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  • List the three properties of a conductor in electrostatic equilibrium.
  • Explain the effect of an electric field on free charges in a conductor.
  • Explain why no electric field may exist inside a conductor.
  • Describe the electric field surrounding Earth.
  • Explain what happens to an electric field applied to an irregular conductor.
  • Describe how a lightning rod works.
  • Explain how a metal car may protect passengers inside from the dangerous electric fields caused by a downed line touching the car.

Conductors contain free charges that move easily. When excess charge is placed on a conductor or the conductor is put into a static electric field, charges in the conductor quickly respond to reach a steady state called electrostatic equilibrium    .

[link] shows the effect of an electric field on free charges in a conductor. The free charges move until the field is perpendicular to the conductor’s surface. There can be no component of the field parallel to the surface in electrostatic equilibrium, since, if there were, it would produce further movement of charge. A positive free charge is shown, but free charges can be either positive or negative and are, in fact, negative in metals. The motion of a positive charge is equivalent to the motion of a negative charge in the opposite direction.

In part a, an electric field E exists at some angle with the horizontal applied on a conductor. One component of this field E parallel is along x axis represented by a vector arrow and other E perpendicular, is along y axis represented by a vector arrow. Charge inside the conductor moves along x axis so the force acting on it is F parallel, which is equal to q multiplied by E parallel. In part b, a charge is shown inside the conductor and electric field is represented by a vector arrow pointing upward starting from the surface of the conductor.
When an electric field E size 12{E} {} is applied to a conductor, free charges inside the conductor move until the field is perpendicular to the surface. (a) The electric field is a vector quantity, with both parallel and perpendicular components. The parallel component ( E size 12{E rSub { size 8{ \rdline } } } {} ) exerts a force ( F size 12{F rSub { size 8{ \rdline } } } {} ) on the free charge q size 12{q} {} , which moves the charge until F = 0 size 12{F rSub { size 8{ \rdline } } =0} {} . (b) The resulting field is perpendicular to the surface. The free charge has been brought to the conductor’s surface, leaving electrostatic forces in equilibrium.

A conductor placed in an electric field    will be polarized    . [link] shows the result of placing a neutral conductor in an originally uniform electric field. The field becomes stronger near the conductor but entirely disappears inside it.

A spherical conductor is placed in the external electric field. The field lines are shown running from left to right. The field lines enter and leave the conductor at right angles. Negative charges accumulate on the left surface of the conductor and positive charges accumulate on the right surface of the conductor.
This illustration shows a spherical conductor in static equilibrium with an originally uniform electric field. Free charges move within the conductor, polarizing it, until the electric field lines are perpendicular to the surface. The field lines end on excess negative charge on one section of the surface and begin again on excess positive charge on the opposite side. No electric field exists inside the conductor, since free charges in the conductor would continue moving in response to any field until it was neutralized.

Misconception alert: electric field inside a conductor

Excess charges placed on a spherical conductor repel and move until they are evenly distributed, as shown in [link] . Excess charge is forced to the surface until the field inside the conductor is zero. Outside the conductor, the field is exactly the same as if the conductor were replaced by a point charge at its center equal to the excess charge.

A positively charged sphere is shown and positive charges are distributed all over the surface. Electric field lines emanate from the sphere in the space shown by the vector arrow pointing outward.
The mutual repulsion of excess positive charges on a spherical conductor distributes them uniformly on its surface. The resulting electric field is perpendicular to the surface and zero inside. Outside the conductor, the field is identical to that of a point charge at the center equal to the excess charge.

