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JACKSON 1.1

Part a

Since a conductor has no E ﬁeld inside, by Gauss’s law ∇ E =

ρ

0

there can also be no charge

density inside the conductor. This means that excess charge must lie entirely on its surface. 2

Part b

You can place a Gaussian surface just inside the conductor. Since there is no charge density inside,

by Gauss’s law (perhaps more easily seen in integral form)

E da =

Qenc

0

there is also no E ﬁeld

inside, in spite of all of the charges outside the conductor. However, if there are charges inside the

hollow conductor, the same law tells you that Q

enc

,= 0, meaning that the ﬁeld outside is nonzero

too. Hence, it shields its interior from charges outside but does not shield its exterior from charges

inside. 2

Part c

The E ﬁeld on the surface of the conductor must be normal to its surface, since otherwise charge

would ﬂow on the surface (we are making the assumption that the charge is static. As for the

magnitude, we use Gauss’s law in integral form:

E da =

Q

enc

0

(1)

Now, dQ

enc

= σˆ n da, since the only charge that exists is on the surface. Thus, we rewrite Gauss’s

law as

E da =

σ

0

ˆ n da =

(E−

σ

0

ˆ n) da = 0 (2)

and since this must hold for any area, we conclude

E =

σ

0

ˆ n 2 (3)

JACKSON 1.2

Starting with Jackson’s deﬁnition of the delta function:

D(α; x, y, z) = (2π)

3/2

α

−3

exp[−

x

2

+y

2

+z

2

2α

2

] (4)

we note that D →0 unless x, y, z →0 as well (i.e. replace x, y, z with dx, dy, and dz). Now notice

that dx

2

+ dy

2

+ dz

2

≡ ds

2

is the arc length squared. We can write D ∝ exp[−ds

2

/2α

2

]. In the

general coordinate system given by Jackson, we can write the square of the arc length as:

ds

2

= (

du

U

)

2

+ (

dv

V

)

2

+ (

dw

W

)

2

(5)

This is not to say that dx = du/U. Rather, I have replaced the entire arc length ds, which is the

same in all coordinate systems.

Let du →u −u

, dv →v −v

, and dw →w −w

. We obtain:

D(α; u, v, w) =

e

−(u−u

)

2

/2α

2

U

2

√

2πα

e

−(v−v

)

2

/2α

2

V

2

√

2πα

e

−(w−w

)

2

/2α

2

W

2

√

2πα

(6)

This is starting to look like the usual deﬁnition of the delta function. Now for some trickery. We

will replace the α’s in each term with α

u

/U, α

v

/V, α

w

/W. We justify this by saying that each of

the α’s go to zero, so the replacement does not change the limit of the function. The result of this

replacement is

D(α; u, v, w) =

e

−(u−u

)

2

/2α

2

u

√

2πα

u

e

−(v−v

)

2

/2α

2

v

√

2πα

v

e

−(w−w

)

2

/2α

2

w

√

2πα

w

UV W (7)

This is the result we were looking for. The left hand side (or the right hand side in equation 4) is

δ(x −x

**). Meanwhile the left hand side is the product of three delta functions time UV W. Thus,
**

δ(x −x

) = δ(u −u

)δ(v −v

)δ(w −w

)UV W 2 (8)

This result is useful because it can be used to show that for spherical coordinates, for instance,

when u = r, v = θ, w = φ, and the length elements are dr, rdθ, rsinθdφ, (which leads to U = 1, V =

1/r, W = 1/rsinθ) we can ﬁnd that

δ(x −x

) = δ(r −r

)δ(θ −θ

)δ(φ −φ

)

1

r

2

sinθ

(9)

JACKSON 1.3

Part a

The charge is uniformly distributed over a spherical shell, so its position is a constant R. Therefore

we can write

ρ(r) ∝ δ(r −R) (10)

(I choose to switch from x to the more natural spherical r). Of course, I need to normalize it,

¸

ρ(r)dV = Q. I therefore write:

Q =

dV Cδ(r −R) = C

r

2

sinθδ(r −R)drdθdφ = 4πCR

2

(11)

and therefore C = Q/4πR

2

, meaning

ρ(r) =

Q

4πR

2

δ(r −R) 2 (12)

Part b

By the same reasoning as in part a,

ρ(r) ∝ δ(r −b) (13)

and normalizing:

λ =

dACδ(r −b) = C

rdθdrδ(r −b) = 2πCb (14)

meaning that C = λ/2πb, resulting in:

ρ(r) =

λ

2πb

δ(r −b) 2 (15)

There was no integral over z because we were normalizing to the charge density.

