25.3 .

Photons Although the Bragg procedure is straightforward, practical x-ray diffraction looks at the diffraction of x rays that are transmitted through a crystal. FIGURE 25.80 shows a typical experiment. An x-ray tube generates several x-ray wavelengths, so Bragg diffraction is first used to select just one of these wavelengths by rotating a crystal to an angle meeting the Bragg condition. This part of the apparatus is called an x-ray monochromator, a device that selects one (mono) wavelength. The known wavelength then passes through the sample and is diffracted by the three-dimensional grating of the crystal lattice. An x-ray film behind the sample records the locations of constructive interference. Because the grating is threedimensional, the diffraction pattern consists of bright points rather than lines or fringes. FIGURE 25.8b shows a typical diffraction pattern. You can see that it is quite complicated. Nonetheless, crystallographers have developed many powerful analysis tools for deciphering such patterns. These techniques are computationally very intense, but modem supercomputers have made such analyses routine. Today, x-ray diffraction is an essential tool for studying the atomic and molecular structure of solids. The most important properties of solids-their strength, chemical properties, ability to be cut or welded, optical properties, and so on-are consequences of their crystal structure. Modem engineering could not exist without the knowledge of materials gained through x-ray diffraction. Similarly, x-ray diffraction was used to deduce the double-helix structure of DNA, and it continues to elucidate the structures of biological molecules such as proteins. The techniques of x-ray diffraction are likely to become even more important in the future as physicists develop new superconducting materials, molecular biologists produce "designer drugs," and engineers design atomic-size nanostructures.

169

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to remove the watermark
X rays passing through the sample are diffracted by the crystal lattice.

Using x-ray diffraction to study the atomic structure of a sample.
FIGURE 25.8 X-ray film

II II
The x-ray monochromator selects one wavelength. (b) X-ray diffraction pattern for niobium diboride

Inop TO THINK 15.1 The first-order diffraction of monochromatic x rays from crystal A occurs at an angle of 20°. The first -order diffraction of the same x rays from crystal B occurs at 30°. Which crystal has the larger atomic spacing?

I

25.3 Photons
FIGURE 25.9 shows three photographs made with a camera in which the film has been replaced by a special high-sensitivity detector. A correct exposure, at the right, shows a perfectly normal photograph of a woman. But with very faint illumination (left), the picture is not just a dim version of the properly exposed photo. Instead, it is a collection of dots. A few points on the detector have registered the presence of light, but most have not. As the illumination increases, the density of these dots increases until the dots form a full picture.

FIGURE 25.9

Photographs

made with increasing levels of light intensity.

The photo at very low light levels shows individual points, as if particles are arriving at the detector.

The particle-like is not noticeable light levels.

behavior at higher

Increasing

light intensity

770

CHAPTER

25 . Modern Optics and Matter Waves

This is not what we expected. If light is a wave, reducing its intensity should cause the picture to grow dimmer and dimmer until it disappears, but the entire picture would remain present. It should be like turning down the volume on your stereo until you can no longer hear the sound. Instead, the left photograph in Figure 25.9 looks as if someone randomly threw "pieces" of light at the detector, causing full exposure at a few discrete points but no exposure at others. If we did not know that light is a wave, we would interpret the results of this experiment as evidence that light is a stream of some type of particle-like object. If these particles arrive frequently enough, they overwhelm the detector and it senses a steady "river" instead of the individual particles in the stream. Ouly at very low intensities do we become aware of the individual particles.

Double-Slit
simulation of a double-slit interference experiment with very low but increasing levels of light.
FIGURE 25.10 A

Interference

Revisited

-

. ..,...... . .:
"

... .

.

'

.

.
-

~

--

The particle-like

dots arrange themselves into wave-like interference fringes.

IIHIII
r

The particle-like behavior oflight seen in Figure 25.9 was apparent ouly for very lowintensity light. Let's return to the experiment that showed most dramatically the wave nature of light-Yaung's double-slit interference experiment-and lower the light intensity by inserting filters between the light source and the slits. We cannot expect to see the interference fringes by eye for such a low intensity, so we will replace the viewing screen with the same detector used to make the photographs of Figure 25.9. What would we predict for the outcome of this experiment? If light is a wave, there is no reason to think that the nature of the interference fringes will change. The detector should continue to show alternating light and dark bands that become dimmer and dimmer until they vanish. FIGURE 25.10 shows the outcome of such an experiment at three low but increasing light levels. Contrary to our prediction, the detector shows bright dots like those seen in Figure 25.9. The detector is registering particle-like objects. They arrive one by one, and each is localized at a specific point on the detector. This is particle-like behavior, not wave-like behavior. (Waves, you will recall, are not localized at a specific point in space.) But these dots of light are not entirely random. They are grouped into bands at exactly the positions where we expected to see bright constructive interference fringes.

The Photon Model of Light
Figures 25.9 and 25.10 are our first evidence of the particle-like nature of light. These particle-like components of light are called photons. The concept of the photon was introduced by Albert Einstein to explain an experiment called the photoelectric effect, an experiment we will investigate in Part VII. The photon model of light consists of three basic postulates: 1. Light consists of discrete, massless units called photons. A photon travels in vacuum at the speed of light, 3.00 X 108 mfs. 2. Each photon has energy
Ephoron =

hi

(25.4)

where I is the frequency of the light and h is a universal constant called Planck's constant. The value of Planck's constant is h = 6.63 X 10-34 Js In other words, the light comes in discrete "chunks" of energy hf 3. The superposition of a sufficiently large number of photons has the characteristics of a classical light wave.

25.3 . Photons

111

EXAMPLE

2S.2 The energy of a photon 550 run is the average wavelength of visible light.

a. What is the energy of a photon with a wavelength of 550 nm? b. A typical incandescent lightbulb emits about 1 J of visible light energy every second. Estimate the nmnber of photons emitted per second.
SOLVE

This is an extremely small energy! b. The photons emitted by a lightbulb span a range of energies because the light spans a range of wavelengths, but the average photon energy corresponds to a wavelength near 550 run. Thus we can estimate the number of photons in 1 J of light as
N=

a. The frequency of the photon is

3.6

X

10

11

19

Jzphoton
X

= 3 X 1018 photons

i

X :«: 3.00 X 10 'm 550 10
c
8

m/s

=5.4X

10 Hz 1014 Hz)

14

A lightbulb emits about 3
ASSESS

1018 photons every second.

Equation 25.4 gives us the energy of this photon: Ephoton = hf = (6.63
= X

10-34 Js)(5.4

X

This is a staggeringly large number. It's not surprising that in our everyday life we would sense ouly the river and not the individual particles within the flow.

3.6

X

10-19 J

Most light sources with which you are familiar emit such vast numbers of photons that you are aware of only their wave-like superposition, just as you notice only the roar of a heavy rain on your roof and not the individual raindrops. But at extremely low intensities the light begins to appear as a stream of individual photons, like the random patter of raindrops when it is barely sprinkling. Each dot on the detector in Figures 25.9 and 25.10 signifies a point where one individual photon delivered its energy and caused a measurable signal. Although photons are particle like, they are certainly not classical particles. Classical particles, such as Newton's corpuscles of light, would travel in straight lines through the two slits of a double-slit experiment and make just two bright areas on the detector. Instead, as Figure 25.10 shows, the particle-like photons seem to be landing at places where a wave undergoes constructive interference, thus forming the bands of dots. Suppose that the detector in the double-slit interference experiment is 30 cm behind the slits and that the light intensity is so low that only 106 photons arrive per second. This is experimentally quite feasible. On average, a new photon passes through the slits every 10-6 s. A photon moving at the speed of light travels distance d = cat = 300 m during 10-6 s. While one photon is traveling the 30 em between the slits and the detector, the next photon is 300 m away. Or in the likely case that the light source is closer to the slits than 300 m, the next photon has not yet even been emitted by the light source! Under these conditions, only one photon at a time is passing through the double-slit apparatus. If particle-like photons arrive at the detector in a banded pattern as a consequence of wave-like interference, but if only one photon at a time is passing through the experiment, what is it interfering with? The only possible answer is that the photon is somehow interfering with itself. Nothing else is present. But if each photon interferes with itself, rather than with other photons, then each photon, despite the fact that it is a particle-like object, must somehow go through both slits! This all seems pretty crazy. But crazy or not, this is the way light behaves. Sometimes it exhibits particle-like behavior and sometimes it exhibits wave-like behavior. You may be expecting that we will now bring forth an "explanation" so that these observations will all "make sense." Sorry. This is simply how light really and truly behaves. The thing we call light is stranger and more complex than it first appeared, and there just is no way for these seemingly contradictory behaviors to make sense. We have to accept nature as it is rather than hoping that nature will conform to our expectations. Furthermore, this half-wave/half-particle behavior is not restricted to light.
STOP TO THINK 15.2

Does a photon of red light have more or less energy than a photon

of blue light?

772

CHAPTER

25 . Modern Optics and Matter Waves

25.4 Matter Waves
The Davisson-Germer experiment to study electrons scattered from metal surfaces.
FIGURE

25.11

(a)

Detector

~

Sample (b) Parallel planes

Plane spacing d

• 0 = D sinB

An important experiment took place in 1927 at the Bell Telephone Laboratories in New York. Two physicists, Clinton Davisson and Lester Germer, were studying how electrons scatter from the surface of metals. They had been doing similar experiments for several years, but this time they happened to use a well-crystallized piece of nickel as their target. As they rotated the electron detector around the sample, as shown in FIGURE 25.11a, they discovered that the intensity of the scattered electron beam exhibited clear minima and maxima. Notice that Davisson and Germer's experiment was very similar to the Bragg x-ray-diffraction experiment shown in Figure 25.7a. And the scattered-electron intensity they observed was not unlike the x-ray intensity pattern shown in FIGURE 25.7<. Although we "know" that electrons are material particles, completely unlike light waves, suppose we were to analyze the Davisson-Germer experiment as if electrons were waves undergoing Bragg diffraction. Davisson and Germer found that electrons incident normal to the crystal face at a speed of 4.35 X 106 mls scattered at </> = 500. You can see in FIGURE 25.11b that this scattering can be interpreted as a mirror-like reflection from the atomic planes that slice diagonally through the crystal. The angle of incidence on this set of planes is () = </>/2 = 250 This is the angle in Equation 25.3, 2dcos()m = m); the Bragg condition for diffraction. You can also see that the spacing d between the atomic planes is related to the atomic spacing D by d
=

Dsin()

(25.5)

Equation 25.5 allows us to write the Bragg condition in terms of the atomic spacing D, rather then the plane spacing d, as (25.6) From x-ray diffraction, the atomic spacing of nickel was already known to be D = 0.215 nm. If we combine this value of D with the measured angle () = 250, and if we assume m = 1, then we find that the "electron wavelength" is A
=

Dsin(2()

=

0.165 nm

(25.7)

This seems like a pointless exercise. Yes, electrons reflect from a nickel surface with a scattering angle of 500. But electrons are particles of matter, so there must be some explanation in terms of the collision of particles with the atoms at the surface of the crystal. Right? Nonetheless, Davisson and Germer searched for, and found, 20 other reflections obeying the Bragg condition for exactly the same "wavelength" of 0.165nm. These resnlts could not be a coincidence. Electrons, particles of matter with mass, were somehow, in some way, being diffracted by the grating of a crystal. Particles of matter were being observed to have wave-like properties!

The de Broglie Wavelength
Three years earlier, in 1924, a French graduate student named Lonis- Victor de Broglie (FIGURE 25.12) was puzzling over the growing evidence that light seemed to have both wave-like and particle-like properties. Sometimes light acted like a classical wave, exhibiting interference and diffraction. Yet at other times, light seemed to come in small, localized pieces like a particle. Einstein had won the Nobel prize in 1921 for his explanation of the photoelectric effect in terms of particle-like photons of light. If light, something that we generally think of as a wave, can act like a particle, then it occurred to de Broglie that perhaps some object we generally think of as a particle would, in the right conditions, act like a wave. What are the most "particle-like"

25.4 . Matter Waves

113

entities we can think of? Very likely electrons and protons, the basic building blocks of matter. Can an electron or a proton act like a wave? What behavior would they exhibit that is wave-like? And what is the "wavelength" of an electron-if it has one? De Broglie postulated that a particle of mass m and momentum p = mv has a wavelength

FIGURE 25.12

Louis-Victor de Broglie.

A=-

h
p

(25.8)

where h is Planck's constant. This wavelength for material particles is now called the de Broglie wavelength. It depends inversely on the particle's momentum, so the largest wave effects will occur for particles having the smallest momentum. What led de Broglie to this postulate? Einstein had shown that the photoelectric effect could be understood if the energy E of a photon of light is related to its frequency I by Ephoton hi. It was this relationship of energy to frequency that intrigued = de Broglie. He reasoned that if matter has wave-like properties, it should also obey Einstein's E = hf. But he also knew that the kinetic energy of a particle of mass m is related to its momentum by (25.9) What relationship between momentum and wavelength would allow these two statements about the particle's energy to be consistent with each other? The ouly possibility de Broglie could find was A = hlp. The details of his reasoning, although not difficult, are not important to us. Our goal, instead, is to understand the experimental evidence for, and some of the implications of, de Broglie's bold and imaginative suggestion. It is worth noting that there was absolutely no evidence for matter waves in 1924. Even so, de Broglie must have reasoned, perhaps the evidence was lacking because no one had looked in the right places or used the right equipment and techniques. If Equation 25.8 is correct, what evidence would you expect to see? The most obvious characteristic of waves is their ability to exhibit interference and diffraction, but you have learned that diffraction effects are not easily observable unless the opening through which a wave passes is comparable in size to the wavelength. There is no obvious spreading when a wave passes through an opening of size a » A. What wavelengths do material particles have, and is it likely that anyone would have seen their diffraction before 1924?

EXAMPLE 25.3

The de Broglie wavelength

of a smoke particle

One of the smallest macroscopic particles we could imagine using for an experiment would be a very small smoke or soot particle. These are = I /tm in diameter, too small to see with the naked eye and just barely at the limits of resolution of a ntieroscope. A particle this size has mass m = 10-18 kg. Estimate the de Broglie wavelength for a l-jnn-diameter particle moving at the very slow speed of I mm1s.
SOLVE The particle's momentum is p = mv = 10-21 kgm/s. The de Broglie wavelength of a particle with this momentum is

A = ~ = 7 X 10-13 m p
ASSESS This wavelength is = 1% the size of an atom. We can't shoot a l-um-diametcr particle though an atom-size hole, so we don't expect to see any wave-like behavior. And if a I /tm particle has a wavelength this small, the wavelength of a baseball must be vastly smaller. It is little wonder, if de Broglie is correct, that we do not see macroscopic objects exhibiting wave-like behavior.

774

CHAPTER

25 . Modern Optics and Matter Waves

EXAMPLE 25.4

The de Broglie wavelength of an electron

ASSESS

Find the de Broglie wavelength of an electron with a speed of 4.35 X 106 mIs, the speed in the Davisson-Germer experiment.
SOLVE The mass of an electron is 9.11 X 10-31 kg. Its de Broglie wavelength at this speed is

This result is in near-perfect agreement with Davisson and Germer's experimentally determined wavelength of 0.165 nm! Electrons moving with speeds in this range have de Broglie wavelengths very similar to those of x rays. These wavelengths are exactly the right size to be diffracted by atomic crystals.

A= - = = 0.167nm p mv

h

h

Davisson were simply heard

and Germer, continuing

who won the Nobel research

prize

for their earlier,

demonstration experiment.

of the They results.

wave nature of electrons, of de Broglie

had not set out to perform that had started

a breakthrough years

and they had never

at the time they found

unexpected

and unexplainable

However, being open-minded enough to seek out the advice and opinion of others, they learned that they might be able to demonstrate electron diffraction. A large element of chance iments recognize and luck was involved; opportunity they just happened to be doing the right experthem to to give a them a at the right time. But their careful thought a unique crazy idea-that electrons and study had also prepared earned

when it came along. It was their willingness might be waves i-that

fair test to a really place in science

history.

