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Question and solutions


Is the force acting between two point electric charges q1 and q2, kept at
some distance apart in air, attractive or repulsive, when (i) q1q2 > 0 (ii)
q1q2 <0 ?


(i) The force is repulsive. When q1q2 > 0, it means that charges are
either both positive or both negative. This implies that the force between
them is indeed repulsive.
(ii) The force is attractive. When q1q2 < 0, it means that one of the
charges is negative and the other is positive. This implies that the force
between them is indeed attractive.

Which orientation of an electric dipole in a uniform electric field would

correspond to stable equilibrium?



When the electric dipole is in the direction of the electric field, it is said to
be in stable equilibrium.
Figure shows three point charges +2q, q and + 3q. Two charges + 2q
and q are enclosed within a surface S. What is the electric flux due to
this configuration through the surface S?


The net electric flux through the surface S is

permittivity of free space.

, where

is the


A wire of resistance 8R is bent in the form of a circle. What is the

effective resistance between the ends of a diameter AB?

The effective resistance between the ends of diameter AB is


A hollow metal sphere of radius 10 cm is charged such that the potential

on its surface is 5 V. What is the potential at the centre of the sphere?

We know
and for hollow shell electric field at center = 0


Hence Vc = 5V
Define electric dipole moment. Write its S.I. unit.



Electric dipole moment is the product of the magnitude of the either

charge and the distance between the charges (this distance is also
called the displacement vector). It is a vector quantity with direction
pointing from pointing from the negative charge to the positive charge.
SI unit of electric dipole moment is coulomb meter (Cm).
Two charges of magnitudes 2Q and +Q are located at points (a, 0) and
(4a, 0) respectively. What is the electric flux due to these charges
through a sphere of radius 3a with its centre at the origin?(1)
Solution:Gauss theorem states that the electric flux through a closed
surface enclosing a charge is equal to (1/ 0) times the magnitude of the
charge enclosed.

The sphere encloses a charge of -2Q thus,


Two identical cells, each of emf E, having negligible internal resistance,

are connected in parallel with each other across an external resistance
R. What is the current through this resistance?
The cells are arranged as shown in the circuit diagram given below:

As the internal resistance is negligible, so total resistance of the circuit =

Potential difference across the resistance = E
So, current through the resistance,

An electric dipole free to move is placed in a uniform electric field.

Explain its motion when it is placed, (a) parallel to the field, (b)
perpendicular to the field.

(b) = p E sin 90

A 13) (a) (a)Net F =0, = 0


Under what circumstances can the terminal potential difference of a

battery exceed its e.m.f.?

During Charging of battery,



An electric dipole is held in a uniform electric field.

(i) Show that the net force acting on it is zero.
(ii) The dipole is aligned parallel to the field. Find the work done in
rotating it through the angle of 180.

(i) Consider an electric dipole consisting of two equal and opposite
point charges, q at A and + q at B, separated by a small distance

AB = 2a, having dipole moment

Let this dipole be held in a uniform external electric field
angle with the direction of
Force on charge q at A= q

at an

, in a direction opposite to

Force on charge +q at B = +q , along the direction of

Net force on the dipole = qE qE = 0
(ii) Work done on dipole, W = U = pE (cos 1 cos 2
W = pE (cos0 cos180)
W = 2pE


A wire of resistance 8R is bent in the form of a circle. What is the

effective resistance between the ends of a diameter AB?

The effective resistance between the ends of diameter AB is


In which orientation, a dipole placed in a uniform electric field is in

(i) stable, (ii) unstable equilibrium?
A dipole placed in a uniform electric filed is in
Stable equilibrium when the electric field is directed

along the direction of the dipole i.e., when

is parallel to .
Unstable equilibrium when the electric filed is directed
at an angle of 180 degrees with the direction of the dipole,
i.e., when


is anti-parallel to

(i) Net capacitance of three identical capacitors in series is 2 F.

What will be their net capacitance if connected in parallel?
(ii) Find the ratio of energy stored in the two configurations if they
are both connected to the same source.

(i) When connected in series, the net capacitance is 2 F.

