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2-ElectricalField

# 2-ElectricalField

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Published by: babyu1 on Aug 25, 2010

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Section 3 The Electric Field
Objectives
• Calculate electric field strength.
• Draw and interpret electric field lines.
• Identify the four properties associated with a
conductor in electrostatic equilibrium.
Section 3 The Electric Field
Electric Field Strength
• An electric field is a region where an electric force
on a test charge can be detected.
• The SI units of the electric field, E, are newtons per
coulomb (N/C).
• The direction of the electric field vector, E, is in the
direction of the electric force that would be exerted on
a small positive test charge.
Electric Fields and Test Charges
Section 3 The Electric Field
Section 3 The Electric Field
Electric Field Strength, continued
• Electric field strength depends on charge and
distance. An electric field exists in the region around
a charged object.
• Electric Field Strength Due to a Point Charge
( )
×
=
2
2
charge producing the field
electric field strength = Coulomb constant
distance
C
q
E k
r
Calculating Net Electric Field
Section 3 The Electric Field
Section 3 The Electric Field
Sample Problem
Electric Field Strength
A charge q
1
= +7.00 µC is
at the origin, and a charge
q
2
= –5.00 µC is on the x-
axis 0.300 m from the
origin, as shown at right.
Find the electric field
strength at point P,which is
on the y-axis 0.400 m from
the origin.
Sample Problem, continued
Electric Field Strength
1. Define the problem, and identify the known
variables.
Given:
q
1
= +7.00 µC = 7.00 × 10
–6
C r
1
= 0.400 m
q
2
= –5.00 µC = –5.00 × 10
–6
C r
2
= 0.500 m
u = 53.1º
Unknown:
E at P (y = 0.400 m)
Tip: Apply the principle of
superposition. You must first
calculate the electric field produced
by each charge individually at point
P and then add these fields
together as vectors.
Section 3 The Electric Field
Sample Problem, continued
Electric Field Strength
2. Calculate the electric field strength produced by
each charge. Because we are finding the magnitude
of the electric field, we can neglect the sign of each
charge.
( )
( )
–6
9 2 2 5 1
1 2 2
1
–6
9 2 2 5 2
2 2 2
2
7.00 10 C
8.99 10 N m /C 3.93 10 N/C
(0.400 m)
5.00 10 C
8.99 10 N m /C 1.80 10 N/C
(0.500 m)
C
C
q
E k
r
q
E k
r
| | ×
= = × · = ×
|
\ .
| | ×
= = × · = ×
|
\ .
Section 3 The Electric Field
Sample Problem, continued
Electric Field Strength
3. Analyze the signs of the
charges.
The field vector E
1
at P due
to q
1
is directed vertically
upward, as shown in the
figure, because q
1
is
positive. Likewise, the field
vector E
2
at P due to q
2
is
directed toward q
2
because
q
2
is negative.
Section 3 The Electric Field
X,Y components of E
1
and E
2
E
1
only has a y component.
E
2
= 1.8 x 10
5
N/C
E
2(x)
= vector adjacent (A) to Ө
A/H = cosineӨ so A=HcosӨ
E
2 (y)
= sineӨ so O=HsinӨ
Sample Problem, continued
Electric Field Strength
4. Find the x and y components of each electric field
vector.
For E
1
: E
x,1
= 0 N/C
E
y,1
= 3.93 × 10
5
N/C
For E
2
: E
x,2
= (1.80 × 10
5
N/C)(cos 53.1º) = 1.08 × 10
5
N/C
E
y,2
= (1.80 × 10
5
N/C)(sin 53.1º)= –1.44 × 10
5
N/C
Section 3 The Electric Field
Sample Problem, continued
Electric Field Strength
5. Calculate the total electric field strength in both
directions.
E
x,tot
= E
x,1
+ E
x,2
= 0 N/C + 1.08 × 10
5
N/C
= 1.08 × 10
5
N/C
E
y,tot
= E
y,1
+ E
y,2
= 3.93 × 10
5
N/C – 1.44 × 10
5
N/C
= 2.49 × 10
5
N/C
Section 3 The Electric Field
Sample Problem, continued
Electric Field Strength
6. Use the Pythagorean theorem to find the
magnitude of the resultant electric field strength
vector.
( ) ( )
( ) ( )
= +
= × + ×
= ×
2 2
, ,
2 2
5 5
5
1.08 10 N/C 2.49 10 N/C
2.71 10 N/C
tot x tot y tot
tot
tot
E E E
E
E
Section 3 The Electric Field
Sample Problem, continued
Electric Field Strength
7. Use a suitable trigonometric function to find the
direction of the resultant electric field strength
vector.
In this case, you can use the inverse tangent
function:

×
= =
×
= °
5
,
5
,
2.49 10 N/C
tan
1.08 10 N/C
66.0
y tot
x tot
E
E
Section 3 The Electric Field
Sample Problem, continued
Electric Field Strength
The electric field at point P is pointing away from the
charge q
1
, as expected, because q
1
is a positive
charge and is larger than the negative charge q
2
.
Section 3 The Electric Field
Section 3 The Electric Field
Electric Field Lines
• The number of electric
field lines is proportional
to the electric field
strength.
• Electric field lines are
tangent to the electric
field vector at any point.
Rules for Drawing Electric Field Lines
Section 3 The Electric Field
Rules for Sketching Fields Created by Several
Charges
Section 3 The Electric Field
Section 3 The Electric Field
Conductors in Electrostatic Equilibrium
• The electric field is zero everywhere inside the
conductor.
• Any excess charge on an isolated conductor resides
entirely on the conductor’s outer surface.
• The electric field just outside a charged conductor is
perpendicular to the conductor’s surface.
• On an irregularly shaped conductor, charge tends to
accumulate where the radius of curvature of the
surface is smallest, that is, at sharp points.

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