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PY3P02 Continuous Assessment Problem Set

Stephen Ryan 15335913

Question 1
i) State Gauss Law for the electric field, and the equivalent Maxwells equation in differential form. Explain any symbols that
you use and state their SI units.

Gauss’ Law:
‚ qenclosed
Standard form: S
E · da =
0
ρ
Differential form: ∇ · E =
0
where


≡ integral over the Gaussian surface
S
E = electric field, units of N C −1
da = infinitesimal part of surface
qenclosed = total charge enclosed by surface, units of C
0 = permittivity of free space, units of F m−1
∇· ≡ divergence
ρ = charge density, units of Cm−3

ii) A long cylindrical cavity of total axial radius R is filled with a rare, fully-ionised gas of uniform charge density . Calcu-
late the electric field as a function of the axial radius r, both inside and outside the cylinder. You may ignore dielectric effects.

Electric field outside of cylinder (r > R):


In this case, the volumetric charge density ρ can be converted to a linear charge density λ, where λ = ρπR2 . Consider a
Gaussian surface centered around the cylinder with length L. Provided the given cylindrical cavity is sufficiently long, Gauss’
Law can be used to find E as follows:


qenclosed
E · da =
S 0
qenclosed = λL
λL
=⇒ E · 2πrL =
0
λ ρR2
E= =
2π0 r 20 r
Electric field inside of cylinder (r < R):

In this case, the outer parts of the cylinder can be ignored due to symmetry, and only the cylinder with r < R needs to be
accounted for. The linear charge density is now λ = ρπr2 . Another Gaussian cylinder is constructed inside the cylinder, and
similarly to outside the cylinder

1

qenclosed
E · da =
S 0
qenclosed = λL
λL
=⇒ E · 2πrL =
0
λ ρr
E= =
2π0 r 20
iii) Given that the gas atoms are free to spatially redistribute (i.e., conduct), and neglecting dielectric and kinetic effects, is
it reasonable to assume that the charge density is uniform and, if not, what would be a more plausible spatial profile for ρ?
Explain your answer in terms of Gauss Law and the definition of the electric field.

It is not reasonable to assume that the charge density is uniform. Consider an electric field existing in a conductor. The free
charges would be acted upon by the electric field, and would be repelled outwards to the surface. Therefore the electric field
E must be equal to 0. Then, Gauss’ Law says that


qenclosed
E · da = =0
S 0
=⇒ qenclosed = 0

which again must mean that the charge resides only on the surface. This implies the spatial profile is
(
ρ, if r ≥ R
ρ=
0, otherwise

iv) Let us switch to a more physically plausible system, a long cylindrical rod of dielectric material and radius R. The rod
is grown with a controlled concentration of immobile, negatively-charged crystal defects each with a charge of -1e, with a
number density that varies from the axis like
" #
πr
N (r) = D0 sin
R
where D0 is a constant. Calculate the corresponding charge density ρF . From this, calculate the displacement field as a
function of the axial radius r, both inside and outside the rod.

Relevant equations:

ρtotal = ρF + ρp
∇·E ~ = ρtotal
~
ρF = ∇ · D
D = 0 E + P
P = N (r)p

Unfortunately I do not know how to progress here.

Question 2
i) Calculate (and simplify where possible) the electric field E corresponding to an electrostatic potential given in Cartesian
coordinates by (here a, b, and c are constants).
1 p
φ(x, y, z) = ax + b(x2 + y 2 + z 2 )− 2 + c ln( y 2 + z 2 )
The electromagnetic field E can be found easily using the fact that E = −∇V .

2
!
∂φ ∂φ ∂φ
E=− + +
∂x ∂y ∂z

!
∂φ −b ∂p 2
=a+ x + y2 + z2 + 0
∂x x2 + y 2 + z 2 ∂x
bx
=a− 3
(x2 + y2 + z2 ) 2
Similarly,
∂φ by cy
=0− 3 +
∂y (x2 + y 2 + z 2 ) 2 y + z2
2

∂φ bz cz
=0− 3 +
∂z 2 2
(x + y + z ) 22 y + z2
2
" # " !# " !#
bx b c b c
=⇒ E = −a + 3 x̂ + y 3 − ŷ + z 3 − ẑ
(x2 + y 2 + z 2 ) 2 2 2 2
(x + y + z ) 2 y + z2
2 2 2 2
(x + y + z ) 2 y + z2
2

ii) Calculate the charge density ρ corresponding to the electrostatic potential give in the previous sub-question (i), stating
any physical law that you invoke. Citing any external references that you may draw upon, offer a possible interpretation of
each of the terms in the electrostatic potential.