Part c

Here we must employ the Heaviside theta function to write that

ρ(r) ∝ Θ(R −r)δ(z) (16)

where the step function tells us that there is no charge outside of the disk, and the delta function

tells us that the charge is conﬁned to the disk. Normalizing:

Q =

dV CΘ(R −r)δ(z) = C

rdzdφdrCΘ(R −r)δ(z) =

1

2

R

2

2πC (17)

we ﬁnd that C = Q/πR

2

(the theta function is akin to an integral from 0 to R, and the integral of

a delta function over all space is unity). Thus,

ρ(r) =

Q

πR

2

Θ(R −r)δ(z) 2 (18)

2

Part d

The same as in part c, except that here instead of being conﬁned to the z-plane, we are conﬁned

to the θ = π/2 plane.

Q =

dV CΘ(R −r)δ(θ −

π

2

) = C

r

2

sinθdrdθdφCΘ(R −r)δ(θ −

π

2

) = 2πR

2

C (19)

leading to:

ρ(r) =

Q

2πR

2

Θ(R −r)δ(θ −

π

2

) 2 (20)

JACKSON 1.4

Part a

The ﬁrst sphere, being a conductor, has no electric ﬁeld inside (E= 0 for r < a). Outside the

sphere, we can place a Gaussian surface, and since the enclosed charge is Q, it is trivial to show

that outside, E =

Q

4π

0

r

2

ˆr if r > a. 2

Part b

Since the charge density is uniform, we write Q

enc

= Q(4πr

3

/4πa

3

) inside and Q

enc

= Q outside

and integrate E da from 0 to either some point r inside the sphere or over its whole area. Thus,

for inside the sphere,

r

0

E da =

1

0

Q

r

3

a

3

⇒E

in

=

Qr

4π

0

a

3

ˆr 2 (21)

and for outside the sphere:

a

0

E da =

1

0

Q ⇒E

out

=

Q

4π

0

a

2

ˆr 2 (22)

Part c

This sphere has a charge density ρ ∝ r

n

. Therefore, dQ = Ar

n

dV . Now integrate.

r

0

E da =

1

0

AdrdΩr

2

r

n

=

4πA

0

r

0

r

n+2

dr =

4πA

0

1

n + 3

r

n+3

(23)

and recalling that the area of our Gaussian sphere of radius r is 4πr

2

, we obtain that the electric

ﬁeld inside the sphere is:

E

in

=

A

0

r

n+1

n + 3

ˆr 2 (24)

We are not done, however, because we still want to ﬁnd the constant A. To do so, recall that

a

0

ρdV = Q. Performing this integration, with ρ = Ar

n

, it is easy to ﬁnd that A = Q(n+3)/4πa

n+3

.

Thus, the electric ﬁeld inside this sphere is:

E

in

=

Q

4π

0

r

n+1

a

n+3

ˆr 2 (25)

Of course, the E ﬁeld outside is the same in this case as it was in parts a and b. The ﬁeld outside

does not depend on the form of the charge density inside, only on the total charge.

JACKSON 1.5

Our potential is

Φ =

q

4π

0

e

−αr

r

(1 +

αr

2

) (26)

Now, one may be tempted to use ρ = −

0

∇

2

Φ. However, this is problematic in that the potential

is singular at r = 0. Before dealing with that, let’s take the Laplacian of our potential (multiplied

by −

0

).

−

0

∇

2

Φ = −

0

∂

∂r

r

2

∂

∂r

Φ = −

qα

3

e

−αr

8π

(27)

3

Now, for r ≈ 0, we must expand Φ:

Φ ≈

q

4π

0

r

(1 +

αr

2

) (28)

where I have used the fact that for x ¸ 1, e

±x

≈ 1. The second term in the parentheses will

contribute nothing to the Laplacian, since it will have no r dependence when multiplied out. But

the ﬁrst term looks a lot like the potential of a point charge. Now, from Jackson page 35, we recall

that ∇

2

(

1

r

)=−4πδ

3

(r). This allows us to write the full charge density (remembering to cancel out

4π’s and

0

’s):

ρ = qδ

3

(r) −

qα

3

e

−αr

8π

2 (29)

The ﬁrst term represents the proton charge, located at the origin, where the potential blows up,

while the second term represents the negatively charged electron cloud in the 1s orbital around

the proton. You can verify that the total charge

**ρdV = 0, as it should. If you had forgotten to
**

include the delta function, the total charge would be -q, which is wrong, since the hydrogen atom

consists of the positively charged nucleus and the negatively charged electron cloud, which sum to

0.