When connected in parallel,

Ceq = C1 + C2 + C3 = 6 F + 6 F + 6 F = 18 F.
(ii) Energy for series combination

Energy for parallel combination

As both are connected to the same source


In the meter bridge experiment, balance point was observed at J

with AJ = l.
(i) The values of R and X were doubled and then interchanged.
What would be the new position of balance point?
(ii) If the galvanometer and battery are interchanged at the balance
position, how will the balance point get affected?

(i) As the ratio of

is now interchanged by

, the new

balance point will be = 100 l = 100 AJ


At the balance position there is no current flowing through the

galvanometer. Hence, interchanging the battery and the
galvanometer will have no effect on the balance point.

A spherical Gaussian surface encloses a charge of 8.85 10 -10C.

(i) Calculate the electric flux passing through the surface.
(ii) How would the flux change if the radius of the Gaussian surface is
doubled and why?



Total flux enclosed

100 T m2
The flux would not change if the radius of Gaussian
surface is double because enclosed charge remains the same.

Two metallic wires of the same material have the same length but crosssectional area is in the ratio 1:2. They are connected (i) in series and (ii)
in parallel. Compare the drift velocities of electrons in the two wires in
both the cases (i) and (ii).


It is given that A1:A2 = 1: 2

(i) When two wires are connected in series, the current in both wires A
and B will be the same.

(ii) When two wires are connected in series, the potential difference
across the wires A and B will be the same.


A cell of emf E and internal resistance r is connected across a variable

resistor R. Plot a graph showing the variation of terminal potential V
with resistance R. Predict from the graph the condition under which V
becomes equal to E.
V becomes equal to E when no current flows through the circuit.

The condition under which V will be equal to E is when R =


(i) Can two equi-potential surfaces intersect each other? Give reasons.
(ii) Two charges q and +q are located at points A (0, 0, a) and B (0, 0,
+a) respectively. How much work is done in moving a test charge from
point P (7, 0, 0) to Q (3, 0, 0)?

(i) Two equipotential surfaces cannot intersect each other because when
they will intersect, the electric field will have two directions, which is
(ii) Charge P moves on the perpendicular bisector of the line joining +q
and q. Hence, this perpendicular bisector is equidistant from both the
charges. Thus, the potential will be same everywhere on this line.
Therefore, work done will be zero.

A carbon resistor is marked in red, yellow and orange bands. What is the 2
approximate resistance of the resistor?
24 x 103 ohm 20 %


On what principle does a metre bridge work? Draw a circuit diagram and
explain how this device can be used for determination of an unknown


Metre bridge works on the principle of Wheatstone bridge.

Meter bridge consists of a metre scale, a wire of length 1 m and a
galvanometer. Meter scale is attached to the wire and one end of the
galvanometer is connected to the metallic strip between the
resistors R and S and the other end is connected to a jockey, which can slide
over the metallic meter scale. R is the unknown resistance whose value is to
be determined. S is a known resistance. The jockey connected is moved on
the metre scale such that we get zero deflection at some point. Let this point
be l1 distance away from A.
If Rcm is the resistance per unit length of the 1 meter wire, then the resistance
of one portion of the wire will be Rcm l1 and the resistance of another portion
will be Rcm(100 - l1).
Using the condition for balanced bridge, we obtain


By substituting the value of l1 in the above equation, we can find out the value
of R, which is the unknown resistance.
Derive a mathematical expression for resistivity of a conductor in terms of
number density of charge carriers in the conductor and relaxation time.
Average velocity of all the electrons at any instant of time under no external
electric field is zero.
Now, when the external field is present, the electrons get accelerated.
Let the average acceleration be a. Then,

Let the initial velocity of all the electrons be denoted by vi and the final
velocity be Vi. Therefore,

Vi = vi
The value of time (t) is the average value of the time taken by each electron
during any one collision. This is called relaxation time.
The average velocity of all the electrons without an external field is zero.
vi = 0
Here, Vi is the average velocity or drift velocity vd.
Vi = vd
Because of the external electric field, electrons are accelerated. They move
from one place to another and current is produced.
For small interval dt, we have
Idt = q
Where q is the total charge flowing
Let n be the free electrons per unit area. Then, the total charge crossing
area A in time dt is given by:
Idt = neAvddt
Substituting the value of vd, we obtain
Idt = neA


J is the current density
J = n Et
From Ohms law,
J = E
is the conductivity of the material through which the current is flowing
= n

Substituting the value of conductivity, we obtain


t is the relaxation time
Two point charges 4Q, Q are separated by 1 m in air. At what point on the
line joining the charges is the electric field intensity zero? Also calculate the
electrostatic potential energy of the system of charges, taking the value of
charge, Q = 2 107 C.