ρ
Using ∇ · E = (Gauss’ Law),
0

∂Ex ∂Ey ∂Ez


∇·E = + +
∂x ∂y ∂z
∂Ex b 3bx2
= 3 − 5 (by quotient rule)
∂x (x2 + y 2 + z 2 ) 2 (x2 + y 2 + z 2 ) 2
Similarly,
∂Ey b 3by 2 c 2cy 2
= 3 − 5 − 2 2
+ 2
∂y (x2 + y 2 + z 2 ) 2 (x2 + y 2 + z 2 ) 2 y +z (y + z 2 )2
∂Ez b 3bz 2 c 2cz 2
= 3 − 5 − +
∂z (x2 + y 2 + z 2 ) 2 (x2 + y 2 + z 2 ) 2 y 2 + z 2 (y 2 + z 2 )2
3b 3b(x2 + y 2 + z 2 ) 2c 2c(y 2 + z 2 )
=⇒ ∇ · E = 3 − 5 − +
(x2 + y 2 + z 2 ) 2 (x2 + y 2 + z 2 ) 2 y2 + z2 (y 2 + z 2 )2
=⇒ ∇ · E = 0
=⇒ ρ = 0

A possible interpretation of the terms are as follows, using the fact that potentials simply add up and can be separated:

· The initial term depends only on x. Supposing the potential was actually Φ = ax, then the electric field E = −ax̂. This
means that this term contributes a uniform electric field of strength −a which is parallel to the x axis.
1 q
· The middle term is simply the Euclidean distance to a point charge of charge q, i.e. V = . Thus there exists a point
4π0 r
charge whose charge is equal to q = −4π0 b.
− cy − cz
· Using the same technique as the first term, this gives E = 2 2
ŷ + 2 ẑ. I am unsure what could cause such an
y +z y + z2
electric field, but the plotting of it reveals that it consists of two infinite wells, whose thickness depends on the constant c
and is independent of x.

iii) Calculate curl E and explain fully what your result implies concerning the work done in moving a charged particle around
a closed loop immersed in the E field.

3

î ĵ k̂

∂ ∂ ∂
The curl of a vector field is given by curl(F~ ) = ∇× F~ = , where P, Q, R are the respective components of F~ . So
∂x ∂y ∂z
P Q R

~ = (Ry − Qz ) î − (Rx − Pz ) ~j + (Qx − Py )


∇·E
Ry − Qz = Rx − Pz = Qx − Py = 0 (it is obvious via inspection that the functions being derived are equal)
~ =0
=⇒ ∇ · E
Because the curl of the vector field is zero, the vector field is conservative, and the work done on a charged particle moving
through any closed loop in the electromagnetic field is zero (or that the change in energy when moving between two points
is path independent).
Alternatively, because a potential that is defined everywhere was given, it can be said outright that the electromagnetic field
E~ is conservative and that its curl is zero.

iv) Calculate the time-dependent magnetic field intensity B(t) at an axial distance r from a long, thin straight copper wire
that carries a sinusoidal current with an alternating frequency of 50 Hz and a maximum amplitude of 0.5 A.

Let I(t) = A sin ωt, A = 0.5, ω = 100π. Now


˛
~ · d~l = µ0 I(t) (ignoring Maxwell’s correction)
B

Constructing a loop around the wire at a distance r,


˛
~ · d~l = 2πrB
B

µ0 A sin ωt µ0 sin(100πt)
=⇒ B = =
2πr 4πr
v) Suppose that the straight wire mentioned in sub-question (iv) passes through the centre of a circular ring of a second
copper wire, with the two wires orientated perpendicularly to each other. The radius of the ring is 1 cm. The ring is cut in
one place, to form a loop. What is the timedependent potential (voltage) difference V(t) between the two ends of the loop?
Demonstrate in detail how you arrive at your answer, explaining any notation or formulae that you use.

The two ends of the circular loop are connected to a voltmeter. The voltmeter gives a read-out of the root mean square value
of the voltage difference between one end of the loop and the other, without closing the circuit. What is the expected value
of the voltmeter read-out?

dΦB
The induced emf is equal to ε = − , where ΦB is the magnetic flux, ΦB = B(t) · Aloop , Aloop = area of loop. So
dt

dB(t) − Aloop ω cos ωt π 2 cos 100πt


 = −A = =− .
dt 2 200
For the RMS value of the voltage,

vˆ τ
u
u B 2 (t)
t
0
1
VRMS = ,τ= = period.
τ f

ˆ τ
" # !
2 2 2 sin 2ωt t τ 2 cos 2x − 1
A cos ωt = A + evaluated using cos x =
4ω 2 0 2

0
ˆ τ
A2 τ
=⇒ A2 cos2 ωt =
0 2
|A| π2
=⇒ VRMS =√ = √ V.
2 200 2