JACKSON 1.6

Part a

Let’s examine only one side of the capacitor ﬁrst. From Gauss’s law,

E da = Q

enc

/

0

, and using

a Gaussian pillbox of negligible thickness and two sides of area A, we ﬁnd that the left hand side

is 2[E[A. Meanwhile, on the right hand side, the charge enclosed is the charge density σ times the

area A of the actual plate. I don’t have a factor of 2 here because the charge is only on a single

plate, whereas the Gaussian pillbox that I am using has two plates, so its area is 2A. Now, setting

the two sides equal, I ﬁnd that

E =

σ

2

0

ˆ n. (30)

However, the capacitor has two plates, and since the charge is opposite on the second plate, the

electric ﬁeld will be pointing toward one plate and away from the other, meaning that the electric

ﬁeld points in the same direction, call it ˆ n. Then the total electric ﬁeld between the plates is

E =

σ

0

ˆ n. (31)

From the deﬁnition of capacitance, C = Q/V , and it is well known that the potential diﬀerence of

a capacitor is V = Ed, where d is the spacing between the plates. Thus, V = σd/

0

. Dividing the

charge on one plate, Q = σA, by this potential, results in

C =

0

A

d

2 (32)

Part b

The electric ﬁeld between two concentric conducting spheres is easily found from Gauss’s law to be

E =

Q

4π

0

r

2

ˆr ∀ r ∈ [a, b] (33)

since it is just the same as the electric ﬁeld outside a conducting sphere, but restricted to the region

between a and b. The potential is

V = −

a

b

E dl =

Q

4π

0

(

1

a

−

1

b

) (34)

meaning that the capacitance Q/V is

C = 4π

0

(

ab

b −a

) 2 (35)

4

Part c

We can ﬁnd the electric ﬁeld between two concentric cylinders (or look it up) from Gauss’s law.

E da =

Q

enc

0

⇒E2πrL =

Q

0

(36)

where r is the radius of our Gaussian cylinder (remember that the area of a cylinder of length L

and radius r is 2πrL). Thus, E = Q/2πrL

0

. Once again, we integrate to ﬁnd the potential

V = −

a

b

E dl =

Q

2πL

0

a

b

dr

r

=

Q

2πL

0

ln

b

a

(37)

and so the capacitance is

C =

2πL

0

ln

b

a

2 (38)

Part d

For this question, we just plug and chug to solve for b, and remember that we want is the diameter,

i.e. 2b. Also note that we are dealing with the capacitance per unit length.

ln

b

.5 10

−3

=

2π8.85 10

−12

3 10

−11

⇒2b = 6.4 10

−3

m 2 (39)

ln

b

.5 10

−3

=

2π8.85 10

−12

3 10

−12

⇒2b = 1.1 10

5

m 2 (40)

Note how much you need to shrink your coaxial capacitor in order to improve your capacitance by

just an order of magnitude.

JACKSON 1.7

The electric ﬁeld outside a single cylindrical conductor is:

E da =

Q

enc

0

⇒E2πrL =

Q

0

⇒E =

λ

2πr

0

ˆr (41)

where λ is the charge per unit length. Thus, the total ﬁeld along the line joining the two conductors

is

E = (

λ

2πr

+

0

+

λ

2πr

−

0

)ˆr (42)

where r

+

, r

−

are the distances from the two conductors. Then the potential diﬀerence between

them is

V = Φ

+

−Φ

−

= −

+

−

E dl =

λ

2π

0

¦

d−a

2

a

1

dr

+

r

+

+

d−a

1

a

2

dr

−

r

−

¦ =

λ

2π

0

ln

(d −a

1

)(d −a

2

)

a

1

a

2

(43)

Where did I get this from? Well, we need to ﬁnd the potential from conductor + and subtract

from it the potential due to conductor -. This tells us the potential diﬀerence between the two

conductors. Now, the potential due to the ﬁrst conductor is the integral of the electric ﬁeld from

its own surface, a

1

, to the surface of the second conductor, d − a

2

(there is no ﬁeld inside either

conductor, and d is the line joining the centers of the conductors). The potential from the second

conductor is the integral of the electric ﬁeld from its own surface, a

2

, to the surface of the ﬁrst

conductor, d −a

1

. We can make the approximation

V ≈

λ

2π

0

ln

d

2

a

1

a

2

(44)

since d ¸a

1

, a

2

. Now we are able to ﬁnd the capacitance per unit length, C = λ/V :

C = 2π

0

(ln

d

2

a

1

a

2

)

−1

(45)

5

Now, for those of you unaware of what geometric mean is, the geometric mean G of a set of numbers

x

1

, ..., x

n

is deﬁned as

G =

n

√

x

1

...x

n

(46)

Thus, the geometric mean of the radii is just

√

a

1

a

2

≡ a.