Questions & Answers

hi guys can you teach me how to solve a logarithm?
Villaflor Reply
how about a conceptual framework can you simplify for me? needed please
Villaflor
Hello what happens when electrone stops its rotation around its nucleus if it possible how
Afzal
I think they are constantly moving
Villaflor
yep what is problem you are stuck into context?
S.M
not possible to fix electron position in space,
S.M
Physics
Beatriz
yes of course Villa flor
David
equations of kinematics for constant acceleration
Sagcurse Reply
A bottle full of water weighs 45g when full of mercury,it weighs 360g.if the empty bottle weighs 20g.calculate the relative density of mercury and the density of mercury....pls I need help
Lila Reply
well You know the density of water is 1000kg/m^3.And formula for density is density=mass/volume Then we must calculate volume of bottle and mass of mercury: Volume of bottle is (45-20)/1000000=1/40000 mass of mercury is:(360-20)/1000 kg density of mercury:(340/1000):1/50000=(340•40000):1000=13600
Sobirjon
the latter is true
Sobirjon
100g of water is mixed with 60g of a liquid of relative density 1.2.assuming no changes in volume occurred,find the average relative density of the mixture...take density of water as 1g/cm3 and density of liquid 1.2g/cm3
Lila
plz hu can explain Heisenberg's uncertainty principle
Emmanuel Reply
who can help me with my problem about acceleration?
Vann Reply
ok
Nicholas
how to solve this... a car is heading north then smoothly made a westward turn during the travel the speed of the car remains constant at 1.5km/h what is the acceleration of the car? the total travel time of the car as it smoothly changed its direction is 15 minutes
Vann
i think the acceleration is 0 since the car does not change its speed unless there are other conditions
Ben
yes I have to agree, the key phrase is, "the speed of the car remains constant...," all other information is not needed to conclude that acceleration remains at 0 during the entire time
Luis
who can help me with a relative density question
Lila
1cm3 sample of tin lead alloy has mass 8.5g.the relative density of tin is 7.3 and that of lead is 11.3.calculate the percentage by weight of tin in the alloy. assuming that there is no change of volume when the metals formed the alloy
Lila
morning, what will happen to the volume of an ice block when heat is added from -200°c to 0°c... Will it volume increase or decrease?
adefenwa Reply
no
Emmanuel
hi what is physical education?
Kate
BPED..is my course.
Kate
No
Emmanuel
I think it is neither decreases nor increases ,it remains in the same volume because of its crystal structure
Sobirjon
100g of water is mixed with 60g of a liquid of relative density 1.2.assuming no changes in volume occurred,find the average relative density of the mixture. take density of water as 1g/cm3 and density of liquid as 1.2g/cm3
Lila
Sorry what does it means"no changes in volume occured"?
Sobirjon
volume can be the amount of space occupied by an object. But when an object does not change in shape it will still occupy the same space. Thats why the volume will still remain the same
Ben
Most soilds expand when heated but if it changes state at 0C it will have less volume. Ice floats because it is less dense ie a larger mass per unit volume.
Richard
how to calculate velocity
Okwethu Reply
v=d/t
Emeka
his about the speed?
Villaflor
how about speed
Villaflor
v=d/t
Nisha
hello bro hw is life with you
Jacob Reply
Mine is good. How about you?
Chase
Hi room of engineers
lawan Reply
yes,hi sir
Okwethu
hello
akinmeji
Hello
Mishael
hello
Jerry
hi
Sakhi
hi
H.C
so, what is going on here
akinmeji
u are all wlc just ask your question anybody. can answer
Ajayi
good morning ppl
ABDUL
If someone has not studied Mathematics enough yet, should theu study it first then study Phusics or Study Basics of Physics whilst srudying Math as well?
Riaz Reply
whether u studied maths or not, it is advisable to start from d basics cuz it is essential to know dem
Nuru
yea you are right
Badmus
wow, you got this w/o knowing math
Thomas
I guess that's it
Thomas
later people
Thomas
mathematics is everywhere
Anand
thanks but dat doesn't mean it is good without maths @Riaz....... Maths is essential in sciences particularly wen it comes to PHYSICS but PHYSICS must be started from the basic which may also help in ur mathematical ability
Nuru
A hydrometer of mass 0.15kg and uniform cross sectional area of 0.0025m2 displaced in water of density 1000kg/m3.what depth will the hydrometer sink