The Interference and Diffraction of Matter
17.5

phYSics

Activ

Further English for x-ray crystal quently, electrons

evidence physicist

in support

of de Broglie's performed

hypothesis a diffraction

was soon forthcoming. experiment equivalent patterns to Figure produced

The 25.8 by

G. P. Thomson

with an electron

beam transmitted

through a crystal,
FIGURES 25.130

an experiment an aluminum-foil grains

exactly

diffraction.

and b show the diffraction at random

x rays and electrons
but, instead,

passing thousands

tbrough

target. (The foil is not a single orientations. 25.13 Conseis that to form concen-

of tiny crystal

the single-crystal circles.) exactly diffract

diffraction The primary like x rays.

spots of Figure 25.8b get rotated observation

tric diffraction

to make from Figure

FIGURE 25.13 The diffraction patterns produced through an alurninurn-foil target. (8)

by x rays, electrons, and neutrons
(c) Neutron diffraction pattern

passing

X-ray diffraction pattern

(b) Electron

diffraction

pattern

...@ :
Later experiments rial particles decrease The much demonstrated wavelength, compensates that de Broglie's but it is possible for the heavier hypothesis to generate mass, shows applies to other matewhich tends to wavelengths diffraction as well. Neutrons slower speed have a much larger mass than electrons, so neutron a neutron their de Broglie very slow neutrons. can be comparable to electron wavelengths.
FIGURE 25.13<

25.4 . Matter Waves

115

pattern. It is similar to the x-ray and electron diffraction patterns, although of lower quality because neutrons are harder to detect. A neutron, too, is a matter wave. In fact, in recent years it has become possible to observe the interference and diffraction of entire atoms! The classic test of "waviness" is Young's double-slit interference experiment. If an electron, or other material object, has wave-like properties, it should exhibit interference when passing through two slits. Does it? This experiment is not easy to do because the spacing between the two slits has to be very tiny. The technical challenges of such an experiment could not be met until around 1960, when it became possible to produce slits in a thin foil with a spacing of "" 2 /Lm. Even then, various technical reasons required the electrons to have much higher velocities than Davisson and Germer used, reducing their de Broglie wavelength to "" 0.005 nm. This rather significant discrepancy between the wavelength and the slit spacing is equivalent to an optical double-slit experiment with a slit spacing of 20 cm. Nonetheless, the experiment was performed, and FIGURE25.14a shows the highly enlarged electron pattern that was detected. Amazing as it seems, electrons, one of the basic building blocks of matter, produce interference fringes after passing through a double slit.
FIGURE 25.14

Double-slit interference patterns of electrons and neutrons.
(b) Double-slit interference of neutrons

(a) Double-slit interference of electrons

Later, during the 1970s and 1980s, techniques were developed for observing the double-slit interference of neutrons. FIGURE 25.14b shows the pattern recorded when neutrons passed through two slits separated by 0.10 mm. The characteristic interference fringes are readily observed, despite the much larger mass of the neutron. FIGURE 25.15 shows an electron double-slit experiment in which the intensity of the electron beam was reduced to only a few electrons per second. You can see that each electron is detected on the screen as a particle, a localized dot where the electron hits, but that the pattern of dots is the interference pattern of a wave with wavelength A = hlp. Compare this picture to Figure 25.10 for photons. (Note that Figure 25.10 was a simulation, but Figure 25.15 is a photograph from a real experiment.) In both cases, electrons and photons, we see a combination of both wave-like and particle-like behaviors. We noted earlier that each photon must in some sense interfere with itself. The same is true for electrons. If only a few electrons arrive per second, then only one electron at a time is in the region of the slits and the screen. Each electron somehow goes through both slits, has a wave-like interference with itself, but is finally detected at the screen as a particle-like dot.
NOTE ~ We are not saying that photons and electrons are the same thing. We are

A double-slit interference pattern of electrons is built up electron by electron as they arrive at the detector. FIGURE 25.15

.

,
~~:

.. -~
.

. ;,,;.._~:.
tot'""'\.·
t
~ .
r

~ ....

.'

til! ~

saying that light and electrons are found to share both wave-like and particle-like properties, so under similar experimental conditions we can expect to see similar behavior. Nonetheless, electrons are matter. They are particles with mass and charge that obey A = hlp. Photons have no mass, no charge, and obey A = clf There are many situations in which the behaviors of electrons and photons are quite distinct. <III

25.4 . Matter Waves

115

pattern. It is similar to the x-ray and electron diffraction patterns, although of lower quality because neutrons are harder to detect. A neutron, too, is a matter wave. In fact, in recent years it has become possible to observe the interference and diffraction of entire atoms! The classic test of "waviness" is Young's double-slit interference experiment. If an electron, or other material object, has wave-like properties, it should exhibit interference when passing through two slits. Does it? This experiment is not easy to do because the spacing between the two slits has to be very tiny. The technical challenges of such an experiment could not be met until around 1960, when it became possible to produce slits in a thin foil with a spacing of "" 2 /Lm. Even then, various technical reasons required the electrons to have much higher velocities than Davisson and Germer used, reducing their de Broglie wavelength to "" 0.005 nm. This rather significant discrepancy between the wavelength and the slit spacing is equivalent to an optical double-slit experiment with a slit spacing of 20 cm. Nonetheless, the experiment was performed, and FIGURE25.14a shows the highly enlarged electron pattern that was detected. Amazing as it seems, electrons, one of the basic building blocks of matter, produce interference fringes after passing through a double slit.
FIGURE 25.14

Double-slit interference patterns of electrons and neutrons.
(b) Double-slit interference of neutrons

(a) Double-slit interference of electrons

Later, during the 1970s and 1980s, techniques were developed for observing the double-slit interference of neutrons. FIGURE 25.14b shows the pattern recorded when neutrons passed through two slits separated by 0.10 mm. The characteristic interference fringes are readily observed, despite the much larger mass of the neutron. FIGURE 25.15 shows an electron double-slit experiment in which the intensity of the electron beam was reduced to only a few electrons per second. You can see that each electron is detected on the screen as a particle, a localized dot where the electron hits, but that the pattern of dots is the interference pattern of a wave with wavelength A = hlp. Compare this picture to Figure 25.10 for photons. (Note that Figure 25.10 was a simulation, but Figure 25.15 is a photograph from a real experiment.) In both cases, electrons and photons, we see a combination of both wave-like and particle-like behaviors. We noted earlier that each photon must in some sense interfere with itself. The same is true for electrons. If only a few electrons arrive per second, then only one electron at a time is in the region of the slits and the screen. Each electron somehow goes through both slits, has a wave-like interference with itself, but is finally detected at the screen as a particle-like dot.
NOTE ~ We are not saying that photons and electrons are the same thing. We are

A double-slit interference pattern of electrons is built up electron by electron as they arrive at the detector. FIGURE 25.15

.

,
~~:

.. -~
.

. ;,,;.._~:.
tot'""'\.·
t
~ .
r

~ ....

.'

til! ~

saying that light and electrons are found to share both wave-like and particle-like properties, so under similar experimental conditions we can expect to see similar behavior. Nonetheless, electrons are matter. They are particles with mass and charge that obey A = hlp. Photons have no mass, no charge, and obey A = clf There are many situations in which the behaviors of electrons and photons are quite distinct. <III

25.5 . Energy Is Quantized

111

If we use Equation 25.12 for the momentum, we find that the particle's energy is restricted to the discrete values

n = 1,2,3,4,

...

(25.14)

This conclusion is one of the most profound discoveries of physics. Because of the wave nature of matter, which has ample experimental confirmation, a confined particle can have only certain energies. It is simply not possible for the particle to exist in the box with any energy other than one of the values given by Equation 25.14. This result, that a confined particle can have only discrete values of energy, is called the quantization of energy. More informally, we say that energy is quantized. The number n is called the quantum number. and each value of n characterizes one energy level of the particle in the box. Not only is the energy quantized, but we see from Equation 25.14 that the energy of the particle in the box cannot be reduced below E1 h2 8mL2 (25.15)

=

E1 is the least kinetic energy a particle can have. Because E1 > 0, the particle is always in motion; it cannot be made to stay at rest! These properties of a wave-like particle in a box are in stark contrast to those of a classical Newtonian particle, for which the possible energies are continuous and the minimum kinetic energy is zero. In terms of E 10 the allowed energies are (25.16) This result is analogous to our earlier finding that standing waves can exist for only the discrete frequencies In = nil' Notice that the allowed energies are inversely proportional to both m and L 2. The quantization of energy is not apparent with macroscopic objects, or else we wonld have known about it long ago, so both m and L have to be exceedingly small before energy quantization has any significance. This is an important observation because any new theory about matter and energy cannot be in conflict with our observations of macroscopic objects. Newtonian physics still works for baseballs.

EXAMPLE 25.5

The minimum energy of a smoke particle
particle of Exam-

What is the first allowed energy of the very small l-um-diameter ple 25.3 ifitis confined to a very small box 10 Il-min length?

50LVE This is about as small as we can imagine making macroscopic particles and boxes. Example 25.3 noted that such a particle has m = 10-18 kg. The first allowed energy, n = 1, is

A55E55 This is an unimaginably small amount of energy. By comparison, the kinetic energy of a I-Il-m-diameter particle moving at a barely perceptible speed of I mm/s is K = 5 X 10-25 J, a factor of 1015 larger. Energy quantization is simply not an issue for the physics of macroscopic objects. Newtonian physics works fine.

778

CHAPTER

25 . Modern Optics and Matter Waves

EXAMPLE

25.6

The minimum energy of an eledron

What are the first three allowed energies of an electron confined to a O.IO-run-Iong box?
SOLVE

The mass of an electron is m = 9.11 X 10-31 kg. Thus the first allowed energy is h2 E, = BmL2 = 6.0 X 10-18 J

The next two allowed energies are E2 = 22E, = 24.0 X 10-18 J E3 = 32E, = 54.0 X 10-18 J
ASSESS

An electron with energy E, has speed v = 3.6 X 106 mis, roughly I % of the speed oflight. AO.IO-run-Iong box is about the size of an atom. The very large speed of an electron with the minimum electron energy in an atomic-size box suggests that the wave nature of electrons is important for the physics of atoms.

These examples raise more questions than they answer. If matter is some kind of wave, what is waving? What is the medium of a matter wave? What kind of displacement does it undergo? De Broglie's hypothesis is not a theory, and it provides no answers to important questions such as these. De Broglie's suggestion came nearly 40 years after Balmer's discovery, 40 years during which the atom was being explored and the failures of classical physics were becoming ever more apparent. His suggestion was the final spark, setting off a burst of activities and new ideas that led within a year to a complete and revolutionary new theory-quantum physics. We will revisit these issues later, in Part VII, but for now it is important to see just how far we have been able to come with our study of waves.
STOP TO THINK 25.4 A proton, an electron, and an oxygen atom are each confined in a l-nm-long box. Rank in order, from largest to smallest, the minimum possible energies of these particles.

Summary

119

SUMMARY
The goal of Chapter 25 has been to explore the limits of the wave and particle models.

General Principles
The two basic models of classical physics The particle model A particle is localized at one point in space. A particle follows a well-defined trajectory. The wave model A wave is spread out through space. A wave exhibits interference and diffraction. The breakdown of classical physics A closer look at light and matter finds that these classical models are not sufficient. Light and matter are neither particles nor waves, but exhibit characteristics of both.

'if

Important
Light

Concepts
Matter
• Detected at localized positions Particle-like: E = ~mv2 • Exhibits interference and diffraction Wave-like: A = hlp • The wavelength is called the de Broglie wavelength.

• Exhihits interference and diffraction Wave-like: c =

• Detected at localized positions Particle-like: E = /if • Particle-like "chunks" of light are called photons.

Quantization A "particle" confined to a one-dimensional box of length L sets up a standing wave with the de Broglie wavelength. Because only certain wavelengths can oscillate, only certain discrete energies are allowed: h2 E = --n2 n SmL2
n= m_v

L

Classical particle

in

a box

1,2,3,

...

Energy is quantized into discrete levels rather than being continuous as it is in classical physics. Quantization is not important for macroscopic objects, but energy quantization plays a very large role at the atomic level.

1k3>C><S21
Quantum particle in a box

L

Applications
Hydrogen spectrum The wavelengths in the spectrum of hydrogen atoms are 1,2,3, ... n = m + 1, m + 2, ...
m=

Diffraction by atomic crystals X rays and matter particles with wavelength A undergo strong reflections from atomic planes spaced by d when the angle of incidence satisfies the Bragg condition: 2dcosO = mA m = 1,2,3, ...

The series of spectral lines with m = 2 is the Balmer series.

Terms and Notation
spectrometer spectrum discrete spectrum spectral line line spectrum Balmer series xray x-ray diffraction Bragg condition photon photon model Planck's constant, h de Broglie wavelength quantization quantum number, n energy level, Eo

780

CHAPTER

25 . Modern Optics and Matter Waves

~

I

MP

I For homework

assigned on MasteringPhysics, go to www.masteringphysics.com

Problem difficulty is labeled as I (straightforward) to III (challenging).

CONCEPTUAL
1. The first-order x-ray diffraction of monochromatic x rays from a crystal occnrs at angle 6,. The crystal is then compressed, causing a slight reduction in its volume. Does 6, increase, decrease, or stay the same? Explain. 2. Three laser beams have wavelengths A, = 400 nm, Ab = 600 nm, and A, = 800 nm.The power of each laser beam is I W. a. Rank in order, from largest to smallest, the photon energies E" E., and E, in these three laser beams. Explain. b. Rank in order, from largest to smallest, the number of photons per second N" Nb, and N, delivered by the three laser beams. Explain. 3. Photon 1 has wavelength A, and photon 2 has wavelength A2 = 2A,. What is the energy ratio E,IE, of the two photons? 4. FIGURE Q25.4 is a simulation of the electrons detected behind two closely spaced slits. Each bright dot represents one electron.

QUESTIONS
How will this pattern change if the following experimental conditions are changed? a. The electron-beam intensity is increased. b. The electron speed is reduced. c. The electrons are replaced by neutrons. d. The left slit is closed. Your answers should consider the number of dots on the screen and the spacing, width, and positions of the fringes. To have the best resolution, should an electron microscope use very fast electrons or very slow electrons? Explain. For the allowed energies of a particle in a box to be large, should the box be very big or very small? Explain. A particle in a one-dimensional box has a smallest allowed energy E, = 4 X 10-19 J. What will the particle's smallest allowed energy be if the length of the box is doubled? The smallest allowed energy of a hydrogen atom (atomic mass number 1) in a box of length Lo is 1.0 X 10-20 J. What is the smallest allowed energy of a helium atom (atomic mass number4) in a box of length ~Lo?

5. 6. 7.

8.

FIGURE

Q25.4

EXERCISES
Data for Chapter 25:
meloctron

AND

PROBLEMS

=

9.11 X 10-3' kg

mprot= =

m~utron

= 1.67 X 10-27 kg

Exercises
Section 25.1 Spectroscopy: Unlocking the Structure of Atoms

I. I What are the wavelengths of spectral lines in the Balmer series with n = 6, 8, and 10? 2. I Show that the series limit of the Balmer series is 364.7 nm. 3. I Which member of the Balmer series has wavelength389.0nm? Section 25.2 X-Ray Diffraction 4. I X rays with a wavelength of 0.12 nm undergo first-order diffraction from a crystal at a 68° angle of incidence. What is the angle of second-order diffraction?

5. I X rays with a wavelength of 0.20 nm undergo first-order diffraction from a crystal at a 54° angle of incidence. At what angle does first-order diffraction occnr for x rays with a wavelength of 0.15 nm? 6. I X rays diffract from a crystal in which the spacing between atomic planes is 0.175 nm. The second-order diffraction occnrs at 45.0°. What is the angle of the first-order diffraction? 7. I X rays with a wavelength of 0.085 nm diffract from a crystal in which the spacing between atomic planes is 0.180 nm. How many diffraction orders are observed?

Section 25.3 Photons 8. I What is the energy of a photon of visible light that has a wavelength of 500 nm? 9. II What is the energy of 1 mol of photons that have a wavelength of 1.0 p.m?

Exercises and Problems 10. I What is the wavelength of a photon whose energy is twice that of a photon with a 600 nm wavelength? 11. I What is the energy of an x-ray photon that has a wavelength of 1.0nm?

781

22.

Section 25.4 Matter Waves 12. I Estimate your de Broglie wavelength while walking at a speed of 1 m/s. 13. I a. What is the de Broglie wavelength of a 200 g baseball with a speed of 30 m/s? b. What is the speed of a 200 g baseball with a de Broglie wavelength of 0.20 nm? 14. II What is the de Broglie wavelength of an electron having 2.4 X 10-19 J of kinetic energy? 15. I a. What is the speed of an electron with a de Broglie wavelength of 0.20 nm? b. What is the speed of a proton with a de Broglie wavelength ofO.20nm?

23.

24.

25.

26. Section 25.5 Energy Is Quantized 16. I What is the length (in mm) of the smallest box in which you can confine an electron if you want to know for certain that the electron's speed is no faster than 10 m/s? 17. I What is the length of a box in which the minimum energy of an electron is 1.5 X 10-" J? 18. I The nucleus of an atom is 5.0 femtometers in diameter, where 1 femtometer = 1 fm = 10-15 m. A very simple model of the nucleus is a box in which protons are confined. Estimate the energy of a proton in the nucleus by finding the first three allowed energies of a proton in a 5.0-fm-long box.

27.

Problems
19. II a. Calculate the wavelengths of the first four members of the Lyman series in the spectrum of hydrogen. b. What is the series limit for the Lyman series? c. Light from a hydrogen discharge lamp passes through a diffraction grating and registers on a detector 1.5 m behind the grating. The first-order diffraction of the first member of the Lyman series is located 37.6 cm from the central maximum. What is the position of the second member of the Lyman series? 20. II a. Calculate the wavelengths of the first four members of the Paschen series in the spectrum of hydrogen. b. What is the series limit for the Paschen series? c. Light from a hydrogen discharge passes through a diffraction grating and registers on a detector 1.5 m behind the grating. The first-order diffraction of the first member of the Paschen series is located 60.7 em from the central maximum. What is the position of the second member of the Paschen series? 21. I Gamma rays are photons with very high energy. a. What is the wavelength of a gamma-ray photon with energy 1.0 X 10-13 J?