Let the point be at a distance x from 4Q charge.

Electric field at P due to 4Q = Electric field at P due to Q

x = 2 2x or x = 2 2x
x + 2x = 2 or x + 2x = 2
3x = 2 or x = 2
or x = 2
x = 2 m is not possible
Electrostatic potential energy of the system is


(i) Calculate the equivalent resistance of the given electrical network between
points A and B.

(ii) Also calculate the current through CD and ACB, if a 10 V d.c source is
connected between A andB, and the value of R is assumed as 2 .

(i) Equivalent circuit is

This is a balanced Wheatstone bridge. Therefore, the resistance of the

arm CD is ineffective.
Resistance of arm ACB, R1 = R + R = 2R and the resistance of
arm ADB, R2 = R + R = 2R
Effective resistance between A and B is

(ii) The points C and D are at the same potential. Therefore, no current flows
through the arm CD.
Resistance of arm ACB = 2R = 2 2 = 4


Current through branch ACB

I = 2.5 A
Three identical capacitors C1, C2 and C3 of capacitance 6 F each are
connected to a 12 V battery as shown.

(i) charge on each capacitor
(ii) equivalent capacitance of the network
(iii) energy stored in the network of capacitors
The 12 V battery is in parallel with C1, C2, and C3. C1 and C2are in series with
each other while C3is in parallel with the combination formed by C1 and C2.
Total voltage drop across C3 = 12 V
q3 = CV
Where, q = Charge on the capacitor
C1, C2, C3 = 6 F (Given in the question)
q3 = 6 12 = 72 C
Voltage drop across C1 and C2 combined will be 12 V.
Let the voltage drop at C1 = V1
Let the voltage drop at C2 = V2
V = V 1 + V2

As both the capacitors are in series,



q = 36 micro coulombs
Thus, charge on each of C1 and C2 is 36 coulombs.
In a meter bridge, the null point is found at a distance of l1 cm from A. If now a 3
resistance of X is connected in parallel with S, the null point occurs at l2 cm.

Obtain a formula for X in terms of l1, l2and S.

Initially, when X is not connected

The equivalent resistance (Req) of the combination of X and S is

On dividing (i) by (ii), we obtain


This is the expression for X in terms of S, l1 and l2.

Calculate the value of the resistance R in the circuit shown in the figure so
that the current in the circuit is 0.2 A. What would b the potential difference
between points B and E?



Apply Kirchhoffs Law:5(0.2) + R (0.2) + 15(0.2) = 8 3

R = 5
VBE = 5(0.2) = 1V
Deduce the expression for the electrostatic energy stored in a capacitor of
capacitance 'C' and having charge 'Q'.
How will the (i) energy stored and (ii) the electric field inside the capacitor be
affected when it is completely filled with a dielectric material of dielectric
constant K?
Energy stored in a charged capacitor. The energy of a charged capacitor is

measured by the total work done in charging the capacitor to a given

potential we know that capacitance is
where qis the charge on the
plates and V is potential difference.
When an additional amount of charge dq is transferred from negative to
positive plate, the small work done is given by

The total work done in transferring total charge Q is given by

This work is stored as electrostatic potential energy U in the capacitor.

When dielectric material of dielectric constant k is introduced inside the

capacitor then
(ii) Electric field is reduced

When dielectric is introduced in capacitor opposite charge is induced on the

plates of dielectric as a result of which an electric field is induced which is in
opposite direction. Thus, Net electric field is reduced.
(i) Again, V0 = E0d ... (1)
Where V0 is the potential when there is vacuum between the plates of the
capacitor and d is the separation between the plates of the capacitor,
When dielectric is introduced, potential difference is given by
V = Ed ... (2)
Dividing (1) & (2)

But k > 1 V0 > V

Thus potential difference also decreases.


