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# Electric Field

## Objectives: After finishing

this unit you should be able
to:

## Define the electric field and explain what

determines its magnitude and direction.
Write and apply formulas for the
electric field intensity at known
distances from point charges.
Discuss electric field lines and the
meaning of permittivity of space.

## Write and apply Gauss's law for fields around

surfaces of known charge densities.

## The Concept of a Field

A field is defined as a property of space in which a
material object experiences a force.
Pm .
F

## Above earth, we say there is

a gravitational field at P.
Because a mass m experiences a
downward force at that point.
No force, no field; No field, no force!

## The Gravitational Field

A

B
F

If g is known at
every point above
the earth then the
force F on a given
mass can be found.

Consider
A and
above
Note that points
the force
F is Breal
, but
the surface
of the
earthjustway
field is just
a convenient
points
in spacespace
.
of describing
.
The field at points A or B might
be found from:

FF
gg
m
m

## The magnitude and direction of

the field g is depends on the
weight, which is the force F.

## The Electric Field

1. Now, consider point P a
distance r from +Q.
2. An electric field E exists
at P if a test charge +q
has a force F at that point.
3. The direction of the E is
the same as the direction of
a force on + (pos) charge.
4. The magnitude of E is
given by the formula:

+q
P +.

F
E

r
++
+
+
++Q++
Electric Field

FF
EE ;; Units
Units
qq

N
N
CC

## Field is Property of Space

F. E
+q +
r
++
+
+
++Q++
Electric Field

Force on +q is with
field direction.
Force on -q is
against field
direction.

-q .-

r
++
+
+
++Q++
Electric Field
F

## The field E at a point exists whether there is a

charge at that point or not. The direction of the
field is away from the +Q charge.

## Field Near a Negative

Charge
E
+q +.
F r
- --- -Q
-Electric Field

Force on +q is with
field direction.
Force on -q is
against field
direction.

F
-q .-

E
r

-- -Q --Electric Field

## Note that the field E in the vicinity of a negative

charge Q is toward the chargethe direction that a
+q test charge would move.

## The Magnitude of E-Field

The magnitude of the electric field intensity at a
point in space is defined as the force per unit
charge (N/C) that would be experienced by any
test charge placed at that point.
Electric
Electric Field
Field
Intensity
Intensity EE

FF

EE ;; Units
Units
qq

N
N

CC

## The direction of E at a point is the same as the

direction that a positive charge would move IF
placed at that point.

+2
+q nC
+. P
4000 N

Example 1. A +2 nC
charge is placed at a
E E r
distance r from a 8 C
- -charge. If the charge
- 8 C
- -Q
-experiences a force of
First, we
that the
direction of
4000
N,note
what
is the
Electric Field
E is toward
(down). E at
electric
field Q
intensity
point P?F
4000 N
E = 2 x 1012
E

-9

2 x 10 C

N/C Downward

## Note: The field E would be the same for any charge

placed at point P. It is a property of that space.

Dont forget!!

## Example 2. A constant E field of

40,000 N/C is maintained between the
two parallel plates. What are the
magnitude and direction+ of
the
force
+ + + + + + + +
on
electron
that passes horizontally
e- Thean
E-field
is
Fe -. E
between
e- downward,the
andplates.c
the
force onF e- is up.
E ; F qE
- - - - - - - - q

F qE (1.6 x 10 C)(4 x 10
-19

-15
FF =
6.40
x
10
= 6.40 x 10-15 N,
N,
Upward
Upward

4 N
C

## The E-Field at a distance r

from a single charge Q
Consider a test charge +q placed
at P a distance r from Q.
The outward force on +q is:

kQq
F 2
r

FE
+q +.. PP
r
++
+
+
+
++Q++

kQ
E 2
r

F kQq r
E
q
q

kQ
EE kQ
22
rr

## Example 3. What is the electric field

intensity E at point P, a distance of 3
m from a negative charge of 8 nC?
E=?

.
r
3m

-Q

-8 nC

## First, find the

9
magnitude:
(9 x 10

kQ
E 2
r

Nm 2
C2

-9

)(8 x 10 C)

(3 m) 2

EE =
= 8.00
8.00
N/C
N/C
The direction is the same as the force on a
positive charge if it were placed at the point
P: toward Q.
E = 8.00 N, toward
-Q

## The Resultant Electric

Field.
The resultant field E in the vicinity of a number
of point charges is equal to the vector sum of the
fields due to each charge taken individually.
Consider E for each charge.
Vector
Vector Sum:
Sum:
EE == EE11 ++ EE22 ++ EE33
Magnitudes are from:

kQ
E 2
r

q1 ER

E2
A

E1

q3 -

E3

+
q2

## Directions are based

on positive test charge.

