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Tutorial-1 (EEL 207

August 7, 2013
Try to think/slove the following : 1. (a) Plot the following potential : φ = x 2 + y2 (b) Can this function φ represent an electrostatic potential in a charge-free region? 2. Let us take the following function: φ = ax2 + by2 (a) Under what condition can φ represent an electrostatic potential in a charge-free region? (b) Plot the function φ when it represents an electrostatic potential. (Believe me, you all see this surface everyday!!!) (c) If I keep a charge at the origin of φ , is it possible to maintain the charge in stable equilibrium? 3. (a) Plot the following function: f (x) = (x + 2)4 (b) For what value of x does this function attain its minima? (c) Now, apply the tools of calculus and find out the minima of f (x). The second derivative at the point of minima will become zero. So, the value of the second derivative fails to identify whether the point is maxima or a minima. Can you sense any pitfall? Note: the aim of this particular exercise is to make you aware of the fact that you ’ll encounter a wrong proof of Earnshaw’s theorem in many websites! If you can identify the pitfall, you ’ll be able to easily separate out the correct proof from the wrong ones!! 4. Suppose, I want to solve Laplace’s equation using the method of separation of variables for a structure which is infinite along z direction. Why is it written in the books that, as the structure is infinite along z, there is no z dependence of the solution? Try to reason this both: (a) physically (which is of course easy) and (b) mathematically.