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Solutions

Homework 1
SOLUTION : EM283 1. The problem is an illustration of the use of Ohms law. The current between the spheres can be obtained using Ohms law, I= Gauss law gives E da = so that I= Q
0

J da = Q
0

E da.

2. The problem is that we are given the potential dierence V = Va Vb rather than Q. However, if we assume that there is indeed a charge Q on the inner sphere, we have between the spheres, E= and, V = 3. Conclude, I= Q
0

1 Q , r 4 0 r2
a b

E dr =

1 Q 4 0

Q 1 dr = 2 r 4 0

1 1 a b

= 4

(Va Vb ) . (1/a 1/b) 1 1 a b

4. The resistance R between the shells is V 1 R= = I 4

5. For b >> a, we can ignore the radius b altogether and we have, R= 1 4 1 a .

6. Generally, for a wire, resistance is related to resistivity by, L R= . A In the spherical geometry this roughly translates to the resistance between concentric spheres as being determined most strongly by the nested shell of smallest area, i.e., the inner shell of radius a. 1

7. If two spheres, each of radius a are submerged in salt water, the resistance between them is twice the resistance of each, i.e., R = (2) Then, V = 2aV. R Measurements of I and V would allow one to measure the conductivity of the sea water. I= SOLUTION : EM284 1. The problem is an illustration of the use of Ohms law. The current between the arbitrarily shaped conductors can be obtained using Ohms law, I= Gauss law gives E da = so that I= Q
0

1 4

1 a

J da = Q
0

E da.

2. The key to the problem is to think of the system as a capacitor with the two metal objects of arbitrary shape as the two plates of the capacitor. Also think of the capacitor and the conducting medium as being a simple RC circuit that is discharging through the resistance of the medium. Replace the given system with a simple circuit containing just a capacitor and a resistor. 3. Here we are given the potential dierence V rather than Q. But for a capacitor, Q = CV . Thus, CV I= .
0

We also have through the resistor, V = IR. Thus, V CV = , R 0 i.e., R=


0

4. Walking around the circuit, adding voltage drops across each of the two elements, resistor and capacitor, and returning to the starting point, 0 = IR + Q dQ Q =+ R+ . C dt C

(The capacitor is discharging, so I = dQ/dt.) We have the dierential equation, 1 dQ + Q = 0, dt RC with solution, Q(t) = Q0 et/RC = Q0 et/ . 5. From the solution to the dierential equation, we identify the time constant as = RC. Thus, = RC = SOLUTION : EM285 1. This is an example that illustrates the use of Ohms law. 2. The radial current for a length of cylinder L at a radius s is I= from which, J(s) = 3. Ohms law (J = E) then gives, E(s) = using k/s. 4. The potential dierence V driving the current I is given by,
r1 0

(C) =

J da = J(s)[2sL],

I . 2sL

I I = 2sL 2kL

V =

E ds =
r2

I 2kL

ds =

I 2kL

(r2 r1 ).

5. We also have Ohms law in the form I = V /R, from which, R= V = I 1 2kL (r2 r1 ).