28.

b. How many visible-light photons with a wavelength of 500 nm would you need to match the energy of this one gamma-ray photon? I A 1000 kHz AM radio station broadcasts with a power of 20 kW. How many photons does the transmitting antenna emit each second? I A helium-neon laser emits a light beam with a wavelength of 633 nm. The power of the laser beam is 1.0 mW. a. What is the energy of one photon of laser light? b. How many photons does the laser emit each second? I Example 25.2 found that a typical incandescent lightbulb emits = 3 X 10" visible-light photons per second. Your eye, when it is fully dark adapted, can barely see the light from an incandescent lightbulb 10 km away. How many photons per second are incident at the image point on your retina? The diameter ofa dark-adapted pupil is =7 mm. I X-ray photons with energies of 1.50 X 10-15 J are incident on a crystal. The spacing between the atomic planes in the crystal is 0.21 nm. At what angles of incidence will the x rays diffract from the crystal? I X rays with a wavelength of 0.0700 urn diffract from a crystal. Two adjacent angles of x-ray diffraction are 45.6° and 21.00. What is the distance between the atomic planes responsible for the diffraction? I a. Show that the Bragg condition for x-ray diffraction at normal incidence is equivalent to the condition for maximum reflectivity of a thin film. b. Researchers have recently learned how to fabricate thinfilm coatings ouly a few atoms thick out of alternating layers of tungsten and boron carbide. These coatings are expected to greatly improve the x-ray telescopes used in astronomy. What are the two longest x-ray wavelengths that will reflect at normal incidence from a film with a thickness of 1.2 urn? II The basic idea of Bragg diffraction is not limited to x rays. One contemporary application is in optical fibers. It is sometimes useful to block one particular wavelength of light, by reflecting it, while transmitting all other wavelengths. FIGURE P25.28 shows that this can be done by building a short section of fiber, called a fiber grating, in which the index of refraction varies periodically. A small fraction of the light wave traveling through the fiber reflects from each little "bump" in the index of refraction. For most wavelengths, the reflected waves have random phases and their superposition is essentially zero. These wavelengths are transmitted through the fiber grating. If, however, the reflections are all in phase for some wavelength, that wavelength is strongly reflected and the transmitted light is strongly attenuated. Consider a fiber grating in a glass fiber (n = 1.50) with a spacing of 0.45 p.m. What is the air wavelength of infrared light that is blocked by this fiber grating?
Regions of slightly increased index of refraction Light of wavelength A FIGURE P15.1B

I I 'I I I
d ~Optical fiber

/1\

Exercises and Problems 10. I What is the wavelength of a photon whose energy is twice that of a photon with a 600 nm wavelength? 11. I What is the energy of an x-ray photon that has a wavelength of 1.0nm?

781

22.

Section 25.4 Matter Waves 12. I Estimate your de Broglie wavelength while walking at a speed of 1 m/s. 13. I a. What is the de Broglie wavelength of a 200 g baseball with a speed of 30 m/s? b. What is the speed of a 200 g baseball with a de Broglie wavelength of 0.20 nm? 14. II What is the de Broglie wavelength of an electron having 2.4 X 10-19 J of kinetic energy? 15. I a. What is the speed of an electron with a de Broglie wavelength of 0.20 nm? b. What is the speed of a proton with a de Broglie wavelength ofO.20nm?

23.

24.

25.

26. Section 25.5 Energy Is Quantized 16. I What is the length (in mm) of the smallest box in which you can confine an electron if you want to know for certain that the electron's speed is no faster than 10 m/s? 17. I What is the length of a box in which the minimum energy of an electron is 1.5 X 10-" J? 18. I The nucleus of an atom is 5.0 femtometers in diameter, where 1 femtometer = 1 fm = 10-15 m. A very simple model of the nucleus is a box in which protons are confined. Estimate the energy of a proton in the nucleus by finding the first three allowed energies of a proton in a 5.0-fm-long box.

27.

Problems
19. II a. Calculate the wavelengths of the first four members of the Lyman series in the spectrum of hydrogen. b. What is the series limit for the Lyman series? c. Light from a hydrogen discharge lamp passes through a diffraction grating and registers on a detector 1.5 m behind the grating. The first-order diffraction of the first member of the Lyman series is located 37.6 cm from the central maximum. What is the position of the second member of the Lyman series? 20. II a. Calculate the wavelengths of the first four members of the Paschen series in the spectrum of hydrogen. b. What is the series limit for the Paschen series? c. Light from a hydrogen discharge passes through a diffraction grating and registers on a detector 1.5 m behind the grating. The first-order diffraction of the first member of the Paschen series is located 60.7 em from the central maximum. What is the position of the second member of the Paschen series? 21. I Gamma rays are photons with very high energy. a. What is the wavelength of a gamma-ray photon with energy 1.0 X 10-13 J?

28.

b. How many visible-light photons with a wavelength of 500 nm would you need to match the energy of this one gamma-ray photon? I A 1000 kHz AM radio station broadcasts with a power of 20 kW. How many photons does the transmitting antenna emit each second? I A helium-neon laser emits a light beam with a wavelength of 633 nm. The power of the laser beam is 1.0 mW. a. What is the energy of one photon of laser light? b. How many photons does the laser emit each second? I Example 25.2 found that a typical incandescent lightbulb emits = 3 X 10" visible-light photons per second. Your eye, when it is fully dark adapted, can barely see the light from an incandescent lightbulb 10 km away. How many photons per second are incident at the image point on your retina? The diameter ofa dark-adapted pupil is =7 mm. I X-ray photons with energies of 1.50 X 10-15 J are incident on a crystal. The spacing between the atomic planes in the crystal is 0.21 nm. At what angles of incidence will the x rays diffract from the crystal? I X rays with a wavelength of 0.0700 urn diffract from a crystal. Two adjacent angles of x-ray diffraction are 45.6° and 21.00. What is the distance between the atomic planes responsible for the diffraction? I a. Show that the Bragg condition for x-ray diffraction at normal incidence is equivalent to the condition for maximum reflectivity of a thin film. b. Researchers have recently learned how to fabricate thinfilm coatings ouly a few atoms thick out of alternating layers of tungsten and boron carbide. These coatings are expected to greatly improve the x-ray telescopes used in astronomy. What are the two longest x-ray wavelengths that will reflect at normal incidence from a film with a thickness of 1.2 urn? II The basic idea of Bragg diffraction is not limited to x rays. One contemporary application is in optical fibers. It is sometimes useful to block one particular wavelength of light, by reflecting it, while transmitting all other wavelengths. FIGURE P25.28 shows that this can be done by building a short section of fiber, called a fiber grating, in which the index of refraction varies periodically. A small fraction of the light wave traveling through the fiber reflects from each little "bump" in the index of refraction. For most wavelengths, the reflected waves have random phases and their superposition is essentially zero. These wavelengths are transmitted through the fiber grating. If, however, the reflections are all in phase for some wavelength, that wavelength is strongly reflected and the transmitted light is strongly attenuated. Consider a fiber grating in a glass fiber (n = 1.50) with a spacing of 0.45 p.m. What is the air wavelength of infrared light that is blocked by this fiber grating?
Regions of slightly increased index of refraction Light of wavelength A FIGURE P15.1B

I I 'I I I
d ~Optical fiber

/1\

Exercises and Problems a. The confinement layer in a quantum-well device is 5.0 nm thick. What are the four longest-wavelength de Broglie standing waves in this layer? b. What are the four lowest electron speeds for which an electron current will flow through this layer? We will study quantum-well devices in more detail in Part VII. They are used to make light-emitting diodes and semiconductor lasers.
Open-open tube

183

roles of light and matter can be reversed. That is, matter with a de Broglie wavelength A can be diffracted by light with a periodic structure. A periodic structure of light is easily created by reflecting a laser beam back on itself to create a standing wave. The experimental challenge, which is quite difficult, is to create a "monochromatic" beam of atoms with a large de Broglie wavelength. FIGURE CP25.44 shows a beam of sodium atoms (m = 3.84 X 10-26 kg) all traveling with a uuiform speed of 50 mls. The atomic beam crosses a laser-beam standing wave with a wavelength of 600 nm. Assuruing that the diffraction obeys the diffraction-grating equation (it does), how far will the firstorder-diffracted atoms be deflected sideways on a detector 1.0 m behind the laser beam?
Detector ,-----, Laser-beam

FIGURE CP25.43

44. In Chapter 22, where we studied diffraction gratings, you learned that light with wavelength A is diffracted by a piece of matter (the grating) with a periodic structure (many slits with spacing d). Experiments done in the 1990s showed that the

~
FIGURE CP25.44

UUt ~::,um

STOP

TO THINK

ANSWERS

Stop to Think 25.1: A. The Bragg condition 2dsinO, = A tells us that larger values of d go with smaller values of 0,. Stop to Think 25.2: Less. E = hf, and red light, because of its longer wavelength, has a smaller frequency.

Stop to Think 25.3: b. The widest diffraction pattern occurs for the longest wavelength. The de Broglie wavelength is inversely proportional to the particle's mass. Stop to Think 25.4: Ed" > Eprolnn > E"". The miuimum energy E, is inversely proportional to the particle's mass.

SUMMARY

Waves and Optics
a long distance from where we started. Who would have guessed, as we examined our first pulse on a string, that we would end up with quantum numbers? But despite the wide disparity between string waves, light waves, and matter waves, a few key ideas have stayed with us throughout Part V: the principle of superposition, interference and diffraction, and standing waves. As part of your [mal study of waves, you should trace the influence of these ideas through the chapters of Part V. One point we have tried to emphasize is the unity of wave physics. We did not need separate theories of string waves and sound waves and light waves. Instead, a few basic ideas enabled us to understand waves of all types. By focusing on similarities, we have been able to analyze sound and light as well as strings and electrons in a single part of this book.
We end our study of waves
KNOWLEDGE ESSENTIAL BASIC STRUCTURE CONCEPTS V

Unfortunately, the physics of waves is not as easily summarized as the physics of particles. Newton's laws and the conservation laws are two very general sets of principles about particles, principles that allowed us to develop the powerful problem-solving strategies of Parts I and II. You probably noticed that we have not found any general problem-solving strategies for wave problems. This is not to say that wave physics has no structure. Rather, the knowledge structure of waves and optics rests more heavily on phenomena than on general principles. Unlike the knowledge structure of Newtonian mechanics, which was a "pyramid of ideas," the knowledge structure of waves is a logical grouping of the major topics you studied. This is a different way of structuring knowledge, but it still provides you with a mental framework for analyzing and thinking about wave problems.

Waves and Optics
Wave speed, wavelength,frequency,phase, wave front, and ray. What are the distinguishingfeatures of waves? How does a wave travel through a medium? How does a medium respond to the presence of more than one wave? What is light and what are its properties? Principle of superposition v ~ >if for periodic waves

GOALS

GENERAL

PRINCIPLES

Traveling Waves

Standing Waves

• The wave speed v is a property of the medium. • The motion of particles in the medium is distinct from the motion of the wave. • Snapshot graphs and history graphs show the same wave from differentperspectives. • The Doppler effect of shiftedfrequenciesis observed
whenever the wave source or the detector is moving. Interference

Standingwaves are the superpositionof waves moving in opposite directions. Nodes and antinodes are spacedby Al2. Only certain discrete frequenciesare allowed, depending on the boundary conditions.

• Interferenceis constructive,where crests align with crests, if two waves are in phase: /!J.c/> ~ 0, 27r,47r,.... • Interferenceis destructive,where crests align with troughs, if two waves are out of phase: /!J.c/> ~ tt, 37r,57r, .... • The phase differencedepends on the path-length difference /!J.r and on any phase differenceof the sources. • Beats occur when 11 '" A
Light and Optics

• • • •

The wave model, used for interferenceand diffraction,is appropriatewhen apertures are comparable in size to the wavelength. The ray model, used for mirrors and lenses, is appropriatewhen apertures are much larger than the wavelength. Diffraction,a wave effect, limits the best possible resolution of a lens. The photon model (discretechunks of energy) has both wave and particle aspects.

Matter Waves • "Particles" are not waves, but they have wave-like aspects.

• The de Broglie wavelengthis A ~ hlmv. • Standingmatter waves for a confmed particle lead to the quantizationof energy. 784

ONE STEP BEYOND

Tsunami!
In December 2004, an earthquake off the Indonesian coast produced a devastating water wave, a tsunami, that caused tremendous destruction and loss of life around the edges of the Indian Ocean, often thousands of miles from the earthquake's epicenter. The tsunami was a dramatic reminder of the power of the earth's forces and an impressive illustration of the energy carried by waves. The Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 was caused when a very large earthquake disrupted the seafloor along a fault line, pushing one side of the fault up several meters. This dramatic shift in the seafloor produced an almost instantaneous rise in the surface of the ocean above, much like giving a quick shake to one end of a rope. This was the distUIbance that produced the tsunami. And just as shaking one end of rope causes a pulse to travel along it, the resulting water wave propagated throughout the Indian Ocean, as we see in the figure, carrying energy from the earthquake. This computer simulation of the tsunami looks much like the ripples that spread out when you drop a pebble into a pond, but on an immensely larger scale. The individual wave pulses are up to 100 km wide, and the leading wave front spans more than 5000 km.
Sri Lanka
Location of Indonesia

A frame from a computer simulation of the tsunami, showing the Indian Ocean about three hours after the earthquake. Notice the interference pattern to the east of Sri Lanka, where incoming waves and reflected waves are superimposed.

Technically, a tsunami is a "shallow-water wave," even in the deep ocean, because the scale of the wave (roughly 100 km) is much larger than the depth of the ocean (typically 4 km). Consequently, a tsunami travels differently than normal ocean waves. Unlike normal waves on the surface, whose speed is independent of depth, the speed of a shallow-water wave is determined by the depth of the ocean: The greater the depth, the greater the speed. In the deep ocean, a tsunami travels at hundreds of kilometers per hour, about the speed of a jet plane. This great speed allows a tsunami to cross oceans in ouly a few hours. The height of the tsunami as it raced across the open ocean was about half a meter. Why should such a small wave-c-one that ships didn't even notice as it passed-be so fearsome? It's the width of the wave that matters. The wave pulse may have been ouly half a meter high, but it was about 100 km wide. In other words, the tsunami far from land was a half-meter-high, 100-km-wide wall of water. This is a tremendous amount of water displaced upward, and thus the tsunami was carrying a tremendous amount of energy. As a tsunami nears shore, the ocean depth decreases and-because its speed is determined by depth-the tsunami begins to slow. This is when the awesome power of a tsunami begins to become apparent. As the leading edge of the wave slows, the trailing edge, still 100 km away and traveling much faster in deeper water, quickly begins to catch up. Water is nearly incompressible. As the width of the wave pulse decreases, the water begins to pile up higher and higher and the wave increases dramatically in height. The Indian Ocean tsunami had a height of up to 15 m (50 ft) as it came ashore. Despite its height, a tsunami doesn't break and crash on the beach like a normal wave. The wave pulse may have narrowed dramatically from its 100 km width in the open ocean, but it is still several kilometers wide. Thus a tsunami reaching shore is more like a huge water surge than a typical wave-a wall of water that moves onto the shore and just keeps on coming. In many places, the Indian Ocean tsunami reached 2 km iuland. The impact of the Indian Ocean tsunami was devastating, but it was the first tsunami for which scientists were able to use satellites and ocean sensors to make planet-wide measurements. An analysis of the data, including computer simulations like the one seen here, has helped us better understand the physics of these ocean waves. We won't be able to stop future tsunamis, but with a better knowledge of how they are formed and how they travel, we will be better able to warn people to get out of their way.

785

Electricity and
Magnetism

This integrated circuit contains millions of circuit elements. The density of circuit elements in integrated circuits has doubled about every 18 months for the past 30 years. Whether this trend continues depends on whether scientists and engineers can understand the physics of nanoscale electric circuits.

OVERVIEW Phenomena and Theories
Amber, or fossilized tree resin, has long been prized for its beauty. Amber is of scientific interest today because biologists have leamed how to recover DNA strands from million-year-old insects trapped in the resin. But amber has an ancient scientific connection as well. The Greek word for amber is elektron. It has been known since antiquity that a piece of amber rubbed with fur can attract feathers or straw-seemingly magical powers to a pre-scientific society. It was also known to the ancient Greeks that certain stones from the region they called Magnesia could pick up pieces of iron. It is from these humble beginnings that we today have high-speed computers, lasers, and magnetic resonance imaging as well as such mundane modern-day miracles as the lightbulb. The basic phenomena of electricity and magnetism are not as familiar as those of mechanics. You have spent your entire life exerting forces on objects and watching them move, but your experience with electricity and magnetism is probably much more limited. We will deal with this lack of experience by placing a large emphasis on the phenomena of electricity and magnetism. We will begin by looking in detail at electric charge and the process of charging an object. It is easy to make systematic observations of how charges behave, and we will consider the forces between charges and how charges behave in different materials. Similarly, we will begin our study of magnetism by observing how magnets stick to some metals but not others and how magnets affect compass needles. But our most important observation will be that an electric current affects a compass needle in exactly the same way as a magnet. This observation, suggesting a close connection between electricity and magnetism, will eventually lead us to the discovery of electromagnetic waves. Our goal in Part VI is to develop a theory to explain the phenomena of electricity and magnetism. The linchpin of our theory will be the entirely new concept of afield. Electricity and magnetism are about the long-range interactions of charges, both static charges and moving charges, and the field concept will help us understand how these interactions take place. We will want to know how fields are created by charges and how charges, in return, respond to the fields. Bit by bit, we will assemble a theorybased on the new concepts of electric and magnetic fields-that will allow us to understand, explain, and predict a wide range of electromagnetic behavior. The story of electricity and magnetism is vast. The 19th-century formulation of the theory of electromagnetism, which led to sweeping revolutions in science and technology, has been called by no less than Einstein "the most important event in physics since Newton's time." Not surprisingly, all we can do in this text is develop some of the basic ideas and concepts, leaving many details and applications to later courses. Even so, our study of electricity and magnetism will explore some of the most exciting and important topics in physics.