C = 2π

0

(ln

d

2

a

2

)

−1

=

π

0

ln

d

a

2 (47)

To ﬁnd the diameter of the wire, we solve for a:

a = de

−π

0

/C

(48)

If the capacitance in the wire is 1.2 10

−11

F/m, then we get a ≈ 0.1d. Plugging in the separation

distances of 0.5cm, 1.5cm, and 5.0cm, we get diameters 2a of 1mm, 3mm, and 10mm. 2

JACKSON 1.8

Part a

In problem 1.6, I found the electric ﬁeld of these three situations. Electrostatic energy U =

1

2

CV

2

,

and energy density is w =

1

2

0

[E[

2

. Using the results from 1.6a,

U =

1

2

0

A

d

(

σd

0

)

2

=

1

2

0

σ

2

Ad =

1

2

0

Q

2

d

A

2 (49)

while the energy density is

w =

1

2

0

σ

2

2

0

=

Q

2

2

0

A

2

2 (50)

Note that the energy density of a parallel plate capacitor is constant.

Part b

Using the results from 1.6b

U =

1

2

4π

0

ab

b −a

(

Q

4π

0

(

1

a

−

1

b

))

2

=

Q

2

8π

0

b −a

ab

2 (51)

while the energy density is

w =

1

32π

2

0

Q

2

r

4

∀ r ∈ [a, b] 2 (52)

Part c

Using the results from 1.6c

U =

1

2

2πL

0

ln

b

a

(

Qln

b

a

2πL

0

)

2

=

Q

2

ln

b

a

4πL

0

2 (53)

while the energy density is

w =

1

2

0

(

Q

2πrL

0

)

2

=

Q

2

8π

2

r

2

L

2

0

∀ r ∈ [a, b] 2 (54)

Note that the energy is more strongly concentrated close to the inner conductor for a spherical

capacitor (energy density goes as r

−4

), than for a cylindrical parallel capacitor, where energy

density goes as r

−2

.

JACKSON 1.9

Part a

The electric ﬁeld due to a single capacitor plate is calculated by

E da = Q/

0

⇒ E 2A =

Q/

0

⇒E = Q/2

0

A. Thus the force is:

F = QE =

Q

2

2

0

A

2 (55)

6

Meanwhile, the electric ﬁeld due to a cylinder was found in problem 1.7, so the force on one cylinder

due to the other is

F = QE =

Q

2

2π

0

Lr

r=d

=

Q

2

2π

0

Ld

2 (56)

Part b

Recall from problem 1.6a that for a parallel plate capacitor, the potential diﬀerence was V =

Qd/

0

A. Solving for Q:

Q =

0

AV

d

(57)

and plugging into equation 55, we get:

F =

(

0

AV

d

)

2

2

0

A

2 (58)

For the parallel cylinder capacitor, recall from problem 1.7 that C = π

0

/ln

d

a

, meaning that the

charge can be written in terms of the potential diﬀerence Q = CV as

Q =

π

0

V

ln

d

a

(59)

meaning that the force, from equation 56 is:

F =

π

0

V

2

2Ld(ln

d

a

)

2

2 (60)

JACKSON 1.10

In mathematical form, the mean value theorem says

Φ(x) =

1

4πR

2

S

Φ(x

)d

3

x

, (61)

i.e. that if we take our sphere and integrate the potential over it, then normalize by the area of the

sphere, it will be equal to the potential in the middle. We will use section 1.8 of Jackson as our

guide. We start with Green’s Theorem:

V

(φ∇

2

ψ −ψ∇

2

φ)d

3

x

=

S

(φ

∂ψ

∂n

−ψ

∂φ

∂n

)d

2

x

(62)

Jackson sets ψ = 1/R and φ = Φ, so we shall copy him:

V

(Φ∇

2

1

R

−

1

R

∇

2

Φ)d

3

x

=

S

(Φ

∂

1

R

∂n

−

1

R

∂Φ

∂n

)d

2

x

(63)

