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Gausss Law

PHYSICS II

Chapter 2

2.1 Introduction
2.2 Charge and electric flux
2.3 Calculating electric flux
2.4 Gausss Law
2.5 Application of Gausss
Law
2.6 Charges on Conductors

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Chapter 2 outline

Goals for Chapter 2


By the end of this topic, student will able :

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To study electric flux


To calculate electric flux with Gausss Law
To consider the electric field of various symmetric charge distributions

The movement of electrons


can be shocking (pardon the
pun).
If you look at the girls hair
(figure to the right), youll see
the electrons coating each
individual hair fiber and then
repelling each other.
Gauss imagined a flow
through a surface placed
around a charge and then
considered outcomes that we
will study in Chapter 22.

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2.1 Introduction

2.2 Charge and Electric Flux

We will refer to the box as a


closed surface because it
completely encloses a
volume.
How can we determine how
much (if any) electric charge
lies within the box?

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In chapter 1, electric field is produced by a point charge.


Consider a box which may or may not contain electric charge.
Assuming that the box is made of a material that has no effect
on any electric field.

Flux as the flow out of an imagined box

How about electric flux?


Knowing that a charge
distribution produces an electric
field and that an electric field
exerts a force on a test charge.
By measuring the force F
experienced by the test charge at
different positions, a 3-D map of
electric field is observed.

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If we construct a boundary around a charge or charges, we can think of the


flow coming out from the charge like water through a screen surrounding a
sprinkler.

Consider +1 versus +2 or a box with double the


containment dimension.
The magnitude of the electric field of a point charge
decreases with distance according to 1/r2, so the average
magnitude of E on each face of the box is just of the
average magnitude on the corresponding face.

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What happens as I change the conditions?

2.2 Calculating Electric Flux

Flux-Flow Analogy
If we considered flux
through a rectangle, the
flux will change as the
rectangle changes
orientation to the flow.
dV
= vA
dt

dV
=v A
dt

dV
= vA cos
dt

dV r r
=vA
dt

dV
= vA
dt

Flux in a uniform field


Measurement of the flux for a uniform electric field

E = EA cos

E = E A

r r
E = E A

Flux in a non-uniform field


What happens if the electric field E is not uniform but
varies from point to point over the area? Or a curved
surface?
Then we devide A into many small elements dA, each of
which has a unit vector n perpendicular to it and a vector
r
are

dA = n dA

We calculate the electric flux through each element and


integrate the results to obtain the total flux:

r r
E = E cos dA = E dA = E dA

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If the field is not uniformthe disk

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2.4 Gausss Law


Gausss Law expression is an alternative to Coulombs Law.
It was formulated by Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855).
Point charge inside a spherical surface

Gausss Law states that the total electric flux


through any closed surface (a surface enclosing a
define volume) is proportional to the total (net)
electric charge inside the surface.

q
E=
2
4 o R

Flux through concentric spheres with different radii


At each point on the surface, E is perpendicular to the surface,
and its magnitude is the same at every point.
Consider the flux as changing the radius of the sphere
changes its volume.

The total electric flux is the product of the


field magnitude E and the total area A of the
sphere:

q
q
2
E = EA =
4R =
2
O
4 O R
The flux is independent of the radius R of the
sphere.
It depends only on the charge Q enclosed by
the sphere.

Projecting flux through other shapes


(Nonspherical)
Consider a small element of area dA on the irregular surface.
We can divide the entire
irregular surface into element
dA, compute the electric flux
EdAcos for each, and sum
the results by integrating.

The total electric flux through the irregular surface, given by any of the form E, must
be the same as the total flux through a sphere.

r r q
E = E dA =

This equation holds for a surface of any shape or


size, provided only that it is a closed surfacing the
charge q.

Gauss' Law
Gauss' law can be formulated as follows:
r
The flux of E through any closed surface o = net charge qenc enclosed by the surface
r r
In equation form: o = qenc
Equivalently:
o
E dA = q enc

determining the electric field very simple.