## Example 4. Find the resultant field at

point A due to the 3 nC charge and the
+6 nC charge arranged as shown.
-3 nC

q1 -

3 cm E 5 cm
1
+6 nC

E2 A 4 cm

E1

(9 x 10

9 Nm 2
C2

+
q2

kq
kq
kq
kq
11
22
EE11 2 ;; EE22 2
rr112
rr222

-9

)(3 x 10 C)

(3 m)

## E for each q is shown

with direction given.

E2

(9 x 10

9 Nm 2
C2

)(6 x 10-9 C)

(4 m) 2

Signs
Signs of
of the
the charges
charges are
are used
used only
only to
to find
find direction
direction of
of EE

## Example 4. (Cont.)Find the resultant

field at point A. The magnitudes are:
-3 nC

q1 -

3 cm E 5 cm
1
+6 nC

E2 A 4 cm

+
q2

E1 = 3.00 N, West

E1
E2

(9 x 10

(9 x 10

9 Nm 2
C2

E2 = 3.38 N, North

EE11
EERR EE RR ;; tan
tan
EE22
22
11

)(3 x 10-9 C)

(3 m) 2

22
22

9 Nm 2
C2

)(6 x 10-9C)

(4 m) 2

ER

E2

E1

## Example 4. (Cont.)Find the resultant

field at point A using vector
mathematics.
ER
E1 = 3.00 N, West
E1
E2 = 3.38 N, North

E2
Find vector resultant ER

3.38 N
E (3.00 N) (3.38 N) 4.52 N; tan
3.00 N
= 48.40 N of W; or =
2

131.60
Resultant
Resultant Field:
Field: EERR =
= 4.52
4.52 N;
N;
0
131.6
131.60

## Electric Field Lines

Electric Field Lines are imaginary lines drawn in
such a way that their direction at any point is the
same as the direction of the field at that point.

++
+
+
++Q++

-- -Q ---

## Field lines go away from positive charges and

toward negative charges.

Rules
Rules for
for Drawing
Drawing Field
Field Lines
Lines
1. The direction of the field line at any point is
the same as motion of +q at that point.
2. The spacing of the lines must be such that they
are close together where the field is strong and
far apart where the field is weak.

+ q1

q2 -

E1
E2
ER

## Examples of E-Field Lines

Two equal but
opposite charges.

Two identical
charges (both +).

## Notice that lines leave + charges and enter - charges.

Also, E is strongest where field lines are most dense.

Zambak questions

GausssLaw:
Law:The
The field
field EE at
at any
any point
point in
in space
space isis
Gausss
proportional to
to the
the line
line density
density at
at that
that point.
point.
proportional
Gaussian Surface

Line density

r
A

Constant

## Consider the field near a positive point charge q:

Then, imagine a surface (radius r) surrounding q.

Gaussian Surface

## E is proportional to N/A and

is equal to kq/r2 at any point.

N
E;
A

kq
E
2
r

N
0 E Where 0 is:
A

1
1
00
44kk

## Permittivity of Free Space

The proportionality constant for line density is
known as the permittivity and it is defined by:
22
1
C
-12 C
1 8.85 x 10-12

00
8.85 x 10
22
4

k
N

m
4 k
Nm

N
0 E or
A

N 0 E A

## Summing over entire area

A gives the total lines as:

EA
NN== ooEA

## Example 5. Write an equation for

finding the total number of lines N
leaving a single positive charge q.

## Draw spherical Gaussian surface:

r

N 0 E A and N 0 EA

## Substitute for E and A from:

kq
q
2
E 2
;
A
=
4

r
Gaussian Surface
r
4 r 2
q
2
qA== qq
N 0 EA 0
(4

r
)
NN == ooqA
2
4 r
Total number
number of
oflines
lines isis equal
equal to
to the
the enclosed
enclosed charge
chargeq.
q.
Total

Gausss Law
Gausss
GausssLaw:
Law:The
The net
net number
number of
of electric
electric field
field
lines
lines crossing
crossing any
any closed
closed surface
surface in
in an
an outward
outward
direction
direction isis numerically
numerically equal
equal to
to the
the net
net total
total
charge
charge within
within that
that surface.
surface.

N
N 00EA
EA qq
If we represent q as net enclosed
positive charge, we can write
rewrite Gausss law as:

qq
EA
EA
00

## Example 6. How many electric

field lines pass through the
Gaussian surface drawn below.
First we find the NET
charge q enclosed
by the surface:
q = (+8 4 1) = +3 C

N 0 EA q

Gaussian surface

-4 C

q1 -1 C

q3 -

-6-6
N
=
+3
C
=
+3
x
10
N = +3 C = +3 x 10 lines
lines

+8 C

q2 +

q4
+

+5 C

## Example 6. A solid sphere (R = 6 cm)

having net charge +8 C is inside a
hollow shell (R = 8 cm) having a net
charge of 6 C. What is the electric
field Gaussian
at a distance
of 12 cm from the
Draw
sphere at
center of the solid sphere? Gaussian surface
radius of 12 cm to find E.