787

PEEle

and

Lightningis a vividmanifestation of electric charges and forces.

~ Looking Ahead The goal of Chapter 26 is to develop a basic understanding of electric phenomena in terms of charges, forces, and fields. In this chapter you willlearn to: • Use a charge model to explain basic electric phenomena. • Understand the electric properties of insulators and conductors. • Use Coulomb's law to calculate the electric force between charges. • Use a field model to explain the long-range interaction between charges. • Calculate and display the electric field of a point charge.
<III Looking Back The mathematical analysis of electric forces and fields makes extensive use of vector addition. The electric force is in some ways analogous to gravity.Please review:

The electric force is one of the fundamental forces of nature. Sometimes, as in this

lightning strike, electric forces can be wild and uncontrolled. On the other hand, controlled electricity is the cornerstone of our modern, technological society. Electric devices range from lightbulbs and motors to computers and medical equipment. Try imagining what it would be like to live without electricity! But how do we control and manage this force? What are the properties of electricity and electric forces? How do we generate, transport, and use electricity? These are the questions we will explore throughout Part VI. Electricity is a big topic, and we cannot hope to answer all these questions at once. We will begin by investigating some of the basic phenomena of electricity. It's hard to see what rubbing plastic rods with wool has to do with computers or generators, but only by starting at the very beginning, with simple observations, can we develop the understanding needed to use electricity in a controlled manner.

• Sections 3.2-3.4 Vector properties and vector addition. • Sections 13.3 and 13.4 Newton's theory of gravity.

26.1 Developing a Charge Model
You can receive a mildly unpleasant shock and produce a little spark if you touch a metal doorknob after walking across a carpet. Vigorously brushing your freshly

788

26.1 . Developing a Charge Model

189

washed hair makes all the hairs fly apart. A plastic comb that you've run through your hair will pick up bits of paper and other small objects, but a metal comb won't. The common factor in these observations is that two objects are rubbed together. Why should rubbing an obj ect cause forces and sparks? What kind of forces are these? Why do metallic objects behave differently from nonmetallic? These are the questions with which we begin our study of electricity. Our first goal is to develop a model for understanding electric phenomena in terms of charges andforces. We will later use our contemporary knowledge of atoms to understand electricity on a microscopic level, but the basic concepts of electricity make no reference to atoms or electrons. The theory of electricity was well established long before the electron was discovered.

Experimenting

with Charges
A plastic comb that has been charged by running it through your hair attracts neutral objects such as bits of paper or, as seen here, drops of water.

Let us enter a laboratory where we can make observations of electric phenomena. This is a modest laboratory, much like one you would have found in the year 1800. The major tools in the lab are: • A variety of plastic and glass rods, each several centimeters long. These can be held in your hand or suspended by threads from a support. • A few metal rods with wood handles. • Pieces of wool and silk. • Small metal spheres, an inch or two in diameter, on wood stands. Let's see what we can learn with these tools.
Discovering electricity I Experiment 1 Experiment 2 Experiment 3

Experiment

4

Plastic

-:
(~

Rods that haven't

been rubbed

Plas~.c rubbed with
wool

Glass rubbed ~_
~

Increased distance

Plastic Rub both the hanging plastic rod and the handheld plastic rod with wool. Now the hanging rod tries to move away from the handheld rod when you bring the two close together. Two glass rods rubbed with silk also repel each other.

I(

~

Take a plastic rod that has been nndistnrbed for a long period of time and hang it by a thread. Pick up another undistnrbed plastic rod and bring it close to the hanging rod. Nothing happens to either rod.

Bring a glass rod that has been rubbed with silk close to a hanging plastic rod that has been rubbed with wool. These two rods attract each other.

Further observations show that: • These forces are greater for rods that have been rubbed more vigorously. • The strength of the forces decreases as the separation between the rods increases.

No forces were observed in Experiment 1. We will say that the original objects are
neutral. Rubbing the rods (Experiments 2 and 3) somehow causes forces to be exerted

between them. We will call the rubbing process charging and say that a rubbed rod is charged. For now, these are simply descriptive terms. The terms don't tell us anything about the process itself. Experiment 2 shows that there is a long-range repulsive force between two identical objects that have been charged in the same way, such as two plastic rods both rubbed with wool. Furthermore, Experiment 4 shows that the force between two charged objects depends on the distance between them. This is the first long-range force we've encountered since gravity was introduced in Chapter 5. It is also the first time we've observed a repulsive force, so right away we see that new ideas will be needed to understand electricity.

790

CHAPTER

26 . Electric Charges and Forces Experiment 3 is a puzzle. Two rods seem to have been charged in the same way, by rubbing, but these two rods attract each other rather than repel. Why does the outcome of Experiment 3 differ from that of Experiment 2? Back to the lab.

Discovering electricity II Experiment 5

~
<:0

)Paper =<>

.....,

Hold a charged (i.e., rubbed) plastic rod over small pieces of paper on the table. The pieces of paper leap up and stick to the rod. A charged glass rod does the same. However,a neutral rod has no effect on the pieces of paper. Experiment 6 Rub a plastic rod with wool and a glass rod with silk. Hang both by threads, some distance apart. Both rods are attractedto a neutral (i.e., unrubbed) plastic rod that is held close. Interestingly,both are also attracted to a neutral glass rod. In fact, the charged rods are attracted to any neutral object, such as a finger, a piece of paper, or a metal rod.

~~
oo~~

Experiment 7 Rub a hanging plastic rod with wool and then hold the wool close to the rod. The rod is weakly attracted to the wool. The plasticrod is repelled by a piece of silk that has been used to rub glass.
Silk used rub glass
to

~
Experiment 8 Further experiments show that: • Other objects, after being rubbed, attract one of the hanging chargedrods (plastic or glass) and repel the other.These objects always pick up small pieces of paper. • There appear to be no objects that, after being rubbed, pick up pieces of paper and attract both the chargedplastic and glass rods.

Our first set of experiments found that charged objects exert forces on each other. The forces are sometimes attractive, sometimes repulsive. Experiments 5 and 6 show that there is an attractive force between a charged object and a neutral (uncharged) object. This discovery presents us with a problem: How can we tell if an object is charged or neutral? Because of the attractive force between a charged and a neutral object, simply observing an electric force does not imply that an object is charged. However, an important characteristic of any charged object appears to be that a charged object picks up small pieces of paper. This behavior provides a straightforward test to answer the question, Is this object charged? An object that passes the test by picking up paper is charged; an object that fails the test is neutral. These observations let us tentatively advance the first stages of a charge model. Charge model. part I The basic postulates of our model are: 1. Frictional forces, such as rubbing, add something called charge to an object or remove it from the object. The process itself is called charging. More vigorous rubbing produces a larger quantity of charge.

26.1 . Developing a Charge Model

191

2. There are two and only two kinds of charge. For now we will call these "plastic charge" and "glass charge." Other objects can sometimes be charged by rubbing, but the charge they receive is either "plastic charge" or "glass charge." 3. Two like charges (plastic/plastic or glass/glass) exert repulsive forces on each other. Two opposite charges (plastic/glass) attract each other. 4. The force between two charges is a long-range force. The size of the force increases as the quantity of charge increases and decreases as the distance between the charges increases. 5. Neutral objects have an equal mixture of both "plastic charge" and "glass charge." The rubbing process somehow manages to separate the two.

Postulate 2 is based on Experiment 8. If an object is charged (i.e., picks up paper), it always attracts one charged rod and repels the other. That is, it acts either "like plastic" or "like glass." If there were a third kind of charge, different from the first two, an object with that charge should pick up paper and attract both the charged plastic and glass rods. No such objects have ever been found. The basis for postulate 5 is the observation in Experiment 7 that a charged plastic rod is attracted to the wool used to rub it but repelled by silk that has rubbed glass. It appears that rubbing glass causes the silk to acquire "plastic charge." The easiest way to explain this is to hypothesize that the silk starts out with equal amounts of "glass charge" and "plastic charge" and that the rubbing somehow transfers "glass charge" from the silk to the rod. This leaves an excess of "glass charge" on the rod and an excess of "plastic charge" on the silk. While the charge model is consistent with the observations, it is by no means proved. One could easily imagine other hypotheses that are just as consistent with the limited observations we have made so far. We still have some large unexplained puzzles, such as why charged objects exert attractive forces on neutral objects.

Electric Properties of Materials
We still need to clarify how different types of materials respond to charges.
Discovering electricity III Experiment

9

Charge a plastic rod by rubbing it with wool. Touch a neutral metal sphere with the rubbed area of the rod. The metal sphere then picks up small pieces of paper and repels a charged, hanging plastic rod. The metal sphere appears to have acquired "plastic charge."

Rod that had

Experiment

10

~

~~----------~

/Paper

Charge a plastic rod, then run your finger along it. After you've done so, the rod no longer picks up small pieces of paper or repels a charged, hanging plastic rod. Similarly, the metal sphere of Experiment 9 no longer repels the plastic rod after you touch it with your finger. Experiment 11

Place two metal spheres close together with a plastic rod connecting them. Charge a second plastic rod, by rubbing, and touch it to one of the metal spheres. Afterward, the metal sphere that was touched picks up small pieces of paper and repels a charged, hanging plastic rod. The other metal sphere does neither. Experiment 12

Repeat Experiment II with a metal rod connecting the two metal spheres. Touch one metal sphere with a charged plastic rod. Afterward, both metal spheres pick up small pieces of paper and repel a charged, hanging plastic rod.

792

CHAPTER

26 . Electric Charges and Forces

Our final set of experiments has shown that • Charge can be transferred from one object to anotber, but only when tbe objects touch. Contact is required. Removing charge from an object, which you can do by touching it, is called discharging. • There are two types or classes of materials with very different electric properties. We call tbese conductors and insulators. Experiment 12, in which a metal rod is used, is in sharp contrast to Experiment 11. Charge somehow moves through or along a metal rod, from one sphere to the other, but remains fixed in place on a plastic or glass rod. Let us define conductors as tbose materials through or along which charge easily moves and insulators as tbose materials on or in which charges remain immobile. Glass and plastic are insulators; metal is a conductor. This information lets us add two more postulates to our charge model: Charge model, part II 6. There are two types of materials. Conductors are materials through or along which charge easily moves. Insulators are materials on or in which charges remain fixed in place. 7. Charge can be transferred from one object to anotber by contact.

NOTE ~ Botb insulators and conductors can be charged. They differ in the mobility of tbe charge. ....

We have by no means exhausted the number of experiments and observations we might try. Early scientific investigators were faced witb all of tbese results, plus many others. Moreover, many of tbese experiments are hard to reproduce witb much accuracy. How should we make sense of it all? The charge model seems promising, but certainly not proven. We have not yet explained how charged objects exert attractive forces on neutral objects, nor have we explained what charge is, how it is transferred, or why it moves through some objects but not otbers. Nonetbeless, we will take advantage of our historical hindsight and continue to pursue this model. Homework problems will let you practice using tbe model to explain otber observations.

EXAMPLE

26.1

Transferring charge

In Experiment 12, touching one metal sphere with a charged plastic rod caused a second metal sphere to become charged with the same type of charge as the rod. Use the postulates of the charge model to explain this.
SOLVE

We need the following ideas from the charge model:

1. Charge is transferred upon contact. 2. Metal is a conductor. 3. Like charges repel.

The plastic rod was charged by rubbing with wool. The charge doesn't move around on the rod, because it is an insulator, but some of the "plastic charge" is transferred to the metal upon contact. Once in the metal, which is a conductor, the charges are free to move around. Furthermore, because like charges repel, these plastic charges quickly move as far apart as they possibly can. Some move through the connecting metal rod to the second sphere. Consequently, the second sphere acquires "plastic charge."

I STOP TO THINK 21.1 I To determine
a. b. c. d.

if an object has "glass charge," you need to

See if tbe object attracts a charged plastic rod. See if tbe object repels a charged glass rod. Do both a and b. Do eitber a or b.

26.2 . Charge

193

26.2 Charge
As you probably know, the modern names for the two types of charge are positive charge and negative charge. You may be surprised to learn that the names were coined by Benjamin Franklin. Franklin found that charge behaves like positive and negative numbers. If a plastic rod is charged twice, by rubbing, and twice transfers charge to a metal sphere, the electric forces exerted by the sphere are doubled. That is, 2 + 2 = 4. But the sphere is found to be neutral after receiving equal amounts of "plastic charge" and "glass charge." This is like 2 + (-2) = O. These experiments establish an important property of charge. So what is positive and what is negative? It's entirely up to us! Franklin established the convention that a glass rod that has been rubbed with silk is positively charged. That's it. Any other object that repels a charged glass rod is also positively charged. Any charged object that attracts a charged glass rod is negatively charged. Thus a plastic rod rubbed with wool is negative. It was only long afterward, with the discovery of electrons and protons, that electrons were found to be attracted to a charged glass rod while protons were repelled. Thus by convention electrons have a negative charge and protons a positive charge.
NOTE ~ In hindsight, it would have been better had Franklin made the opposite choice. Electrons are the carriers of electric currents in metals, and the convention of assigning a negative charge to electrons will later present us with some sign difficulties that could have been avoided with positive electrons. ...

Atoms and Electricity
Now let's fast forward to the 21st century. The theory of electricity was developed without knowledge of atoms, but there is no reason for us to continue to overlook this important part of our contemporary perspective. For now, we will assert without proof some of the relevant characteristics of atoms and matter. You will have later opportunities to learn about the experimental evidence supporting these assertions. FIGURE26.1 shows that an atom consists of a very small and dense nucleus (diameter _10-14 m) surrounded by much less massive orbiting electrons. The electron orbital frequencies are so enormous (_1015 revolutions per second) that the electrons seem to form an electron cloud of diameter -10-10 m, a factor 1~ larger than the nucleus. In fact, the wave-particle duality of quantum physics destroys any notion of a welldefined electron trajectory, and all we know about the electrons is the size and shape of the electron cloud. Experiments at the end of the 19th century-experiments we will study in Part VII-revealed that electrons are particles with both mass and a negative charge. The nucleus is a composite structure consisting of protons, positively charged particles, and neutral neutrons. The atom is held together by the attractive electric force between the positive nucleus and the negative electrons. One of the most important discoveries is that charge, like mass, is an inherent property of electrons and protons. It's no more possible to have an electron without charge than it is to have an electron without mass. As far as we know today, electrons and protons have charges of opposite sign but exactly equal magnitude. (Very careful experiments have never found any difference.) This atomic-level unit of charge, called the fundamental unit of charge. is represented by the symbol e. Table 26.1 shows the masses and charges of protons and electrons. We need to define a unit of charge, which we will do in Section 26.5, before we can specify how much charge e is.
FIGURE 26.1

An atom.

The nucleus, exaggerated for
clarity, contains positive protons.

l
!

\tV

~1O-10m

The electron cloud is negatively charged.

»

TABLE

26.1

Protons and electrons

Particle Proton Electron

Mass (kg)
1.67 X 10-27 9.11 X 10-31

Charge

+e -e

The Micro/Macro

Connection

Electrons and protons are the basic charges of ordinary matter. Consequent! y, the various observations we made in Section 26.1 need to be explained in terms of electrons and protons.

794

CHAPTER

26 . Electric Charges and Forces NOTE ~ Electrons and protons are particles of matter. Their motion is governed by Newton's laws. Electrons can move from one object to another when the objects are in contact, but neither electrons nor protons can leap through the air from one object to another. An object does not become charged simply from being close to a charged object. ...

Charge is represented by the symbol q (or sometimes Q). A macroscopic object, such as a plastic rod, has charge q = Npe - N,e = (Np - N,)e
FIGURE 26.2

(26.1)

Positive and negative ions. The atom has lost one

where Np and N, are the number of protons and electrons contained in the object. Most macroscopic objects have an equal number of protons and electrons and therefore have q = O. An object with no net charge (i.e., q = 0) is said to be electrically neutral.
NOTE ~ Neutral does not mean "no charges" but, instead, means that there is no net charge. A typical 1 em" solid contains -1024 electrons and an equal number of protons. This is a tremendous number of charges, but most solids are electrically neutral or very close to it. A glass rod loses only -1010 electrons as it is charged by rubbing. This corresponds to only 1 electron out of every 1014 ....

The atom has Negative ion

gained one electron,
giving it a net

negative charge.