Lila
16.66 meters?
Darshik
16.71m2
aways
,i have a question of let me give answer
aways
the mass is stretched a distance of 8cm and held what is the potential energy? quick answer
aways
oscillation is a to and fro movement, it can also be referred to as vibration. e.g loaded string, loaded test tube or an hinged door
Olatunji Reply
what property makes the magnet to break?
Akshaya Reply
difference between charge and force
uwadiae Reply
charges: these are groups of ions which can be positive or negative. while force is said to be push or pull of an object. Generally, charge deals with ions while force deals with particles.
akinmeji
define oscillation
Munachukwu
what is up thrust
Lila Reply
upward force exerted by water on a body.
Matthew
A hydrometer of mass 0.15kg and of uniform cross sectional area 0.0025m2 displaced in water of density 1000kg/m3.what depth will the hydrometer sink
Lila
archimedes principle
Nicholas
mg=p(area x height)g
Nicholas
solve for height
Nicholas
what is matter
daniel Reply
Anything that has mass. And it occupies space. So it has volume.
wenhe
stages of matter.
daniel
States of matter are solid liquid gas and plasma
wenhe
what are Newtown's law
Lila
An object as rest will remain at rest or in motion will remain at motion. Force is mass times acceleration. And a force will have equal and opposite reaction.
wenhe
do we have any thing like plasma as a states of matter
daniel
no
Nicholas
Plasma is a state of matter. It's much later on. The sun for example is not a gas ball. Its plasma.
wenhe
why is plasma a state of matter
Lila
In lower grades you are taught that there are 3 states of matter. But later on, you'll learn that if you eat gas enough. It turns to plasma
wenhe
Heat*
wenhe
yes we have plasma as a state of matter
akinmeji
it is anything that occupie space and has mass
Anand
I never head of that before
daniel
Anything that occupies space and has mass is matter.
wenhe
what is the difference between vapor and gas
Lila
Plasma is best described as an ionized gas because it is made up of positively and negatively charged particles.
akinmeji
Vapour is gas.
wenhe
Aside plasma, we also have Bose- Einstein. this is also another state of matter
akinmeji
was bose Einstein discovered by Albert Einstein
Lila
We have like 6 states or more. But those are newly discovered.
wenhe
OK, thanks at list I have experience about that one now.
daniel
Einstein​ predicted it
wenhe
With another person
wenhe
what are the other states
Lila
Fermionic condensate
wenhe
OK what is Albert Einstein
daniel
And maybe more. I just rmb those. Tbh for school you only need to know 4.
wenhe
Albert Einstein​is the name of a scientist
wenhe
OK
daniel
what is the physical state of water and salt
Lila
can I ask off topic question?
Kristine
Both are matter. So can theoretically exist in all those states. But in room temperature, water is liquid and salt is solid.
wenhe
Yes
wenhe
Its about precalculus
Kristine
I'm not very good at maths. But if I can answer... Lol
wenhe
The reflector of a radiotelescope is in the shape of a parabola revolve its axis, if the diameter of the reflector is 400ft. above the vertex of the parabola, what should be the depth of reflector?
Kristine
Are there any other factors given?
wenhe
Or just that?
wenhe
matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration
Vashist
Cuz with those factors, I can't solve it.
wenhe
none
Kristine
Well. There must be another factor given or something. Like an equation of the parabola. Or else I can't solve it
wenhe
explain why water and salt are compounds
Lila
That's chem. But both water and salt are made of more than 1 element. So they are compounds.
wenhe
Compound meaning 2 or more things added together.
wenhe
salt chemically is combination of sodium n chloride whereas water is oxygen n hydrogen
Friday
deficiency of vitamin E cause ?
Friday
I don't know if this is the equation or formula your looking for; (x-h)²=4c(y-k) (x-h)²=-4c(y-k) (y-k)²=-4c(x-h) (y-k)²=4c(x-h)
Kristine
If the parabola opens downward, the equation will be (x-h)²=-4c(y-k). If the parabola opens upward, (x-h)²=4c(y-k). If the parabola opens to the left it will be -4c and if the parabola opens to the right it will be 4c
Kristine
Practice Key Terms 6

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Source:  OpenStax, College physics. OpenStax CNX. Jul 27, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11406/1.9
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