We have energy stored as

Since V decreases, U also decreases.
A thin conducting spherical shell of radius R has charge Q spread uniformly
over its surface. Using Gausss law, derive an expression for an electric field
at a point outside the shell.
Draw a graph of electric field E(r) with distance r from the centre of the shell
for 0 r .
According to Gauss law,
q is the point charge
E is electric field due to the point charge
dA is a small area on the Gaussian surface at any distance and
is the proportionality constant
For a spherical shell at distance r from the point charge, the integral
merely the sum of all differential of dA on the sphere.

Therefore, for a thin conducting spherical shell of radius R and charge Q,


spread uniformly over its surface, the electric field at any point outside the
shell is

Where r is the distance of the point from the centre of the shell.

The graph of electric field E(r) with distance r from the centre of the shell for
0 r .


Deduce the expression for the torque acting on a dipole of dipole

moment p in the presence of a uniform electric field

E .

Dipole in a Uniform External Field

Consider an electric dipole consisting of charges q and +q and of length

2a placed in a uniform electric field
Force on charge q at

making an angle with electric field.

(opposite to

Force on charge +q at
(along )
Electric dipole is under the action of two equal and unlike parallel forces,
which give rise to a torque on the dipole.
= Force Perpendicular distance between the two forces
= qE (AN) = qE (2a sin )
= q(2a) E sin
= pE sin


(a) State the working principle of a potentiometer. Draw a circuit

diagram to compare emf of two primary cells. Derive the formula
(b) Which material is used for potentiometer wire and why?
(c) How can the sensitivity of a potentiometer be increased?
A potentiometer works on the principle that fall of potential across
a wire of uniform area cross section through which is constant
current is flowing is proportional to the length. If V is the fall of the
potential across a length l then
V x l or V/l = constant.
The circuit diagram for comparing the emfs of two cell is given
below :

A current I flows through the wire which can be varied by a variable

resistance (rheostat, R) in the circuit. Since the wire is uniform, the
potential difference between A and any point at a distance l from A is
where is the potential drop per unit length.
Figure shows an application of the potentiometer to compare
the emf of two cells of emf 1 and 2 . The points marked 1, 2, 3 form
a two
way key. Consider first a position of the key where 1 and 3 are
so that the galvanometer is connected to 1. The jockey
is moved along the wire till at a point N1, at a distance l1
from A, there is no deflection in the galvanometer. We
can apply Kirchhoffs loop rule to the closed loop
AN1G31A and get,
l1 + 0 1 = 0
Similarly, if another emf 2 is balanced against l2 (AN2)
l2 + 0 2 = 0
From the last two equations

(a) Define electric dipole moment. Is it a scalar or a vector?

Derive the expression for the electric field of a dipole at a point

on the equatorial plane of the dipole.
(b) Draw the equipotential surfaces due to an electric dipole.
Locate the points where the potential due to the dipole is zero.
(a) Electric dipole moment: The strength of an electric dipole is
measured by the quantity electric dipole moment. Its magnitude
is equal to the product of the magnitude of either charge and the
distance between the two charges.
Electric dipole moment, p = q d
It is a vector quantity.
In vector form it is written as
, where the direction of
from negative charge to positive charge.
Electric Field of dipole at points on the equatorial plane:


The magnitudes of the electric field due to the two charges

+q and q are given by,

The directions of E+q and Eq are as shown in the figure. The

components normal to the dipole axis cancel away. The
components along the dipole axis add up.
Total electric field
[Negative sign shows that field is opposite

At large distances (r >> a), this reduces to

(b) Equipotential surface due to electric dipole:

The potential due to the dipole is zero at the line bisecting the
dipole length
Using Gauss law deduce the expression for the electric field due
to a uniformly charged spherical conducting shell of radius R at
a point
(i) Outside and (ii) inside the shell.
Plot a graph showing variation of electric field as a function of r
> R and r < R.
(r being the distance from the centre of the shell)
Electric Field Due To A Uniformly Charged Thin Spherical Shell:

(i) When point P lies outside the spherical shell:

Suppose that we have to calculate electric field at the point P at
a distance r (r > R) from its centre. Draw the Gaussian surface
through point P so as to enclose the charged spherical shell.
The Gaussian surface is a spherical shell of radius r and centre

be the electric field at point P. Then, the electric flux

through area element

is given by,

is also along normal to the surface,
d = E ds
Total electric flux through the Gaussian surface is given by,