Let’s examine the left hand side ﬁrst. We can use the property that ∇

2

(1/R) = −4πδ(x−x

). This

is convenient because it allows us to easily evaluate the ﬁrst term. Meanwhile, the second term

on the left hand side is just Poisson’s ∇

2

Φ = ρ/

0

. Fortunately, the problem asks for charge free

space, so that integral vanishes, since there is no charge inside the region of integration. Thus, the

left hand side becomes:

V

(Φ∇

2

1

R

−

1

R

∇

2

Φ)d

3

x

=

V

¦Φ(x

)(−4π)δ(x −x

) −(

1

R

ρ

0

)¦d

3

x

= −4πΦ(x) (64)

Now the right hand side. The derivative of R with respect to the normal is just −1/R

2

, since the

normal is radial to the surface. The right hand side becomes

S

(Φ

∂

1

R

∂n

−

1

R

∂Φ

∂n

)d

2

x

=

S

−

Φ(x

)

R

2

−

1

R

∂Φ(x

)

∂n

d

2

x

(65)

7

To integrate the last term, note that

0

∂Φ/∂n = σ (see section 2.3.5 of Griﬃths). You can see

where this is going. Once again, since we are in charge free space, this term vanshes. In this way,

the right hand side has been reduced to:

S

−

Φ(x

)

R

2

−

1

R

∂Φ(x

)

∂n

d

2

x

= −

1

R

2

S

Φ(x

)d

2

x

(66)

Note: R = [x − x

**[ is a constant on a sphere, so it can be pulled out of the integral. For a more
**

complicated surface we could not pull it out. Now, going back to equation 63, and using equations

64 and 66, we get the equality:

−4πΦ(x) = −

1

R

2

S

Φ(x

)d

2

x

(67)

Therefore, we have proved the mean value theorem:

Φ(x) =

1

4πR

2

S

Φ(x

)d

3

x

2 (68)

JACKSON 1.11

The ﬁgure for this problem is taken from:

http://www-personal.umich.edu/˜ pran/jackson/P505/F07 hw01a.pdf.

Let’s look at the 2-D situation ﬁrst. We will take a curved Gaussian box above the charged

conductor, such that no charges are enclosed, and use Gauss’s law in integral form:

S

E da = 0.

For this box, Gauss’s law says:

S

E da = 0 = E

top

a

top

−E

bottom

a

bottom

(69)

where the a’s corresponds to the top and bottom of the box. There is no contribution from the sides

because they are taken to be normal to the surface. As is clear from the ﬁgure, a

top

= (R+)dθdz,

while a

bottom

= Rdθdz. Plugging this into equation 69 (and canceling out dθ’s and dz’s, we get

E

bottom

= E

top

(1 +

R

) (70)

From this we can calculate dE/dn.

∂E

∂n

= lim

→0

E

top

−E

bottom

≈ lim

→0

E

bottom

(1 −

R

) −E

bottom

= −

E

bottom

R

(71)

And therefore:

1

E

∂E

∂n

= −

1

R

(72)

since E

bottom

≈ E

top

as →0. Now we return to the 3-D situation. This time, the areas of the top

and bottom of the new three-dimensional box are a

bottom

= R

1

R

2

dΩ and a

top

= (R

1

+)(R

2

+)dΩ.

Plugging this into expression 69:

E

bottom

= E

top

(1 +

R

1

)(1 +

R

2

) (73)

This time, taking the limit in equation 71 yields

lim

→0

E

top

−E

bottom

≈ lim

→0

E

bottom

(1 −

R

1

)(1 −

R

2

) −E

bottom

≈ −E

bottom

(

1

R

1

+

1

R

2

) (74)

and so ﬁnally:

1

E

∂E

∂n

= −(

1

R

1

+

1

R

2

) 2 (75)

8

JACKSON 1.12

Starting with Green’s theorem:

V

(φ∇

2

ψ −ψ∇

2

φ)d

3

x =

S

(φ

∂ψ

∂n

−ψ

∂φ

∂n

)d

2

x (76)

We make the substitution ψ → Φ

**, φ → Φ, and using Poisson’s equation ∇
**

2

Φ = −ρ/

0

, and

recalling that σ =

0

∂Φ/∂ˆ n (and similarly for the primed variables), we get:

V

(−Φ

ρ

0

+ Φ

ρ

0

)d

3

x =

S

(Φ

σ

0

−Φ

σ

0

)d

2

x (77)

Rearranging this equation and canceling the

0

’s yields Green’s reciprocation theorem:

V

Φ

ρd

3

x +

S

Φ

σd

2

x =

V

Φρ

d

3

x +

S

Φσ

d

2

x 2 (78)

It is important to emphasize the signiﬁcance of Green’s reciprocation theorem. Using this theorem,

it is possible to relate a charge conﬁguration with potential Φ to a completely diﬀerent charge

conﬁguration with potential Φ

**, as will be done in problem 1.13.
**

JACKSON 1.13

The problem wants us to use Green’s reciprocation theorem

V

Φ

ρd

3

x +

S

Φ

σd

2

x =

V

Φρ

d

3

x +

S

Φσ

d

2

x, (79)

to prove that a charge placed between two parallel conducting planes separated by a distance d

will induce a charge Q = −ql/d on one of the planes, where l is the distance from the other plane.

To do this, we need to ﬁnd a second, similar, system to compare this with. From the hint, we need

to realize that the primed system in Green’s reciprocation theorem is the electrostatic potential of

a parallel plate capacitor with no charge density (ρ

= 0):

Φ

= V

z

d

(80)

where z is the distance from the bottom capacitor and d is the separation distance. You can check

that this formula works for z = 0 and z = d. This system in the problem, the unprimed one in

which there is a charge between the two parallel plates, has the potentials on both plates vanishing

because they are grounded (Φ

bottom

= Φ

top

= 0), and a charge distribution

ρ(x) =

N

i=1

q

i

δ(x −x

i

) = qδ(x)δ(y)δ(z −l), (81)

if we suppose that charge is located at (0, 0, l). In this way, we have written down Φ, Φ

, ρ, and ρ

.

We immediately simplify the reciprocation theorem if we plug in Φ = 0:

V

Φ

ρd

3

x +

S

Φ

σd

2

x = 0. (82)

Now we plug in the charge density from the unprimed coordinate system (equation 81) and the

potential of the primed system (equation 80):

V

V

z

d

qδ(x)δ(y)δ(z −l)d

3

x +

S

Φ

σd

2

x = 0. (83)

The reason I left the Φ

**in the surface integral is because we need to be careful about it in that the
**

surface integral needs to be separated into integrals over the top and bottom plates.

V

V

z

d

qδ(x)δ(y)δ(z −l)d

3

x +

S

bottom

Φ

bottom

σ

bottom

d

2

x +

Stop

Φ

top

σ

top

d

2

x = 0. (84)

9

The potential of the bottom (top) plate corresponds to plugging z = 0 (z = d) into equation 80,

yielding Φ

= 0 (Φ

**= V ). Thus, equation 84 reduces to:
**

V

V

z

d

qδ(x)δ(y)δ(z −l)d

3

x +V

Stop

σd

2

x = 0. (85)

Recalling that

Stop

σ

top

d

2

x = Q

top

, this expression is easily evaluated to be:

V q

l

d

+Q

top

V = 0 (86)

leading immediately to

Q

top

= −q

l

d

2 (87)

JACKSON 1.14

This is a straightforward application of Green’s theorem

V

(φ∇

2

ψ −ψ∇

2

φ)d

3

x =

S

(φ

∂ψ

∂n

−ψ

∂φ

∂n

)d

2

x (88)

where we substitute φ = G(x, y), ψ = G(x’,y).

V

(G(x, y)∇

2

G(x’,y) −G(x’,y)∇

2

G(x, y))d

3

y =

S

(G(x, y)

∂G(x’,y)

∂n

−G(x’,y)

∂G(x, y)

∂n

)d

2

y

(89)

Then we use the fact that ∇

2

G(z, y) = −4πδ(y −z).

V

(G(x, y)δ(y −x

) −G(x

, y)δ(y −x))d

3

y =

−1

4π

S

(G(x, y)

∂G(x’,y)

∂n

−G(x’,y)

∂G(x, y)

∂n

)d

2

y

(90)

This is easily integrated to give an expression for the diﬀerence G(x, x

) −G(x

, x):

G(x, x

) −G(x

, x) =

−1

4π

S

(G(x, y)

∂G(x’,y)

∂n

−G(x’,y)

∂G(x, y)

∂n

)d

2

y 2 (91)

Part a

Dirichlet boundary conditions mean that G

D

(x, y) = 0 on the surface of S. That means that the

entire surface integral vanishes, and we ﬁnd that G

D

(x, x

) is symmetric in x and x’:

G

D

(x, x

) = G

D

(x

, x) 2 (92)

Note that the physical interpretation of the symmetry of the Green’s function is that the source

and observation points are interchangeable, i.e. exchanging them would give you the same Green’s

function. See page 40 of Jackson.