X"

Charging by friction usually creates molecular ions as bonds are broken.
FIGURE 26.3 Electrically neutral molecule ~

A

toms

~

o
i~

Bond

Friction

A charged object has an unequal number of protons and electrons. An object is positively charged if Np > N,. It is negatively charged if Np < N,. Notice that an object's charge is always an integer multiple of e. That is, the amount of charge on an object varies by small but discrete steps, not continuously. This is called charge quantization. In practice, objects acquire a positive charge not by gaining protons, as you might expect, but by losing electrons. Protons are extremely tightly bound within the nucleus and cannot be added to or removed from atoms. Electrons, on the other hand, are bound rather loosely and can be removed without great difficulty. The process of removing an electron from the electron cloud of an atom is called ionization. An atom that is missing an electron is called a positive ion. Its net charge is q = + e. It turns out that some atoms can accommodate an extra electron and thus become a negative ion with net charge q = -e. A saltwater solution is a good example. When table salt (the chemical sodium chloride, NaCl) dissolves, it separates into positive sodium ions Na + and negative chlorine ions Cl: FIGURE26.2 shows positive and negative ions. All the charging processes we observed in Section 26.1 involved rubbing and friction. The forces of friction cause molecular bonds at the surface to break as the two materials slide past each other. Molecules are electrically neutral, but FIGURE26.3 shows that molecular ions can be created when one of the bonds in a large molecule is broken. The positive molecular ions remain on one material and the negative ions on the other, so one of the objects being rubbed ends up with a net positive charge and the other with a net negative charge. This is the way in which a plastic rod is charged by rubbing with wool or a comb is charged by passing through your hair. Frictional charging via bond breaking works best with large organic molecules. This explains not only how plastic is charged by rubbing with wool but also such familiar experiences as the production of "static cling" in a clothes dryer. Metals usually can not be charged by rubbing them.

These bonds were

Positive

broke~ by friction.

Negative molecular

Charge Conservation

and Charge Diagrams

molecular ion ~(~3i~/ion This half of lhe) molecule lost an
electron as the

C

This half of the molecule gained an
extra electron as the

bond broke.

bond broke.

One of the important discoveries about charge is the law of conservation of charge: Charge is neither created nor destroyed. Charge can be transferred from one object to another as electrons and ions move about, but the total amount of charge remains constant. For example, charging a plastic rod by rubbing it with wool transfers electrons from the wool to the plastic as the molecular bonds break. The wool is left with a positive charge equal in magnitude but opposite in sign to the negative charge of the rod: qwool = -qpl.,tio· The net charge remains zero.

26.3 . Insulators and Conductors Diagrams are going to be an important tool for understanding and explaining charges and the forces on charged objects. As you begin to use diagrams, it will be important to make explicit use of charge conservation. The net number of plusses and minuses drawn on your diagrams should not change as you show them moving around.
FIGURE 26.4

195

Charge diagrams.

TACTICS
BOX 26.1

Drawing charge diagrams

o Cross section
of a positively

o Cross section

Draw a simplified two-dimensional cross section of the object. f} Draw surface charges very close to the object's boundary. 9 Draw interior charges uniformly within the interior of the object. o Show only the net charge. A neutral object should show no charges, not a lot of plusses and minuses. €} Conserve charge from one diagram to the next if you use a series of diagrams to explain a process.
Exercises 10-13

o

charged conductor

of a negatively charged insulator

~
+

II

6

The net positive

t) The net negative on the surface.

charge is spread
around the surface.

charge is immobile

Q

t

FIGURE 26.4 shows two examples of charge diagrams. Step 5 will become clearer as you see it used in examples. Step 4 is especially important. For example, a positively charged object is missing electrons. Regardless of how the object became charged, the charge diagram should show plusses.

Inop

TO THINK 16.2 Rank in order, from most positive to most negative, the charges q. to qe of these five systems.

I

Proton (8)

Electron (b)

Glass ball missing 3 electrons

o

(c)

(d)

(e)

26.3 Insulators and Conductors
You have seen that there are two classes of materials as defined by their electrical properties: insulators and conductors. It's time for a closer look at these materials. FIGURE 26.5 looks inside an insulator and a metallic conductor. The electrons in the insnlator are all tightly bound to the positive nuclei and not free to move around. Charging an insnlator by friction leaves patches of molecular ions on the surface, but these patches are immobile. In metals, the outer atomic electrons (called the valence electrons in chemistry) are only weakly bound to the nuclei. As the atoms come together to form a solid, these outer electrons become detached from their parent nuclei and are free to wander about through the entire solid. The solid as a whole remains electrically neutral, because we have not added or removed any electrons, but the electrons are now rather like a negatively charged gas or liquid-what physicists like to call a sea of electrons-permeating an array of positively charged ion cores. The primary consequence of this structure is that electrons in a metal are highly mobile. They can quickly and easily move through the metal in response to electric forces. The motion of charges through a material is what we will later call a current, and the charges that physically move are called the charge carriers. The charge carriers in metals are electrons. Metals aren't the only conductors. Iouic solutions, such as salt water, are also good conductors. But the charge carriers in an ionic solution are the ions, not electrons. We'll focus on metallic conductors because of their importance in applications of electricity.

A microscopic insulators and conductors. FIGURE 26.5

look at

Insulator
Nucleus Core electrons

. .

.
Metal

Valence electrons

Valence electrons
are tightly bound.

.

Positive

ion cores

Valence electrons form
a "sea of electrons."

796

CHAPTER

26 . Electric Charges and Forces

Charging
Insulators are often charged by rubbing. The charge diagrams of FICiURE26.6 show that the charges on the rod are right at the surface and that charge is conserved. The charge on the rod is immobile. It can be transferred to another object upon contact, but it doesn't move around on the rod.
FICiURE 26.6

An insulating rod is charged by rubbing.

Rub the plastic rod

~

=;>p/'::.
This end is The positive charge on the wool is equal to the negative charge on the rod.

Negative charges are immobile on the rod's surface.

Plastic

FICiURE 26.7 A conductor is charged by contact with a charged plastic rod.

~D 0
••••• Charge is-' transferred

Metal

to the

metal upon contact.

~ repel

each other.

••.•••• t

Charge spreads over the surface of the metal.

D

n V

Very
fast

Metals usually cannot be charged by rubbing, but Experiment 9 showed that a metal sphere can be charged by contact with a charged plastic rod. FICiURE26.7 gives a pictorial explanation. An essential idea is that the electrons in a conductor are free to move. Once charge is transferred to the metal, repulsive forces between the negative charges cause the electrons to move apart from each other. Note that the newly added electrons do not themselves need to move to the far corners of the metal. Because of the repulsive forces, the newcomers simply "shove" the entire electron sea a little to the side. The electron sea takes an extremely short time to adjust itself to the presence of the added charge, typically less than 10-9 s. For all practical purposes, a conductor responds instantaneously to the addition or removal of charge. Other than this very brief interval during which the electron sea is adjusting, the charges in an isolated conductor are in static equilibrium. That is, the charges are at rest and there is no net force on any charge. This condition is called electrostatic equilibrium. If there were a net force on one of the charges, it would quickly move to an equilibrium point at which the force was zero. Electrostatic equilibrium has an important consequence: In an isolated conductor, any excess charge is located on the surface of the conductor. To see this, suppose there were an excess electron in the interior of an isolated conductor. The extra electron would upset the electrical neutrality of the interior and exert forces on nearby electrons, causing them to move. But their motion would violate the assumption of static equilibrium, so we're forced to conclude that there cannot be any excess electrons in the interior. Any excess electrons push each other apart until they're all on the surface.

EXAMPLE 26.2

Charging an electroscope

Metal sphere ________

Many electricity demonstrations are carried out with the help of an electroscope like the one shown in FICiURE26.8. Touching the sphere at the top of an electroscope with a charged plastic rod causes the leaves to fly apart and remain hanging at an angle. Use charge diagrams to explain why.
Very -d---y thin gold leaves FICiURE 26.8

Charging the electroscope .,' causes the gold •••••.•• leaves to repel ••.•••• each other.

A charged electroscope.

26.3 . Insulators and Conductors

1~

MODEL We'll use the charge model and the model of a conductor as a material through which electrons move. FIGURE 26.9

VISUALIZE

FIGURE 26.9 uses a series of charge diagrams to show the charging of an electroscope.

The process by which an electroscope is charged.

~

--r

Very fast

l. Negative charges (i.e., e1ectrons) are transferred from the rod to the metal sphere upon contact.

2. Metal is a conductor. Therefore charge very quickly spreads throughout the entire electroscope.

~Jl--= 1
"------V F_
-

--

_

F

-

3.

Like charges repel. The

negatively charged leaves exert repulsive forces on each other, causing them to spread apart.

Discharging
Pure water is not a terribly good conductor, but nearly all water contains a variety of dissolved minerals that float around as ions. Dissolved table salt, as we noted previously, separates into Na+ and Cl" ions. These ions are the charge carriers, allowing salt water to be a fairly good conductor. The human body consists largely of salt water. Consequently, and occasionally tragically, humans are reasonably good conductors. This fact allows us to understand how it is that touching a charged object discharges it, as we observed in Experiment 10. FIGURE 26.10 shows a person touching a positively charged metal, one that is missing electrons. Upon contact, some ofthe negative CI- ions on the skin surface transfer their extra electron to the metal, neutralizing both the metal and the chlorine atoms. This leaves the body with an excess of positive Na+ ions and, thus, a net positive charge. As in any conductor, these excess positive charges quickly spread as far apart as possible over the surface of the conductor. The net effect of touching a charged metal is that it and the conducting human together become a much larger conductor than the metal alone. Any excess charge that was initially confined to the metal can now spread over the larger metal + human conductor. This may not entirely discharge the metal, but in typical circumstances, where the human is much larger than the metal, the residual charge remaining on the metal is much reduced from the original charge. The metal, for most practical purposes, is discharged. In essence, two conductors in contact "share" the charge that was originally on just one of them. Moist air is a conductor, although a rather poor one. Charged objects in air slowly lose their charge as the object shares its charge with the air. The earth itself is a giant conductor because of its water, moist soil, and a variety of ions-not, admittedly, as good a conductor as a piece of copper, but a conductor nonetheless. Any object that is physically connected to the earth through a conductor is said to be grounded. The effect of being grounded is that the object shares any excess charge it has with the entire earth! But the earth is so enormous that any conductor attached to the earth will be completely discharged. The purpose of grounding objects, such as circuits and appliances, is to prevent the buildup of any charge on the objects. As you will see later, grounding has the effect of preventing a voltage difference between the object and the ground. The third prong on appliances and electronics that have a three-prong plug is the ground connection. The building wiring physically connects that third wire deep into the ground somewhere just outside the building, often by attaching it to a metal water pipe that goes underground.

FIGURE 26.10

discharges it.

Touching a charged metal

Charges spread through the metal + humau system.

Very little
charge is left on the metal.

798

CHAPTER

26 . Electric Charges and Forces

FIGURE 26.11 A charged rod held close to an electroscope causes the leaves to repel each other. Bring a positively

Charge Polarization
We have made great strides in learning how the atomic structure of matter can explain charging processes and the properties of insulators and conductors. However, one observation from Section 26.1 still needs an explanation. How do charged objects of either sign exert an attractive force on a neutral object? To begin answering this question, let's consider a neutral conductor. FIGURE 26.11 shows a positively charged rod held close to-but not touching-a neutral electroscope. The leaves move apart and stay apart as long as you hold the rod near, but they quickly collapse when it is removed. Can we understand this behavior? We can, and FIGURE 26.120 shows how. Although the metal as a whole is still electrically neutral, we say that the object has been polarized. Charge polarization is a slight separation of the positive and negative charges in a neutral object. Charge polarization produces an excess positive charge on the leaves of the electroscope shown in FIGURE 26.12b, so they repel each other. But because the electroscope has no net charge, the electron sea quickly readjusts once the rod is removed.
FIGURE 26.12

;::;;r~charged glass rod close to the leaves

The electroscope is neutral, yet repe1 each other. Why?

~

A charged rod polarizes a metal.
(b) The electroscope is polarized / by the

(a) The sea of electrons is attracted to the rod and shifts so that there is excess negative

charged rod. The sea of electrons shifts
toward the positive rod.

charge on the near surface.

j

+ ++ ++ Positive Metal ++ rod ++ ++ ++ L,~ __

+ + + +

~~=-++ + + + +

---,f!J"·····.'\

A deficit of electrons-a net positive charge-is created on the far surface. The metal's net charge

r

Although the net charge on '~e electroscope and repel each other.

is

is still zero, but it has been
polarized by the charged rod.

still zero, the leaves have excess positive charge

Toner particles in a photocopy machine stick to charged carrier beads because of a polarization force. Later, the toner particles will be transferred to charged areas on a sheet of paper to form the photocopied image.

Why don't all the electrons in Figure 26.12a rush to the side near the positive charge? Once the electron sea shifts slightly, the stationary positive ions begin to exert a force, a restoring force, pulling the electrons back to the right. The equilibrium position for the sea of electrons is just far enough to the left that the forces due to the external charge and the positive ions are in balance. In practice, the displacement of the electron sea is usually less than 10-15 m! Charge polarization explains not only why the electroscope leaves deflect but also how a charged object exerts an attractive force on a neutral object. FIGURE 26.13 shows a positively charged rod near a neutral piece of metal. Because the electric force decreases with distance, the attractive force on the electrons at the top surface is slightly greater than the repulsive force on the ions at the bottom. The net force toward the charged rod is called a polarization force. The polarization force arises because the charges in the metal are separated, not because the rod and metal are oppositely charged.
FIGURE 26.13

The polarization

force on a neutral piece of metal is due to the slight charge

separation.

26.3 . Insulators and Conductors

199

A negatively charged rod would push the electron sea slightly away, polarizing the metal to have a positive upper surface charge and a negative lower surface charge. Once again, these are the conditions for the charge to exert a net attractive force on the metal. Thus our charge model explains how a charged object of either sign attracts neutral pieces of metal.

The Electric Dipole
Now let's consider a slightly trickier situation. Why does a charged rod pick up paper, which is an insulator rather than a metal? First consider what happens when we bring a positive charge near an atom. As FIGURE 26.140 shows, the charge polarizes the atom. The electron cloud doesn't move far, because the force from the positive nucleus pulls it back, but the center of positive charge and the center of negative charge are now slightly separated.
FIGURE 26.14 (a)

The intramolecular forces that shape biological molecules, such as this protein, are related to polarization forces.

A neutral atom is polarized by an external charge, forming an electric dipole.
Net force on atom Force on electrons ~ ...... .......

F

c::::::::>
In an isolated atom., the electron

External charge

"8

Center negative Charge/

0:Z- _/
__

®.J.

n~~:u~n
Center of positive charge

(b)

External
charges

8

......Netforce

8

EC3
...... Netforce

The atom is polarized

cloud is centeredon the nucleus.

by the external charge,creatingan electricdipole.

Electric dipoles can be created by either positive or negative charges. In both cases, there is an attractive net force toward the
external charge.

Two opposite charges with a slight separation between them form what is called an electric dipole. FIGURE 26.14b shows that an external charge of either sign polarizes the atom to produce an electric dipole with the near end opposite in sign to the charge. (The actual distortion from a perfect sphere is minuscule, nothing like the distortion shown in the figure.) The attractive force on the dipole's near end slightly exceeds the repulsive force on its far end because the near end is closer to the charge. The net force, an attractive force between the charge and the atom, is another example of a polarization force. An insulator has no sea of electrons to shift if an external charge is brought close. Instead, as FIGURE 26.15 shows, all the individual atoms inside the insulator become polarized. The polarization force acting on each atom produces a net polarization force toward the external charge. This solves the puzzle. A charged rod picks up pieces of paper by • Polarizing the atoms in the paper, • Then exerting an attractive polarization force on each atom. This is important Make sure you understand all the steps in the reasoning.

The atoms in an insulator are polarized by an external charge.
FIGURE 26.15

External charge

8

E::::±l E::::±l E3:J

600
~E::BE3J
Insulator
Net force

Polarized atoms

ISTOPIO THINKlU An electroscope is positively charged by touching it with a positive glass rod. The electroscope leaves spread apart and the glass rod is removed. Then a negatively charged plastic rod is brought close to the top of the electroscope, but it doesn't touch. What happens to the leaves?

I

a. b. c. d.

The leaves get closer together. The leaves spread farther apart. One leaf moves higher, the other lower. The leaves don't move.

800

CHAPTER

26 . Electric Charges and Forces

Charging

by

Induction

Charge polarization is responsible for an interesting and counterintuitive way of charging an electroscope. FIGURE 26.16 shows a positively charged glass rod held near an electroscope but not touching it, while a person touches the electroscope with a finger. Unlike what happens in Figure 26.11, the electroscope leaves do not move.
FIGURE 26.16

Charging by induction.

+

1. The charged rod polarizes the electroscope + person conductor. The leaves repel slightly due to polarization, but overall the electroscope has an excess of electrons and the person

2. The negative charge on the electroscope
is isolated when contact is broken.

3. When the rod is removed, the
leaves first collapse as the

polarization vanishes, then repel
as the excess negative charge spreads out. The electroscope has been negatively charged.

has a deficit of electrons.

Charge polarization occurs, as it did in Figure 26.11, but this time in the much larger electroscope + person conductor. If the person removes his or her finger while the system is polarized, the electroscope is left with a net negative charge and the person has a net positive charge. The electroscope has been charged opposite to the rod in a process called charging by induction.