Since the charge enclosed by the Gaussian surface is q,

according to Gauss theorem,

From equations (i) and (ii), we obtain

(ii) When point P lies inside the spherical shell:

In such a case, the Gaussian surface encloses no charge.
According to Gauss law,
E 4r2 = 0
i.e., = E = 0 (r < R)
Graph showing the variation of electric field as a function of r:

Derive the expression for the energy stored in a parallel plate

capacitor of capacitance C with air as medium between its plates
having charges Q and Q. Show that this energy can be
expressed in terms of electric field as
where A is the
area of each plate and d is the separation between the plates.
How will the energy stored in a fully charged capacitor change
when the separation between the plates is doubled and a
dielectric medium of dielectric constant 4 is introduced between
the plates?
Consider a situation when one plate has a charge Q and the
other plate will also have charge Q.
The voltage between the plates will be . A small charge equal
to Q is transferred from the negative plate to the positive plate.
A small work W is done in this process.
W = V Q

Energy stored =
Q = A where Surface charge density
where A Area of the plates and d Separation
between the plates
Putting these values in equation (1), we obtain
Energy stored =
Now, we know that,
Electric field,
Therefore, energy stored


When distance between the plates is doubled and the dielectric

constant is 4, the energy stored in the capacitor will

Thus, the total energy will become half when the distance
between the plates is doubled and the dielectric constant is 4.

Define the term dipole moment of an electric dipole indicating

its direction. Write its SI unit.
An electric dipole is placed in a uniform electric field . Deduce
the expression for the torque acting on it. In a particular
situation, it has its dipole moment aligned with the electric field.
Is the equilibrium stable or unstable?
Electric dipole moment is defined as the product of any one of
the charges and the length of the electric dipole.
p = Electric dipole moment
q = One of the charges
2a = Length of the electric dipole
Its direction is from negative charge to positive charge.
Its SI unit is coulomb metre.

= Either force Perpendicular distance between the two forces

= q E (2a sin )
= p E sin
() = p E sin
For equilibrium () = 0,
p E sin = 0
sin = 0
= 0 or 180
When the dipole is aligned along the electric field,
= 0
U Potential energy
U = p E cos

= p E cos 0
The potential energy is minimum at = 0.
Hence, the dipole is in stable equilibrium.

Derive an expression for the energy stored in a parallel plate

On charging a parallel plate capacitor to a potential V, the
spacing between the plates is halved, and a dielectric medium
is introduced between the plates, without
disconnecting the d.c source. Explain, using suitable
expressions, how the (i) capacitance, (ii) electric field and (iii)
energy density of the capacitor charge.
Energy stored in a parallel plate capacitor:
At any intermediate stage, suppose charge on conductor 1 is
+ q and charge on conductor 2 is q.

Potential difference between conductors 1 and 2 is q/C, where

C is the capacity of the capacitor.
Suppose the capacitor is charged gradually and at any stage, the
charge on the capacitor is q.
Potential of capacitor =
Small amount of work done giving an additional charge dq to the
capacitor is

Total work done in giving a charge Q to the capacitor

As electrostatic force is conservative, this work is stored in the

form of potential energy (U) of the capacitor.

Put Q = CV

(i) Let

be the charge in capacitance.

(ii) Charge of field:

Charge of energy density:

(a) Define electric flux. Write its SI unit.

(b) The electric field components due to a charge inside the cube
of side 0.1 m are as shown:

Where = 500 N/C m

Ey = 0, Ez = 0
Calculate (i) the flux through the cube and (ii) the charge inside
the cube
(a) Electric flux:
It is the number of electric field lines passing through a surface
S.I unit of flux = Nm2 C1
(b) Here, Ex = x, Ey = 0, Ez = 0
= 500 N/C-m, Side of cube a = 0.1 m
Since the electric field has only x-component,
for each of four faces of cube to y-axis and zaxis.
Electric flux is only for left and right face along x-axis of the
(i) Electric field at the left face, x = a, is

and electric field at the right face, x = a + a = 2a, is

Net flux through the cube =

(ii) By Gausss law,