauss’s law. Chapter 28. Gauss’s Law

Topics:

The Concept of Flux

Gauss’s Law

Conductors in Electrostatic Equilibrium

Calculating Electric Flux

Symmetry

Using Gauss’s Law The amount of electric field passing through a surface is called

A. Electric flux.

B. Gauss’s Law.

C. Electricity.

D. Charge surface density.

E. None of the above.

The amount of electric field passing through a surface is called A. Electric flux.

B. Gauss’s Law.

C. Electricity.

D. Charge surface density.

E. None of the above. Gauss’s law is useful for calculating electric fields that are

A. symmetric.

B. uniform.

C. due to point charges.

D. due to continuous charges.

Gauss’s law is useful for calculating electric fields that are A. symmetric.

B. uniform.

C. due to point charges.

D. due to continuous charges.

Gauss’s law applies to

A. lines.

B. flat surfaces.

C. spheres only.

D. closed surfaces. Gauss’s law applies to A. lines.

B. flat surfaces.

C. spheres only.

D. closed surfaces. The electric field inside a conductor in electrostatic equilibrium is

A. uniform.

B. zero.

D. symmetric.

The electric field inside a conductor in electrostatic equilibrium is A. uniform.

B. zero.

D. symmetric.

Chapter 28. Basic Content and Examples

The Electric Flux

The electric flux measures the amount of electric field passing through a surface of area A whose normal to the surface is tilted at angle from the field. We can define the electric flux more concisely using the dot-product:  EXAMPLE 28.1 The electric flux inside a parallel-plate capacitor

QUESTION: EXAMPLE 28.1 The electric flux inside a parallel-plate capacitor  EXAMPLE 28.1 The electric flux inside a parallel-plate capacitor   Tactics: Evaluating surface integrals The Electric Flux through a Closed Surface

The electric flux through a closed surface is The electric flux is still the summation of the fluxes through a vast number of tiny pieces, pieces that now cover a closed surface.

NOTE: A closed surface has a distinct inside and outside. The area vector dA is defined to always point toward the outside. This removes an ambiguity that was present for a single surface, where dA could point to either side.

Gauss’s Law

For any closed surface enclosing total charge Q in ,the net electric flux through the surface is This result for the electric flux is known as Gauss’s Law.   Electrostatics of Conductors

Using the Gauss’ law, we can derive a set of important properties about conductors in electrostatic equilibrium.

(You may claim that you understand a little electrostatics if you know all the following results. )

Interior of Conductors in Electrostatic Equilibrium

1. The electric field is zero at all points within a conductor in electrostatic equilibrium.

Otherwise, the electric field would cause electrons to move and thus violate the assumption that all the charges are at rest.

2. There can be no net charge inside any conductor in electrostatic equilibrium.

Otherwise, we construct a Gaussian surface around the region with nonvanishing net charge, and we must have non-zero field on the surface--in contradiction with result 1.

---> The inside of a conductor is completely “empty” as far as electrostatics is concerned.

Boundary of Conductors in Electrostatic Equilibrium

3. All charges on a conductor must be distributed on its

surface: “surface charge”. The electric field outside of conductor can be nonzero.

4. Right outside a conductor, the tangent component of

the field must be vanish: otherwise surface charge will move.

--> The field on the conductor surface must be perpendicular to the surface. The Normal Component of Field at the outer-surface of Conductor a). Construct a cylindrical Gaussian surface and integrate the field over. b). The flux through the inner disk and side surface is clearly zero c). The flux through the outer disk is given by E A. d). The total flux through the cylinder Is given by the Gauss’ law.

5. The magnitude of electric field on the outer-surface of a conductor is proportional to the surface charge density.   