26.4 Coulomb's Law
The last few sections have established a model of charges and electric forces. This model is very good at explaining electric phenomena and providing a general understanding of electricity. Now we need to become quantitative. Experiment 4 in Section 26.1 found that the electric force increases for objects with more charge and decreases as charged objects are moved farther apart. The force law that describes this behavior is known as Coulomb's law. Charles Coulomb was one of many scientists investigating electricity in the late 18th century. Coulomb had the idea of studying electric forces using the torsion balance scheme by which Cavendish had measured the value of the gravitational constant G (see Section 13.4). This was a difficult experiment. Cavendish's masses could be placed in position and did not change, but Coulomb was constantly having to recharge the ends of his balance. How could he do this reproducibly? How could he know if two objects were "equally charged"? How could he know for sure where the charge was located? Despite these obstacles, Coulomb announced in 1785 that the electric force obeys an inverse-square law analogous to Newton's law of gravity. Historians of science debate whether Coulomb really discovered this law from his data or, perhaps, he leapt to unwarranted conclusions because he so wanted his discovery to match that of the great Newton. Nonetheless, Coulomb's discovery or lucky guess, whichever it was, was subsequently confirmed, and the basic law of electric force bears his name.

A 19th century reproduction of Coulomb's torsion balance.

800

CHAPTER

26 . Electric Charges and Forces

Charging

by

Induction

Charge polarization is responsible for an interesting and counterintuitive way of charging an electroscope. FIGURE 26.16 shows a positively charged glass rod held near an electroscope but not touching it, while a person touches the electroscope with a finger. Unlike what happens in Figure 26.11, the electroscope leaves do not move.
FIGURE 26.16

Charging by induction.

+

1. The charged rod polarizes the electroscope + person conductor. The leaves repel slightly due to polarization, but overall the electroscope has an excess of electrons and the person

2. The negative charge on the electroscope
is isolated when contact is broken.

3. When the rod is removed, the
leaves first collapse as the

polarization vanishes, then repel
as the excess negative charge spreads out. The electroscope has been negatively charged.

has a deficit of electrons.

Charge polarization occurs, as it did in Figure 26.11, but this time in the much larger electroscope + person conductor. If the person removes his or her finger while the system is polarized, the electroscope is left with a net negative charge and the person has a net positive charge. The electroscope has been charged opposite to the rod in a process called charging by induction.

26.4 Coulomb's Law
The last few sections have established a model of charges and electric forces. This model is very good at explaining electric phenomena and providing a general understanding of electricity. Now we need to become quantitative. Experiment 4 in Section 26.1 found that the electric force increases for objects with more charge and decreases as charged objects are moved farther apart. The force law that describes this behavior is known as Coulomb's law. Charles Coulomb was one of many scientists investigating electricity in the late 18th century. Coulomb had the idea of studying electric forces using the torsion balance scheme by which Cavendish had measured the value of the gravitational constant G (see Section 13.4). This was a difficult experiment. Cavendish's masses could be placed in position and did not change, but Coulomb was constantly having to recharge the ends of his balance. How could he do this reproducibly? How could he know if two objects were "equally charged"? How could he know for sure where the charge was located? Despite these obstacles, Coulomb announced in 1785 that the electric force obeys an inverse-square law analogous to Newton's law of gravity. Historians of science debate whether Coulomb really discovered this law from his data or, perhaps, he leapt to unwarranted conclusions because he so wanted his discovery to match that of the great Newton. Nonetheless, Coulomb's discovery or lucky guess, whichever it was, was subsequently confirmed, and the basic law of electric force bears his name.

A 19th century reproduction of Coulomb's torsion balance.

802

CHAPTER

26 . Electric Charges and Forces

Rewriting Coulomb's law in terms of
F=

EO

gives us (26.3)

_1_lq,llq21
41TEO r2 EO.

It will be easiest when using Coulomb's law diTectly to use the electrostatic constant
K. However, in later chapters we will switch to the second version with

Using Coulomb's
11.1-11.3

Law

PhYsics

Activ

Coulomb's law is a force law, and forces are vectors. It has been many chapters since we made much use of vectors and vector addition, but these mathematical techniques will be essential in our study of electricity and magnetism. You may wish to review vector addition in Chapter 3. There are three important observations regarding Coulomb's law: 1. Coulomb's law applies only to point charges. A point charge is an idealized material object with charge and mass but with no size or extension. For practical purposes, two charged objects can be modeled as point charges if they are much smaller than the separation between them. 2. Strictly speaking, Coulomb's law applies only to electrostatics, the electric forces between static charges. In practice, Coulomb's law is a good approximation to the electric force between two moving charged particles if their relative speed is much less than the speed of light. 3. Electric forces, like other forces, can be superimposed. If multiple charges 1,2,3, ... are present, the net electric force on charge) due to all other charges is (26.4) where each of the

ft,

onj

is given by Equation 26.2 or 26.3.