Part b

The boundary condition that Jackson is referring to is:

∂G

N

(x, x

)

∂n

= −

4π

S

(93)

which is just the deﬁnition of the Neumann boundary condition, where S is the area of the surface.

We plug this into equation 91, to obtain:

G

N

(x, x

) −G

N

(x

, x) =

1

S

S

(G(x, y) −G(x

, y))d

2

y ≡ F(x) −F(x

) (94)

where F(x) =

1

S

S

G

N

(x, y)d

2

y is deﬁned by Jackson. Now this can be rearranged to show that

G

N

(x, x

) −F(x) is symmetric in x and x’:

G

N

≡ G

N

(x, x

) −F(x) = G

N

(x

, x) −F(x

) 2 (95)

10

Side point: Why is ∂G

N

(x, x

)/∂n

**,= 0 for Neumann boundary conditions?
**

Well, consider the following:

V

∇

2

G(x, x

)d

3

x

=

V

∇ ¦∇G(x, x

)¦d

3

x

=

S

∇G(x, x

) da

=

S

∂G(x, x

)

∂n

da

(96)

But notice:

V

∇

2

G(x, x

)d

3

x

=

V

−4πδ(x −x

) = −4π, (97)

and therefore:

S

∂G(x, x

)

∂n

da

= −4π, (98)

meaning that ∂G

N

/∂n

**cannot be 0! Instead, by convention, ∂G
**

N

/∂n

= −4π/S.

Part c

We will use equation 1.46 in Jackson,

Φ(x) = ¸Φ¸

S

+

1

4π

0

V

ρ(x

)G

N

(x, x

)d

3

x

+

1

4π

S

∂Φ

∂n

G

N

(x, x

)da

(99)

which is the Neumann Green’s function solution. Here, ¸Φ¸

S

is the average value of the potential

over the whole surface. Instead of G

N

, we will plug in G

N

≡ G

N

−F(x), deﬁned in equation 95:

Φ

N

(x) = ¸Φ¸

S

+

1

4π

0

V

ρ(x

)(G

N

(x, x

) −F(x))d

3

x

+

1

4π

S

∂Φ

∂n

(G

N

(x −x

) −F(x))da

. (100)

We can multiply out the G

N

(x, x

) −F(x) terms:

Φ

N

(x) = Φ(x) −

1

4π

0

V

ρ(x

)F(x)d

3

x

−

1

4π

S

∂Φ

∂n

F(x)da

(101)

where I have used the fact that the G

N

terms constitute the original Φ(x) of equation 99. We can

manipulate this further by noting that F(x) doesn’t depend on x

,

Φ

N

(x) = Φ(x) −

F(x)

4π

0

¦

V

ρ(x

)d

3

x

+

0

S

∂Φ(x

)

∂n

da

¦ (102)

or, using −∂Φ/∂n = −ˆ n ∇Φ = ˆ n E:

Φ

N

(x) = Φ(x) −

F(x)

4π

0

¦q

enc

−

0

S

E(x

) da

¦ (103)

and therefore by Gauss’s law, we see that the addition of F(x) does not aﬀect the potential:

Φ

N

(x) = Φ(x) 2 (104)

JACKSON 1.15

We use the deﬁnition of electrostatic energy given by Jackson in equation 1.54:

W =

0

2

V

[∇Φ[

2

d

3

x (105)

To minimize the energy, we let Φ →Φ + δΦ. This deﬁnes W →W + δW, and plugging this in to

the above formula yields:

W +δW =

0

2

V

[∇Φ +∇δΦ[

2

d

3

x =

0

2

V

[∇Φ[

2

+[∇δΦ[

2

+ 2[∇Φ ∇δΦ[d

3

x (106)

11

which can be rewritten as

W +δW ≈ W +

0

V

∇Φ ∇δΦd

3

x (107)

where I have ignored the term of order [∇δΦ[

2

. To minimize the energy, I need to set the last term

in equation 107 to 0. To do this, we will integrate by parts:

δW =

0

V

∇Φ ∇δΦd

3

x =

0

∇ΦδΦ

S

−

0

V

∇

2

ΦδΦd

3

x = 0 (108)

where S speciﬁes the surfaces in the region (the ﬁrst term in the integration by parts formula is

always a ‘boundary’ term). Using the fact that there no charges in the volume (∇

2

Φ = 0), we ﬁnd:

0

∇ΦδΦ

S

= 0, (109)

i.e. that ∇Φ = 0 on the surfaces, meaning that the surfaces are equipotentials, proving Thomson’s

theorem:

∇Φ

S

= 0 ⇒Φ = constant 2 (110)

JACKSON 1.16

This problem is similar to the last one, but we will use a diﬀerent approach. We will deﬁne the

electrostatic energy of the original conﬁguration to be W, and that of the conﬁguration with a new

conductor to be W

. The are:

W =

0

2

V

E

2

d

3

x (111)

W

=

0

2

V

1

E

2

d

3

x (112)

Note that the integration is over diﬀerent volumes (V of the original conﬁguration and V

1

= V −V

0

of the new conﬁguration, where V

0

is the volume of the new conductor). Similarly the electric ﬁelds

are diﬀerent since the introduction of the new conductor changes the electric ﬁeld. Now, our goal

is to prove that W

< W. To do so, let’s calculate W −W

.

W −W

=

0

2

V

E

2

d

3

x −

0

2

V

1

E

2

d

3

x (113)

we need to rewrite everything in terms of integrals over the volumes V

0

and V

1

:

W −W

=

0

2

V

0

E

2

d

3

x +

0

2

V

1

(E

2

−E

2

)d

3

x (114)

In this form it is not entirely clear which term is greater, W or W

**. However, I can rewrite the
**

second integral using the strange looking reorganization of the term E

2

−E

2

:

E

2

−E

2

= (E−E

)

2

+ 2E

(E−E

) (115)

You should check to make sure this equality works. It seems like an odd thing to do, but let’s keep

going. We’ll plug this equality into equation 116

W −W

=

0

2

V

0

E

2

d

3

x +

0

2

V

1

(E−E

)

2

d

3

x +

0

V

1

E

(E−E

)d

3

x (116)

Let’s look at the last term:

E

(E−E

) = −∇Φ (E

−E) = −(∇ ¦Φ[E

−E]¦ −Φ∇ ¦E

−E¦) (117)

where I have used a vector identity to rewrite this. This is useful because we can use the diﬀerential

form of Gauss’s law to show that the last term is zero (∇ E = 0). Knowing this, the expression in

116 is simpliﬁed to be

W −W

=

0

2

V

0

E

2

d

3

x +

0

2

V

1

(E−E

)

2

d

3

x −

0

V

∇ ¦Φ[E

−E]¦d

3

x (118)

12

which can be simpliﬁed even more if I use the divergence theorem on the last term:

W −W

=

0

2

V

0

E

2

d

3

x +

0

2

V

1

(E−E

)

2

d

3

x −

0

S

Φ[E

−E] da (119)

We are almost there. Now note that the potential is constant, since we are are dealing with the

same situation as in problem 1.15, where we found that the energy is minimized if the surfaces

were equipotential. Thus, since the potential is constant, we can pull it out of the integral. Then

all we have left in the last term is Gauss’s law in integral form, which again yields 0! This means

that our expression for W −W

reduces to:

W −W

=

0

2

V

0

E

2

d

3

x +

0

2

V

1

(E−E

)

2

d

3

x > 0 (120)

It is greater than 0 because both integrands are positive deﬁnite, so the integrals are too. Therefore,

W

< W 2 (121)

JACKSON 1.17

Part a

We will use equations 1.54 and 1.62 in Jackson:

W =

0

2

V

[∇Φ[

2

d

3

x =

1

2

N

i=1

N

j=1

C

ij

V

i

V

j

(122)

The right hand side is easily evaluated if we recall that all the conductors are at zero potential

except for one. If we suppose that the ﬁrst conductor is the only one with nonzero potential then

the only nonzero term in the sum on the right hand side is when i = j = 1.

0

2

V

[∇Φ[

2

d

3

x =

1

2

C

11

V

2

1

(123)

but V

1

is at unit potential (V

1

= 1), so this reduces, after canceling out factors of 1/2, to

C =

0

V

[∇Φ[

2

d

3

x 2 (124)

Part b

The trial function Ψ satisﬁes the Laplace equation in V, is deﬁned on S, so it satisﬁes δΨ = 0

on S. Any deviation for Φ(x) can be written as δΦ, and the ﬁrst order change in the diﬀerence

C[Φ] = C[Φ+δΦ] −C[Φ] →0, since Ψ satisﬁes the Laplace equation and C[Φ] ≡ C is a stationary

minimum. Therefore

C ≤ C[Ψ] =

0

V

[∇Φ[

2

d

3

x 2 (125)

13

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