Note 2: When calculating the net charge inside a closed

n
o = qenc
r r
o
E dA = q enc

n surface we take into account the algebraic sign of each charge


Note 3: When applying Gauss' law for a closed surface
we ignore the charges outside the surface no matter how
large they are.
Example :
Surface S1 : o1 = +q ,
Surface S2 : o2 = q
Surface S3 : o3 = 0 , Surface S4 : o4 = q + q = 0
Note : We refer to S1, S2 , S3 , S4 as "Gaussian surfaces"

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Note 1: Gauss' law holds for any closed surface.


Usually one particular surface makes the problem of

Charge outside a closed surface


For a closed surface enclosing no charge,

r r
E = E dA = 0

When a region contains


no charge, any field lines
caused by charges
outside the region that
enter on one side must
leave again on the other
side.
Electric field lines can begin or end inside a region
of space only when there is charge in that region.

General Form of Gausss Law


Suppose the surface encloses not just one point charge
q but several charges q1, q2, q3,
The total resultant electric field E at any point is the
vector sum of all E field of the individual charge.
Qencl be the total charge enclosed by the surface.

r r Qencl
E = E dA =

The total electric flux through a closed surface is equal to the total (net) electric
charge inside the surface, divided by o.

r r Qencl
E = E cosdA = E dA = E dA =

Effect of changing the sign of the charge

E = E dA =
=
=

q
4 o r 2
q
4 o r

q
4 o r

dA

q
E = E dA =
dA
2
4 o r
q
=
dA
2
4 o r

dA
4r 2 =

q
q
2

4
r
=
o
4 o r 2

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2.5 Application of Gausss Law


Gausss law is valid for any distribution of charges and for any
closed surface.
In practical problems we often encounter situations in which
we want to know the electric field caused by a charge
distribution on a conductor.

When excess charge is placed on a solid


conductor and is at rest, it resides entirely
on the surface, not on the interior of the
material.

There is no excess charge at any point r


within a solid conductor, any excess charge
E=
must be reside on the conductors surface.

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2.6 Charges on conductors


We had learn that,
the electric field at
every point within
a conductor is
zero and that any
excess charge on a
solid conductor is
located entirely on
its surface.

Situation conductor
What if there is
cavity? And there is unchanged. So E=0 at
everyway. But according to
no charge?
Gausss Law, total charge inside
The net charge on this surface is zero.
the surface of the
Must have change of
cavity must be
distribution
zero.

r
E=0

Now, total charge change

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Experimental tests of Gausss Law


A metal container on an insulating stand.
Before they are touch, charges are induced on the wall.
When they touch, the ball become part of the cavity surface.
If Gausss Law is correct, the net charge on the cavity surface
must be zero. Thus the ball must lose all its charge.
Finally we pull the ball out, we find that it has indeed lost all its
charge.

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The same principle behind Faradays


icepail experiment is used in a Van de
Graaff electrostatic generator.
The charged conducting sphere is placed
by a charged belt that continuously
carries charge to the inside of a
conducting shell, only to have it carried
away to the outside surface of the shell.
As a result, the charge on the shell and
the electric field around it can become
very large very rapidly.

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The Van de Graaff generator

A Faraday cage blocks flow

(a) A conducting box immersed in a


uniform electric field. The field of the
induced charges on the box
combines with the uniform field to
give zero total field inside the box.
(b) Electrostatic shielding can protect
you from a dangerous electric
discharge.

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This principle form the basis for electrostatic shielding


application.
Suppose we need to protect a instrument from electric field.
We surround it with a conducting box, or we line the walls,
floor and ceiling of the room with a conducting materials such
as sheet copper.
The external electric field will redistributes.

Field at the surface of a conductor


To find a relationship between (surface charge density)
at any point on the surface and the perpendicular
component of the electric field at that point, we construct
a Gaussian surface in the form of small cylinder.

q
=
or q = A
A

A
E A=
o

E =
o
Field at the surface of a conductor

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Summary

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Electric flux: Electric flux is a measure of the flow of


electric field through a surface. It is equal to the product of an
area element and the perpendicular component of integrated
over a surface

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Gausss law: Gausss law states that the total electric flux
through a closed surface, which can be written as the surface
integral of the component of normal to the surface, equals a
constant times the total charge enclosed by the surface.
When excess charge is placed on a conductor and is at rest, it
resides entirely on the surface, and everywhere in the material
of the conductor.

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