These conditions are the basis of a strategy for using Coulomb's law to solve electrostatic force problems.

~~~~~~t~';~~~ Electrostatic
MODEL
VISUALIZE

forces and Coulomb's law

e

Identify point charges or objects that can be modeled as point charges.

Use a pictorial representation to establish a coordinate system, show the positions of the charges, show the force vectors on the charges, define distances and angles, and identify what the problem is trying to find. This is the process of translating words to symbols.
SOLVE

The mathematical representation is based on Coulomb's law:

• Show the directions of the forces-repulsive for like charges, attractive for opposite charges-on the pictorial representation. • When possible, do graphical vector addition on the pictorial representation. While not exact, it tells you the type of answer you should expect. • Write each force vector in terms of its x- and y-components, then add the components to find the net force. Use the pictorial representation to determine which components are positive and which are negative.
ASSESS Check that your result has the correct units, is reasonable, and answers the question.

26.4 . Coulomb's Law

803

EXAMPLE 26.3

The sum of two forces

Two + 10 nC charged particles are 2.0 cm apart on the x-axis. What is the net force on a + 1.0 nC charge midway between them? What is the net force if the charged particle on the right is replaced by a -10 nC charge?
MODEL

Model the charged particles as point charges.

VISUALIZE FIGURE26.18

the forces

FloB3

and

F2on3.

establishes a coordinate system and shows

SOLVE Electric forces are vectors, and the net force on q3 is the vector sum Fnet = Ion3 + 2oB3' Charges g, andq2 each exert a repulsive force on q3, but they are equal in magnitude and opposite in direction. Consequently, Fnet = O. The situation changes if q2 is negative. Now the two forces are equal in magnitude but in the same direction, so Fn", = 2F, on 3' The magnitude of the force is given by Coulomb's law:

F

F

F
lon3

=

Klq,llq31
2 '13

FIGURE 26.18

A pictorial representation charges and forces.

of the

(9.0 X 10' Nm2/C2)(10

X 10-' C)(1.0

X 10-' C)

(0.010m)2
=

1 -,--------,,--------,--

G

9.0 X 10-4 N

Thus the net force on the 1.0nC charge is
,(,,,) ASSESS

F

n",

=

1.8 X 1O-3'N.

This example illustrates the important idea that electric forces are vectors.

EXAMPLE 26.4

The point of zero force

F
10n3

_ Kq,lq31
713 2

_ Kq,lq31
X 2

Two positively charged particles q, and q2 = 3q, are 10.0 cm apart. Where (other than at infinity) could a third charge q3 be placed so as to experience no net force?
MODEL

F
20n3

Model the charged particles as point charges.

__Kq_2_lq_31 _ K_:_(3--,q'o:_)o_olq3::--1 _ T2l (d - X)2

VISUALIZE FIGURE 26.19

establishes a coordinate system with q, at the origin. We first need to identify the region of space in which q3 must be located. We have no information about the sign of q3, so apparently the position for which we are looking will work for either sign. You can see from the figure that the forces at point A, above the axis, and at point B, outside the charges, cannot possibly add to zero. However, at point C on the x-axis between the charges, the two forces are oppositely directed.
FIGURE 26.19

Charges q, and q2 are positive and do not need absolute value signs. Equating the two forces gives 3Kq,lq31 (d -

xl'

The term Kq,1 q31 cancels. Multiplying by x2(d - X)2 gives (d - X)2 = 3x2 which can be rearranged into the quadratic equation 2x2 + 2dx - d2 = 2x2 + 20x 100 = 0

A pictorial representation

of the charges

and forces.

where we used d = 10 em and x is in cm. The solutions to this equation are

q{D"'~· C\
2on3

F

Plon3

x = +3.66 em

and

-13.66cm

-orl---'~~~\---d-=-'io-cm---------x
Only if % is somewhere along
the line between q, and q2 can

the forces add to zero. The mathematical problem is to find the position for which the forces on 3and on 3 are equal in magnitude. If q3 is distance x from q" it is distance d - x from q2' The magnitudes of the forces are
SOLVE

Both are points where the magnitudes of the two forces are equal, but x = -13.66 cm is a point where the magnitudes are equal but the directions are the same. The solution we want, which is between the charges, is x = 3.66 cm. Thus the point to place q3 is 3.66 cm from q, along the line joining q, and q2'
ASSESS q, is smaller than q2, so we expect the point at which the forces balance to be closer to q, than to q2' The solution seems reasonable. Note that the problem statement has no coordinates, so "x = 3.66 em" is not an acceptable answer. You need to describe the position relative to q, and q2'

F,

F2

804

CHAPTER

26 . Electric Charges and Forces

EXAMPLE

26.5

Three charges

Three charged particles with q, = -50 nC, q2 = +50 nC, and q, = + 30 nC are placed on the corners of the 5.0 cm X 10.0 cmrectangleshown in FIGURE 26.20. What is the net force on charge q, due to the other two charges? Give your answer both in component form and as a magnitude and direction. Model the charged particles as point charges.
MODEL VISUALIZE

FIGURE 26.20 The three charges of Example 26.5.

where we used r13 = 10.0 cm. The pictorial representation shows that F, points downward, in the negative y-direction, so

on'

F'on' To calculate charges:

=

-1.35

X

lO-'jN
r23

~~·Q~~-i
Q3=+30nC
I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I

F2 on' we first need the distance

between

the

r2' = Y(5.0cm)2

+ (10.Ocm)2

=

11.2cm

110.0 em The magnitude of F20n' is thus F
20n3

q,=+50nC l ql = -50 nC :/

_
-

0-----0
on'

Klq211q,I
r2'
2

(9.0 X 10· Nm2/C2) (50 X 10-· C)(30 X 10-· C) (0.112 m)?
=

The pictorial representation of FIGURE 26.21 establishes a coordinate system. q, and q, are opposite charges, so force vector F'on' is an attractive force toward q,. q2 and q, are like charges, so force vector lOD 3 is a repulsive force away from Q2' ql and q" have equal magnitudes, but F2 has been drawn shorter than F, on' because q2 is farther from q,. Vector addition has been used to draw the net force vector F, and to define the angle ",.

F

1.08 X 10-' N

This is only a magnitude, The vector

F

2oD3

is

F2oD3

=

-F2on3cos6i

+ F2on3sin6j

FIGURE 26.21 A pictorial representation of the charges and forces.

where angle 0 is defined in the figure and the signs (negative z-cornponent, positive y-component) were determined from the pictorial representation. From the geometry of the rectangle, 0= tan_,(lo.ocm) 5.0cm !hus F20n). = (-4.83,
=

tan-'(2.0)

=

63.4

0

+ 9.66j)

X

10-4 N. Now we can add

F,on' and F20n' to find

F3

=

F1on3 + F2on3

=

(-4.83i

- 3.84j) X lO-4N

This would be an acceptable answer for many problems, but sometimes we need the net force as a magnitude and direction. With angle e as defined in the figure, these are

F,
SOLVE The question asks for a force, so our answer will be the vector sum = Flon3 + F2oB3' We need to write Flon3 and F20n' in component form. The magnitude afforce F,on' can be found using Coulomb's law:

=

YF,} + F,/
F

=

6.2 X 10-4N
0

'" =

F3

tan-'I " I = 38 F,x

ThusF,
ASSESS

=

(6.2 X 1O-4N,38°belowthenegativex-axis).

F
lon3

_
-

Klq,llq,l
2 r13

(9.0 X 10· Nm2/C2) (50 X 10-· C)(30 X 10-· C) (0.100 m)'
=

The forces are not large, but they are typical of electrostatic forces. Even so, you'll soon see that these forces can produce very large accelerations because the masses of the charged objects are usually very small.

1.35 X 10-' N

EXAMPLE

26.6

Lifting a glass bead

MODEL

Model the plastic sphere and glass bead as point charges.

A small plastic sphere charged to -10 nC is held 1.0 em above a small glass bead at rest on a table. The bead has a mass of 15 mg and a charge of + 10 nCo Will the glass bead "leap up" to the plastic sphere?

VISUALIZE

FIGURE 26.22 establishes a y-axis, identifies the plastic sphere as q, and the glass bead as q2, and shows a free-body diagram.

26.5 . The Field Model

805

FIGURE 26.22 A pictorial representation of the charges and forces. y Plastic

l.Oem

0 s,

SOLVE IfFlonzislessthanthegravitationaiforceFG = mb"""g,then the bead will remain at rest on the table with Fl on z + FG + ii = O. But if FlonZ is greater than mb"",g,the glass bead will accelerate upward from the table. Usingthe valuesprovided,

= -lOne

F

1002

=

Klqlllqzl
r2

=

90 X 10-3 N
.

FG = mb"""g= 1.5 X 10-4 N

"GO,:~fF'002 H"~ .,~
FG

Fl 00 z exceeds mb"""g a factor of 60, so the glass bead will leap by upward.
ASSESS

The values used in this example are realistic for spheres

= 2 mm in diameter. In general, as in this example, electtic forces are significantly larger than gravitationalforces. Consequently,we

can neglect gravity when working electric-force problems unless the particles are fairly massive.

STOP TO THINK 16.4 Charged spheres A and B exert repulsive forces on each other. qA = 4qB' Which statement is true?

©
+ + A
anA

e
B

a. FAonB

> FBonA

b. FAonB = FBonA

C.

FAonB < FB

26.5 The Field Model
Electric and magnetic forces, like gravity, are long-range forces. No contact is required for one charged particle to exert a force on another charged particle. Somehow, the force is transmitted through empty space. The concept of action at a distance greatly troubled many of the leading thinkers of Newton's day, following the publication of his theory of gravity. Force, they believed, should have some mechanism by which it is exerted, and the idea of action at a distance, with no apparent mechanism, was more than most scientists could accept. Nonetheless, they could not dispute the success of Newton's theory. The great prestige and success of Newlon kept scientists' doubts and reservations in check until the end of the 18th century, when investigations of electric and magnetic phenomena reopened the issue of action at a distance. For example, consider the charged particles A and B in FIGURE 26.23. If the particles have been at rest for a long period of time, then we can confidently use Coulomb's law to determine the force that A exerts on B. But suppose that A suddenly starts moving, as shown by the arrow. In response, the force vector on B must pivot to follow A. Does this happen instantly? Or is there some delay between when A moves and when the force FA on B responds? Neither Coulomb's law nor Newton's law of gravity is dependent on time, so the answer from the perspective of Newtonian physics has to be "instantly." Yet most scientists found this troubling. What if A is 100,000 light years from B? Will B respond instantly to an event 100,000 light years away? The idea of instantaneous transmission of forces was becoming unbelievable to most scientists by the beginning of the 19th century. But if there is a delay, how long is it? How does the information to "change force" get sent from A to B? These were the issues when a young Michael Faraday appeared on the scene. Michael Faraday is one of the most interesting figures in the history of science. Born in 1791, the son of a poor blacksmith near London, Faraday was sent to work at an early age with almost no formal education. As a teenager, he found employment with a printer and bookbinder, and he began to read the books that came through the shop. By happenstance, a customer brought in a copy of the Encyclopedia Britannica

FIGURE 26.23 If charge A moves, how long does it take the force vector on B to respond?

Origi~
/ -B

F

AonB after charge A moves

806

CHAPTER

26 . Electric Charges and Forces to be rebound, and there Faraday discovered a lengthy article about electricity. It was all the spark he needed to set him on a course that, by his death in 1867, would make him one of the most esteemed scientists in Europe. You will learn more about Faraday in later chapters. For now, suffice it to say that Faraday was never able to become fluent in mathematics. Apparently the late age at which he started his studies was too much of a detriment for mathematical learning. In place of mathematics, Faraday's brilliant and insightful mind developed many ingenious pictorial methods for thinking about and describing physical phenomena. By far the most important of these was the field.

FIGURE 26.24 Iron filings sprinkled around the ends of a magnet suggest that the influence of the magnet extends into the space around it.

The Concept of a Field
Faraday was particularly impressed with the pattern that iron filings make when sprinkled around a magnet, as seen in FIGURE 26.24. The pattern's regularity and the curved lines suggested to Faraday that the space itself around the magnet is filled with some kind of magnetic influence. Perhaps the magnet in some way alters the space around it. In this view, a piece of iron near the magnet responds not directly to the magnet but, instead, to the alteration of space caused by the magnet. This space alteration, whatever it is, is the mechanism by which the long-range force is exerted. FIGURE 26.25 illustrates Faraday's idea. The Newtonian view was that A and B interact directly. In Faraday's view, A first alters or modifies the space around it, and particle B then comes along and interacts with this altered space. The alteration of space becomes the agent by which A and B interact. Furthermore, this alteration could easily be imagined to take a finite time to propagate outward from A, perhaps in a wave-like fashion. If A changes, B responds only when the new alteration of space reaches it. The interaction between B and this alteration of space is a local interaction, rather like a contact force. Faraday's idea came to be called a field. The term "field," which comes from mathematics, describes a function [(x, y, z) that assigns a value to every point in space. When used in physics, a field conveys the idea that the physical entity exists at every point in space. That is, indeed, what Faraday was suggesting about how long-range forces operate. The charge makes an alteration everywhere in space. Other charges then respond to the alteration at their position. The alteration of the space around a mass is called the gravitational field. Similarly, the space around a charge is altered to create the eledric field.
NOTE ~ The concept of a field is in sharp contrast to the concept of a particle. A particle exists at one point in space. The purpose of Newton's laws of motion is to determine how the particle moves from point to point along a trajectory. A field exists simultaneously at all points in space. A wave is an example of a field, although we didn't use the term during our study of waves. ....

FIGURE 26.25

Newton's and Faraday's ideas about long-range forces.

In the Newtonian view, A exerts a force directly on B.

In Faraday's view, A alters the space around it. (The wavy


FfieidooB

lines are poetic license. We don't know what the alteration
looks like.)

Particle B then responds to the altered space. The altered space is the agent that exerts
the force on B.

I have preferred to seek an explanation [of electric and magnetic phenomenal by supposing them to be produced by actions which go on in the surrounding medium as well as in the excited bodies, and endeavoring to explain the action between distant bodies without assuming the existence of forces capable of acting directly ... The theory I propose may therefore be called a theory of the Electromagnetic Field because it has to do with the space in the neighborhood of the electric and magnetic bodies. James Clerk Maxwell, 1865

Faraday proposed a novel way to think about how one object exerts forces on another. His idea was not taken seriously at first; it seemed too vague and nonmathematical to scientists steeped in the Newtonian tradition of particles and forces. But the significance of the concept of field grew as electromagnetic theory developed during the first half of the 19th century. What seemed at first a pictorial "gimmick" came to be seen as more and more essential for understanding electric and magnetic forces. Faraday's field ideas were finally placed on a mathematical foundation in 1865 by James Clerk Maxwell, a Scottish physicist possessing both great physical insight and mathematical ability. Maxwell was able to describe completely all the known behaviors of electric and magnetic fields in four equations, known today as Maxwell's equations. We will explore aspects of Maxwell's theory as we go along, then look at the full implications of Maxwell's equations in Chapter 35.

26.5 . The Field Model

807

The Electric Field
We begin our investigation of electric fields by postulating describes how charges interact: a field model that

1. Some charges, which we will call the source charges, alter the space around them by creating an electric field E. 2. A separate charge in the electric field experiences a force F exerted by the field. We must accomplish two tasks to make this a useful model of electric interactions. First, we must learn how to calculate the electric field for a configuration of source charges. Second, we must determine the forces on and the motion of a charge in the electric field. Suppose charge q experiences an electric force Fon q due to other charges. The strength and direction of this force vary from point to point in space, so Fon. is a continuous function of the charge's coordinates (x, y, z). This suggests that "something" is present at each point in space to cause the force that charge q experiences. Let us define the electric field E at the point (x, y, z) as

E(x, y, z)

~

== -~---

Fon. at (x, y, z)
q

(26.5)

We're defining the electric field as a force-to-charge ratio; hence the units of the electric field are newtons per coulomb, or N/C. The magnitude E of the electric field is called the eledric field strength. You can think of using charge q as a probe to determine if an electric field is present at a point in space. If charge q experiences an electric force at a point in space, as FIGURE26.26a shows, we say that there is an electric field at that point causing the force. Further, we define the electric field at that point to be the vector given by Equation 26.5. FIGURE 26.26b shows the electric field ouly at two points, but you can imagine "mapping out" the electric field by moving charge q all through space.
NOTE ~ Probe charge q also creates an electric field. But charges don't exert

FIGURE 26.26

Charge q is a probe of the

electric field.
(a)
-->

F on

q

.,-/
Point I

Charge q is being used as a probe charge. The force on q tells us that there's an electric field at point 1.

forces on themselves, so q is measuring ouly the electric field of other charges. ... The basic idea of the field model is that the field is the agent that exerts an electric force on charge q. Notice three important ideas about the field: 1. Equation 26.5 assigns a vector to every point in space. That is, the electric field is a vector field. Electric field diagrams will show a sample of the vectors, but there is an electric field vector at every point whether one is shown or not. 2. If q is positive, the electric field vector points in the same direction as the force on the charge. 3. Because q appears in Equation 26.5, it may seem that the electric field depends on the size of the charge used to probe the field. It doesn't. We know from Coulomb's law that the force F no q is proportional to q. Thus the electric field defined in Equation 26.5 is independent of the charge q that probes the field. The electric field depends only on the source charges that create the field.
In practice we often want to turn Equation 26.5 around and find the force exerted by a known field. That is, a charge q at a point in space where the electric field is E experiences an electric force

EEl
There's

r.;

~oint2 Now charge q is placed at point 2.
also an electric field here

that differs from the field at point 1. (b)() ~ E, This is the electric field vector at point 1.

'~'~2 The dots are the pointsat which
the field is known.

~~2

Thisis the electric fieldvectorat point 2.

(26.6) If q is positive, the force on charge q is in the direction of charge is opposite the direction of E.

E. The force

on a negative

808

CHAPTER

26 . Electric Charges and Forces

STOP TO THINK '6.5 An electron is placed at the position marked by the dot. The force on the electron is

-E E

a. Zero. b. To the right. d. There's not enough information to tell.

c. To the left.

The Electric Field of a Point Charge
Charge q' is used to probe the electric field of point charge q.
FIGURE 26.27

(a)

What is the electric field of q at this point?

\

We will begin to put the definition of the electric field to full use in the next chapter. For now, to develop the ideas, we will determine the electric field of a single point charge q. FIGURE 26.270 shows charge q and a point in space at which we would like to know the electric field. We need a second charge, shown as q' in FIGURE 26.27b, to serve as a probe of the electric field. For the moment, assume both charges are positive. The force on q', which is repulsive and directed straight away from q, is given by Coulomb's law:
Fonq' = -4-~,awayfromq 7TEO r

e---POint

charge

q I. Place q' at the point to probe the field.
.>"

~

(1

qq'

)

(26.7)

(b)

Fooq.
_~

........ "!££r '\\
q' 2. Measure the forceonq'.

It's customary to use 1I47TEO rather than K for field calculations. Equation 26.S defined the electric field in terms of the force on a probe charge, thus the electric field at this point is
E = --

0""
q
(c)

'" .; ...;

~

Fonq'
q'

q = ---,awayfromq

(1

)

47TEO r2

(26.8)

e
q

.»: (
3. The electric field is

The electric field is shown in
NOTE ~

FIGURE26.27C.

The expression for the electric field is similar to Coulomb's law. To distinguish the two, remember that Coulomb's law has a product of two charges in the numerator. It describes the force between two charges. The electric field has a single charge in the numerator. It is the field of a charge. <II The field strength at distance r from a point charge depends inversely on the square of the distance: E = q/47TEor2. In FIGURE 26.280, the field strength E, is larger than the field strength E2 because r, < r2' If we calculate the field at a sufficient number of points, we can draw a field diagram such as the one shown in FIGURE26.28b. Notice that the field vectors all point straight away from charge q. Also notice how quickly the arrows decrease in length due to the inverse-square dependence on r.

E~Fooq./q' It is a vector in the
direction of

F

on q"

FIGURE 26.28 (a)

The electric field of a positive charge.
(b)

r2

IE,

vat
Iq
"

(J/' \

A

,...
...,.

-,
/

The electric field two points

I -, ,I,
\

i

/

~
......

®

26.5 . The Field Model

809

Keep these three important points in mind when using field diagrams: 1. The diagram is just a representative sample of electric field vectors. The field exists at all the other points. A well-drawn diagram can tell you fairly well what the field would be like at a neighboring point. 2. The arrow indicates the direction and the strength of the electric field at the point to which it is attached-that is, at the point where the tail of the vector is placed. In this chapter, we indicate the point at which the electric field is measured with a dot. The length of any vector is significant only relative to the lengths of other vectors. 3. Although we have to draw a vector across the page, from one point to another, an electric field vector is not a spatial quantity. It does not "stretch" from one point to another. Each vector represents the electric field at one point in space.

Physjcs

Activ

11.4

Unit Vedor Notation
Equation 26.8 is precise, but it's not terribly convenient. Furthermore, what happens if the source charge q is negative? We need a more concise notation to write the electric field, a notation that will allow q to be either positive or negative. The basic need is to express "away from q" in mathematical notation. "Away from q" is a direction in space. To guide us, recall that we already have a notation for expressing certain directions-namely, the unit vectors I, j, and k. For example, unit vector I means "in the direction of the positive x-axis." With a minus sign, - I means "in the direction of the negative x-axis." Unit vectors, with a magnitude of I and no units, provide purely directional information. With this in mind, let's define the unit vector to be a vector of length 1 that points from the origin to a point of interest. Unit vector I' provides no information at all about the distance to the point. It merely specifies the direction. FIGURE 26.29a shows unit vectors 1'" 1'2' and 1'3 pointing toward points 1, 2, and 3. Unlike I and j, unit vector I' does not have a fixed direction. Instead, unit vector I' specifies the direction "straight outward from this point." But that's just what we need to describe the electric field vector. FIGURE26.29b shows the electric fields at points 1, 2, and 3 due to a positive charge at the origin. No matter which point you choose, the electric field at that point is "straight outward" from the charge. In other words, the electric field if points in the direction of the unit vector r. With this notation, the electric field at distance r from a point charge q is
FIGURE 26.29 (a)

Using the unit vector ;.

r

The unit vectors specify the directions to the points. (b) Electric field at point 1 is in the direction of

~;

E,
3
FIGURE 26.30

E;,/' ;"7..... 1

(electric field of a point charge)

(26.9)

The electric field of a negative point charge.

where is the unit vector from the charge to the point at which we want to know the field. Equation 26.9 is identical to Equation 26.8, but written in a notation in which the unit vector expresses the idea "away from q." Equation 26.9 works equally well if q is negative. A negative sign in front of a vector simply reverses its direction, so the unit vector - points toward charge q. FIGURE26.30 shows the electric field of a negative point charge. It looks like the electric field of a positive point charge except that the vectors point inward, toward the charge, instead of outward. We'll end this chapter with two examples of the electric field of a point charge. Chapter 27 will expand these ideas to the electric fields of multiple charges and of extended objects.