N 0 EA q
q = (+8 6) = +2 C

q
0 AE qnet ; E
0 A

8cm

12 cm

+8 C

-6 C

6 cm

- -

q
2 x 10-6C
E

2
-12 Nm 2
2
0 (4 r ) (8.85 x 10
2 )(4 )(0.12 m)
C

## Example 6 (Cont.) What is the electric

field at a distance of 12 cm from the
center of the solid sphere?
Gaussian surface
Draw Gaussian sphere at
-6 C
radius of 12 cm to find E.
-

N 0 EA q
q = (+8 6) = +2 C

q
0 AE qnet ; E
0 A

8cm

12 cm

2 C
6 N
E

1.25
x
10
C
2
0 (4 r )

+8 C

- -

EE =
= 1.25
1.25
MN/C
MN/C

6 cm

Charge on Surface of
Conductor
Since like charges
repel, you would
expect that all charge
would move until they
come to rest. Then
from Gausss Law . . .

## Gaussian Surface just

inside conductor

Charged Conductor

N 0 EA q

or

0 = q

All charge
charge is
is on
on surface;
surface; None
None inside
inside
All
Conductor
Conductor

## Example 7. Use Gausss law to find the

E-field just outside the surface of a
conductor. The surface charge density
= q/A. q inside the
Consider
E1 E3
E
3
pillbox. E-lines
A
through all areas
+ ++++
+
E3
E3
outward.
+
+
0 AE q
E
2
++ + + +
E-lines through
sides cancel by
Surface Charge Density
symmetry.
The field is zero inside the conductor, so
E2 = 0
0
q
q
oE1A + oE2A =
EE

00AA 00

## Example 7 (Cont.) Find the field just

outside the surface if = q/A = +2
C/m2.
Recall that side fields
E1 E3
E3
cancel and inside
A
+ ++++
field is zero, so that
+
E3
+ E3
+
E
2
++ + + +

q
q
EE11

00AA 00

2 x 10-6C/m 2
E
-12 Nm 2
8.85 x 10
C2

= 226,000
226,000
EE =
N/C
N/C

Plates
Q1

+
+
+
+
+

E1
E2
E1
E2

- Q2
-

0 AE q

## Equal and opposite charges.

Field E1 and E2 to right.
Draw Gaussian pillboxes
on each inside surface.
Gausss Law for either box
gives same field (E1 = E2).

qq

EE

00AA 00

Line of Charge
A
1

L
q

2r
r
A
E
A2

q
q
E
; =
2 0 rL
L

## Field due to A1 and

A2 Cancel out due
to symmetry.

0 AE q
q
EA ; A (2 r ) L
0

EE
22
00rr

## Example 8: The Electric field at a

distance of 1.5 m from a line of charge
is 5 x 104 N/C. What is the linear
density of the line?
r
L

E
q
L

EE

rE
0
22
r
00 r
E = 5 x 104 N/C

2 (8.85 x 10

-12 C2
Nm 2

r = 1.5
m
4

## )(1.5 m)(5 x 10 N/C)

4.17 C/m

Concentric Cylinders
b

a
b
a r
1

++
++++
+++++
+++
++
++
++
++
r2

a b
For
E
r>
2 0 r
rb

Outside is like
charged long wire:
Gaussian surface
-6 C

ra

a
12 cm

For
rb > r >
ra

rb

a
E
2 0 r

## Example 9. Two concentric cylinders of

radii 3 and 6 cm. Inner linear charge
density is +3 C/m and outer is -5 C/m.
Find E at distance of 4 cm from center.
-7 C/m
Draw Gaussian
++
surface between
a = 3 +++++++
++ +
+
cylinders.
cm
++
b
+++
E
+
+
+
r
2 0 r
b=6 cm

3 C/m
E
2 0 (0.04 m)

+5
C/m

66
EE =
1.38
x
10
= 1.38 x 10 N/C,
out

## Example 8 (Cont.) Next, find E at a

distance of 7.5 cm from center (outside
both cylinders.)
Gaussian outside of
-7 C/m
++
both cylinders.
a = 3 cm +++++++
a b
++ +
+
E
++
+++
2 0 r
+
+
+
b=6 cm

(3 5) C/m
E
2 0 (0.075 m)

+5
C/m

55
EE =
5.00
x
10
= 5.00 x 10 N/C,
inward
inward

Summary of Formulas
The
The Electric
Electric Field
Field
Intensity
Intensity E:
E:

FF kQ
EE kQ
qq rr22

NN
Units
Unitsare
are
CC

The
The Electric
Electric Field
Field
Near
Near several
several charges:
charges:

kQ
kQ Vector Sum
EE
rr22 Vector Sum

Gausss
GausssLaw
Law for
for
Charge
Charge distributions.
distributions.

qq
00EA
EAqq;;
AA

CONCLUSION: Chapter 24
The Electric Field