r

r

r

\ II .__~/~ ~ /I~
-8-

;

..
<,

/

\

t

810

CHAPTER

26 . Electric Charges and Forces

EXAMPLE

26.7

calculating the eledric field

A -1.0 nC charged particle is located at the origin. Points I, 2, and 3 have (x, y) coordinates (I cm, 0 em), (0 cm, I em), and (l em, I em), respectively. Determine the electric field at these points, then show the vectors on an electric field diagram.

E

Because q is negative, the field at each of these positions points directly at charge q. The electric field vectors, in component form, are E1 = -90,000i'N/C E2 = -90,000jN/C E, = -E,cos45°i'
=

MODEL

The electric field is that of a negative point charge.

VISUALIZE

The electric field points straight toward the origin. It will be weaker at (1 em, 1 em), which is farther from the charge. The electric field is These vectors

- E,sin45°j - 31,800j) N/C field diagram of

SOLVE

(-31,800,

E

=

_I_CJ_;
41TEo r2

are shown

on the electric

FIGURE 26.31. FIGURE 26.31 The electric field diagram of a -1.0 nC charged particle.

where q = -1.0 nC = -1.0 X 10-9 C. The distance r is 1.0 cm = 0.010 m for points I and 2 and (Vi. X 1.0 em] = 0.0141 mforpoint 3. The magnitude of E at the three points is

--------.;;~~0
3

(9.0 X 109 Nm2/C2) (1.0 X 10-9 C) (0.010 m)2 = 90,000 N/C I E,=--4'7TEO

C

J

:

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 I,

Iql rl
(0.0141 m)?

=

(9.0 X 109 Nm2/C2) (1.0 X 10-9 C)

=

45000N/C ,

-Lo

11;:_'

/,:'/11

EXAMPLE

26.8

The eledric field of a proton

The electron in a hydrogen atom orbits the proton at a radius of 0.053mn. a. What is the proton's electric field strength at the position of the electron? b. What is the magnitude of the electric force on the electron?
SOLVE

Notice how large this field is in comparison to the field of Example 26.7. b. We could use Coulomb's law to find the force on the electron, but the whole point of knowing the electric field is that we can use it directly to find the force on a charge in the field. The magnitude of the force on the electron is

a. The proton's charge is q = e. Its electric field strength at the distance of the electron is

= =

(1.60 X 10-19 C)(5.1 8.2 X IO-'N

X

loll N/C)

e
E = 4".0?
=

1.6 X 10-19 C

= 4"'0 (5.3 X 10 11 m)2

5.1 X lOll N/C

I

STOP TO THINK

2&.6

I Rank in order, from largest to smallest, the electric field strengths E, to
2r

Ed at points a to d.

o
q

o
q

o
2q

2r

d

.

Summary

811

SUMMARY
The goal of Chapter 26 has been to develop a basic understanding of electric phenomena in terms of charges, forces, and fields.

General Principles
Coulomb's Law
The forces between two charged particles q, and q2 separated by distance rare Klq,llq21 F1on2 = F2on1 = --r-2-These forces are an action/reaction pair directed along the line joining the particles.

• The forces are repulsive for two like charges, attractive for two opposite charges. • The net force on a charge is the sum of the forces from all other charges. • The unit of charge is the coulomb (C). • The electrostatic constant is K = 9.0 X 10' Nm2/C2.

Important

Concepts
The Field Model
Charges interact with each other via the electric field • Charge A alters the space around it by creating an electric field.

The Charge Model
There are two kinds of charge, positive and negative. • Fundamental charges are protons and electrons, with charge :t e where e = 1.60 X 10-19 C. • Objects are charged by adding or removing electrons. • The amount of charge is q = (Np - N,)e. • An object with an equal nmnber of protons and electrons is neutral, meaning no net charge. Charged objects exert electric forces on each other.

E.

• Like charges repel, opposite charges attract. • The force increases as the charge increases. • The force decreases as the distance increases. There are two types ofmateriaI, conductors. insulators and

• The field is the agent that exerts a force. The force on charge qB is F00 B = qBE. An electric field is identified and measured in terms of the force on a probe charge q:

E

=

Fon,lq

• The electric field exists at all points in space. An electric field vector shows the field ouly at one point, the point at the tail of the vector.

• Charge remains fixed in or on an insulator. • Charge moves easily through or along conductors. • Charge is transferred by contact between objects. Charged objects attract neutral objects.

• Charge polarizes metal by shifting the electron sea. • Charge polarizes atoms, creating electric dipoles. • The polarization force is always an attractive force.
...,.._ Net force
Polarized

-®-

The electric field of a point charge is ~ 1 q• E =---r
41TEo r2

E:::::±>~

neutral

~
...,.._

~~objects

Net force

812

CHAPTER

26 . Electric Charges and Forces

Terms and Notation
neutral charging charge model charge, q or Q like charges opposite charges discharging conductor insulator electron cloud fundamental unit of charge, e charge quantization ionization law of conservation of charge sea of electrons ion core current charge carriers electrostatic equilibrium grounded charge polarization polarization force electric dipole charging by induction Coulomb's law electrostatic constant, K point charge coulomb,C permittivity constant, '0 field electric field, field model source charge electric field strength, E field diagram

E

I I For homework assigned on MasteringPhysics, go to W www.masteringphysics.com
MP Problem diffirulty is labeled as I (straightforward) to

Problems labeled chapters.

integrate significant material from earlier

III (challenging).

CONCEPTUAL
1. Can an insulator be charged? If so, how would you charge an insulator? If not, why not? 2. Can a conductor be charged? If so, how would you charge a conductor? If not, why not? 3. Four lightweight balls A, B, C, and D are suspended by threads. Ball A has been touched by a plastic rod that was rubbed with wool. When the balls are brought close together, without touching, the following observations are made: • Balls B, C, and D are attracted to ball A. • Balls B and D have no effect on each other. • Ball B is attracted to ball C. What are the charge states (glass, plastic, or neutral) of balls A, B, C, and D? Explain. 4. Charged plastic and glass rods hang by threads. a. An object repels the plastic rod. Can you predict what it will do to the glass rod? If so, what? If not, why not? b. A different object attracts the plastic rod. Can you predict what it will do to the glass rod? If so, what? If not, why not? 5. When you take clothes out of the drier right after it stops, the clothes often stick to your hands and arms. Is your body charged? If so, how did it acqnire a charge? If not, why does this happen? 6. A lightweight metal ball hangs by a thread. When a charged rod is held near, the ball moves toward the rod, touches the rod, then qnickly "flies away" from the rod. Explain this behavior. 7. You've been given a piece of material. Propose an experiment or a series of experiments to determine if the material is a conductor or an insulator. State clearly what the outcome of each experiment will be if the material is a conductor and if it is an insulator. 8. Suppose there exists a third type of charge in addition to the two types we've called glass and plastic. Call this third type X charge. What experiment or series of experiments would you use to test whether an object has X charge? State clearly how each possible outcome of the experiments is to be interpreted. 9. A negatively charged electroscope has separated leaves. a. Suppose you bring a negatively charged rod close to the top of the electroscope, but not touching. How will the leaves respond? Use both charge diagrams and words to explain.

QUESTIONS
b. How will the leaves respond if you bring a positively charged rod close to the top of the electroscope, but not touching? Use both charge diagrams and words to explain. 10. The two oppositely charged metal spheres in FIGURE Q26.IO have equal quantities of charge. They are brought into contact with a neutral metal rod. What is the final charge state of each sphere and of the rod? Use both charge diagrams and words to explain.
A

G
FIGURE Q26.1 0

Touch

o
B

FIGURE Q26.11

11. Metal sphere A in FIGURE Q26.11 has 4 units of negative charge and metal sphere B has 2 units of positive charge. The two spheres are brought into contact. What is the final charge state of each sphere? Explain. 12. Metal spheres A and B in FIGURE Q26.12 are initially neutral and are touching. A positively charged rod is brought near A, but not touching. Is A now positive, negative, or neutral? Use both charge diagrams and words to explain.

FIGURE Q26.12

I

CO
A B
FIGURE Q26.13

13. If you bring your finger near a lightweight, negatively charged hanging ball, the ball swings over toward your finger as shown in FIGURE Q26.13. Use charge diagrams and words to explain this observation.

Exercises and Problems 14. Reproduce FIGURE Q26.14 on your paper. Then draw a dot (or dots) on the figure to show the position (or positions) where an electron would experience no net force.

813

G
FIGURE Q26.14 _ A

15. Charges

A and B in FIGare equal. Each charge exerts a force on the other of magnitude F. Suppose the charge of B is increased by a factur of 4, but
URE Q26.15

~
A

----

--e---L-+
B

B-

16. The electric field strength at one point near a point charge is 900 N/C. What is the field strength at a point 50% farther from the charge? 17. The electric field strength at one point near a point charge is 1000 N/C. What is the field strength if (a) the distance from the point charge is doubled, and (b) the distance from the point charge is halved? 18. The electric force on a charged particle in an electric field is F. What will be the force if the particle's charge is tripled and the electric field strength is halved?

?@------@?
FIGURE Q26.15

everything else is unchanged. In terms of F, (a) what is the magnitude of the force on A, and (b) what is the magnitude of the forceonB?

EXERCISES
Exercises
Section 26.1 Developing Section 26.2 Charge a Charge Model

AND
9.

PROBLEMS
b. Draw a series of charge diagrams showing how the balloon is held to the wall. I Two neutral metal spheres on wood stands are touching. A negatively charged rod is held directly above the top of the left sphere, not quite touching it. While the rod is there, the right sphere is moved so that the spheres no longer touch. Then the rod is withdrawn. Afterward, what is the charge state of each sphere? Use charge diagrams to explain your answer. II You have two neutral metal spheres on wood stands. Devise a procedure for charging the spheres so that they will have opposite charges of exactly equal magnitude. Use charge diagrams to explain your procedure. II You have two neutral metal spheres on wood stands. Devise a procedure for charging the spheres so that they will have like charges of exactly equal magnitude. Use charge diagrams to explain your procedure. I An object passes the "Is it charged?" test by picking up small pieces of paper. a. Use a series of charge diagrams to explain how a charged object picks up a piece of paper. b. This test works for both positively and negatively charged objects. Explain why. Law

1. I A glass rod is charged to +8.0 nC by rubbing. a. Have electrons been removed from the rod or protons added? Explain. b. How many electrons have been removed or protons added? 2. II A plastic rod is charged to -12 nC by rubbing. a. Have electrons been added to the rod or protons removed? Explain. b. How many electrons have been added or protons removed? 3. I A plastic rod that has been charged to -15 nC touches a metal sphere. Afterward, the rod's charge is -10 nCo a. What kind of charged particle was transferred between the rod and the sphere, and in which direction? That is, did it move from the rod to the sphere or from the sphere to the rod? b. How many charged particles were transferred? 4. I A glass rod that has been charged to + 12 nC touches a metal sphere. Afterward, the rod's charge is + 8.0 nCo a. What kind of charged particle was transferred between the rod and the sphere, and in which direction? That is, did it move from the rod to the sphere or from the sphere to the rod? b. How many charged particles were transferred? 5. II What is the total charge of all the protons in 1.0 mol of O2 gas? 6. II What is the total charge of all the electrons in 1.0 L of liquid water? Section 26.3 Insulators and Conductors

10.

II.

12.

Section 26.4 Coulomb's

7. I Figure 26.9 showed how an electroscope becomes negatively charged. The leaves will also repel each other if you touch the electroscope with a positively charged glass rod. Use a series of charge diagrams to explain what happens and why the leaves repel each other. 8. I A plastic balloon that has been rubbed with wool will stick to a wall. a. Can you conclude that the wall is charged? If not, why not? If so, where does the charge come from?

13. I Two 1.0 kg masses are 1.0 m apart (center to center) on a ftictionless table. Each has + 10 ,...Cof charge. a. What is the magnitude of the electric force on one of the masses? b. What is the initial acceleration of this mass if it is released and allowed to move? 14. II Two small plastic spheres each have a mass of 2.0 g and a charge of -50.0 nCo They are placed 2.0 em apart (center to center). a. What is the magnitude of the electric force on each sphere? b. By what factor is the electric force on a sphere larger than its weight? 15. II A small glass bead has been charged to +20 nCo A metal ball beating 1.0 em above the bead feels a 0.018 N downward electric force. What is the charge on the ball bearing?

814

CHAPTER

26 . Electric Charges and Forces

16. I What is the net electric force on charge A in FICiURE X26.16? E
A

Problems
29. II Two identical metal spheres A and B are connected by a metal rod. Both are initially neutral. 1.0 X 1012 electrons are added to sphere A, then the connecting rod is removed. Afterward, what are the charge of A and the charge of B? 30. II Two identical metal spheres A and B are connected by a plastic rod. Both are initially neutral. 1.0 X 1012 electrons are added to sphere A, then the connecting rod is removed. Afterward, what are the charge of A and the charge ofB? 31. II Pennies today are copper-covered zinc, but older pennies are 3.1 g of solid copper. What are the total positive charge and total negative charge in a solid copper penny that is electrically neutral? 32. II A 2.0 g plastic bead charged to -4.0 nC and a 4.0 g glass bead charged to +8.0 nC are 2.0 em apart (center to center). What are the accelerations of (a) the plastic bead and (b) the glass bead? 33. II Two protons are 2.0 fm apart. a. What is the magnitude of the electric force on one proton due to the other proton? b. What is the magnitude of the gravitational force on one proton due to the other proton? C. What is the ratio of the electric force to the gravitational force? 34. II The nucleus of a 125Xeatom (an isotope of the element xenon with mass 125 u) is 6.0 fm in diameter. It has 54 protons and charge q = + 54 e. a. What is the electric force on a proton 2.0 fm from the surface of the nucleus? b. What is the proton's acceleration? Hint: Treat the spherical nucleus as a point charge. 35. II Two 1.0 g spheres are charged equally and placed 2.0 cm apart. When released, they begin to accelerate at 150 m/s'. What is the magnitnde of the charge on each sphere? 36. I Objects A and B are both positively charged. Both have a mass of 100 g, but A has twice the charge of B. When A and B are placed 10 cm apart, B experiences an electric force of0.45N. a. How large is the force on A? b. What are the charges qA and q.? C. lfthe objects are released, what is the initial acceleration of A? 37. II What is the force F on the 1.0 nC charge in FICiURE P26.37? Give your answer as a magnitnde and a direction.
1.0nC

8-1.0nC

2.0cm i.o ec A(i)

Be ---~--~
c(i) 1.0cm LOcm
B

-LOne

4_OnC

8-2.0nC 1.0cm

FICiURE EX26.16

FICiURE EX26.17

C (i)2.0nC

17. I What is the net electric force on charge A in FICiURE X26.17? E 18. I Object A, which has been charged to + 10.0 nC, is at the origin. Object B, which has been charged to -20.0 nC, is at (x, y) = (0.0 em, 2.0 em), Determine the electric force on each object. Write each force vector in component form. 19. I A small glass bead has been charged to +20 nCo What are the magnitnde and direction of the acceleration of (a) a proton and (b) an electron that is 1.0 em from the center of the bead? Section 26.5 The Field Model 20. I What are the strength and direction of the electric field 1.0 mID from (a) a proton and (b) an electron? 21. I The electric field at a point in space is if = (200, + 4OOj)N/C. a. What is the electric force on a proton at this point? Give your answer in component form. b. What is the electric force on an electron at this point? Give your answer in component form. C. What is the magnitnde of the proton's acceleration? d. What is the magnitnde of the electron's acceleration? 22. II What magnitude charge creates a 1.0 N/C electric field at a point 1.0 m away? 23. II What are the strength and direction of the electric field 2.0 em from a small glass bead that has been charged to +8.0 nC? 24. II The electric field 2.0 cm from a small object points toward the object with a strength of 180,000 N/C. What is the object's charge? 25. II What are the strength and direction of an electric field that will balance the weight of a 1.0 g plastic sphere that has been charged to -3.0 nC? 26. II What are the strength and direction of an electric field that will balance the weight of (a) a proton and (b) an electron? 27. II A + 12 nC charge is located at the origin. a. What are the electric fields at the positions (x, y) = (5.0 em, 0 em), (-5.0 em, 5.0 em), and (-5.0 em, -5.0 cm)? Write each electric field vector in component form. b. Draw a field diagram showing the electric field vectors at these points. 28. II A -12 nC charge is located at the origin. a. What are the electric fields at the positions (x, y) = (0 em, 5.0cm), (-5.0cm,-5.0 em), and (-5.0 em, 5.0 cm)? Write each electric field vector in component form. b. Draw a field diagram showing the electric field vectors at these points.

o
0

1.0cm/

'. l.Qcm

FICiURE P26.37

2.0nC

G)--l----LG) 1.0cm

<; 60

600/\

2.0nC

38. II What is the force F on the 1.0 nC charge in FICiURE P26.38? Give your answer as a magnitnde and a direction.
I.OnC

o

t.n cm .'
,'\60
0

\ 1.0 em 60
0/,

FICiURE P26.38

G)--L---Le
2.0 nC 1.0 em - 2.0 nC

Exercises and Problems 39. II What is the force if on the -10 nC charge in FIGURE P26.39? Give your answer as a magnitude and an angle measured cw or ccw (specify which) from the + x-axis.
lSnC

815

8--

3.0cm

-----8
1.0

-5.0nC

3.0cm

---8

em:

---8
1.0cm:

io ec

-lOne

s.o sc

8------- -------8
P26.40

-lOne

FIGURE

P26.39

FIGURE

46. II What is the force if on the 1.0 nC charge at the bottom in FIGURE P26.46? Give your ans wer in component form. 47. II A +2.0 nC charge is at the origin and a -4.0 nC charge is at x = 1.0 cm. a. At what x-coordinate could you place a proton so that it would experience no net force? b. Would the net force be zero for an electron placed at the same position? Explain. 48. II The net force on the 1.0 nC in FIGURE P26.C8 charge is zero. Whatisq?

40. II What is the force if on the -10 nC Give your answer as a magnitude and ccw (specify which) from the + x-axis. 41. II What is the force if on the 5.0 nC Give your answer as a magnitude and ccw (specify which) from the + x-axis.

charge in FIGURE P26.40? an angle measured cw or charge in FIGURE P26.41? an angle measured cw or

t.OnC

o o
q 3.0

4.0cm

o
FIGURE

q,

-3.0nC

2.0 nC 3.0 ern FIGURE
em

8

lu cm

8

o
IQem

q,

~---~'~~~---e
,

io -c

-rn-c

300ffi 8__ 8
,

io ec

P26.48

P26.C9

,

4.0cm:

4.0cm:

8---------8
5.0nC FIGURE

,

8----------'
5.0nC FIGURE

-S.OnC

P26.41

P26.C2

42. II What is the force if on the 5.0 nC charge in FIGURE P26.42? Give your answer as a magnitude and an angle measured cw or ccw (specify which) from the + x-axis. 43. II What is the force if on the 1.0 nC charge in the middle of FIGURE P26.43 due to the four other charges? Give your answer in component form.
-2.0nC

49. II Charge q2 in FIGURE P26.C9is in static equilibrium. What is ql? 50. II A positive point charge Q is located at x = a and a negative point charge -Q is atx = -a. A positive charge q can be placed anywhere on the y-axis. Find an expression for (Foot)" the xcomponent of the net force on q. 51. II A positive point charge Q is located at x = a and a negative point charge -Q is atx = -a. A positive charge q can be placed anywhere on the x-axis. Find an expression for (Fn,,)x, the x-component of the net force on q, when (a) Ixl < a and (b) Ixl > a. -Q q 52. II FIGURE P26.52 shows four charges at the corners of a square of side L. Assume q and Q are positive. What is the magnitude of the net force on q?

0- --------~

8-- LOcm --8 8 1.0nC

-2.0nC

-2.0nC

0-_~.~:~ .... --8
2.0nC
,

FIGURE

P26.52

0---------8
4Q L

_Q

: l.Qcm

8 1.0nC
P26.44

: l.Qcm

-2.0nC FIGURE

8-P26.43

---8

-2.0nC

-2.0uC FIGURE

8------ ---0

2.0nC

44. II What is the force if URE P26.44 due to the component form. 45. II What is the force if URE P26.45? Give your
-6_OnC 2.0nC

on the 1.0 nC charge in the middle of FIGfour other charges? Give your answer in on the 1.0 nC charge at the bottom in FIGanswer in component form.

8'

.> ··

8

-_ - <:-2.0

nC

8
1.0nC

FIGURE

P26.45

FIGURE

P26.46

53. II Two point charges q and 4q are at x = 0 and x = L, respectively, and free to move. A third charge is placed so that the entire three-charge system is in static equilibrium. What are the magnitude, sign, and x-coordinate of the third charge? 54. II Suppose the magnitude of the proton charge differs from the magnitude of the electron charge by a mere I part in 10'. a. What would be the force between two 2.0-mm-diameter copper spheres 1.0 em apart? Assume that each copper atom has an equal number of electrons and protons. b. Would this amount of force be detectable? What can you conclude from the fact that no such forces are observed? 55. II In a simple model of the hydrogen atom, the electron moves in a circular orbit of radius 0.053 nm around a stationary proton. How many revolutions per second does the electron make? 56. II As a science project, you've invented an "electron pump" that moves electrons from one object to another. To demonstrate your invention, you bolt a small metal plate to the ceiling, connect the pump between the metal plate and yourself, and start pumping electrons from the metal plate to you. How many electrons must be moved from the metal plate to you in order for you to hang suspended in the air 2.0 m below the ceiling? Your mass is 60 kg. Hint: Assume that both you and the plate can be modeled as point charges.

816

CHAPTER

26 . Electric Charges and Forces

57. II You have a lightweight spring whose unstretched length is 4.0 cm. You're curious to see if you can use this spring to measure charge. First, you attach one end of the spring to the ceiling and hang a l.0 g mass from it. This stretches the spring to a length of 5.0 cm. You theu attach two small plastic beads to the opposite ends of the spring, lay the spring on a frictionless table, and give each plastic bead the same charge. This stretches the spring to a length of 4.5 em. What is the magnitude of the charge (in nC) on each bead? 58. II You sometimes create a spark when you touch a doorknob after shuffling your feet on a carpet. Why? The air always has a few free electrons that have been kicked out of atoms by cosmic rays. If an electric field is present, a free electron is accelerated until it collides with an air molecnle. It will transfer its kinetic energy to the molecule, theu accelerate, then collide, then accelerate, collide, and so on. If the electron's kinetic energy just before a collision is 2.0 X 10-18 J or more, it has sufficient energy to kick an electron out of the molecnle it hits. Where there was one free electrou, now there are two! Each of these can then accelerate, hit a molecule, and kick out another electron. Then there will be four free electrons. In other words, as FICiURE P26.58 shows, a sufficiently strong electric field causes a "chain reaction" of electron production. This is called a breakdown of the air. The current of moving electrons is what gives you the shock, and a spark is generated when the electrons recombine with the positive ions and give off excess energy as a burst of light. a. The average distance an electron travels between collisions is 2.0,",m. What acceleration must an electron have to gain 2.0 X 10-18 J of kinetic energy in this distance? b. What force must act on an electron to give it the acceleration found in part a? c. What strength electric field will exert this much force on an electron? This is the breakdown field strength. d. Suppose a free electrou in air is l.0 em away from a point charge. What minimum charge qmin must this point charge have to cause a breakdown of the air and create a spark?

60. II Two 3.0 g point charges on l.O-m-Iong threads repel each other after being equally charged, as shown in FICiURE P26.60. What is the charge q? 6l. II What are the electric fields at points 1, 2, and 3 in FICiURE P26.6!? Give your answer in component form.

1~__
, , ,

3.0cm:

FICiURE

P26.6!

io nc

G-

4.0cm

----·3

62. II What are the electric fields at points 1 and 2 in FICiURE P26.62? Give your answer as a magnitnde and direction.
.1 -2.0nC

~
t.u cm .'
\).Ocm

2.0cm 5.0nC

I

1.0 em

--.

G

.2

1.0 em 2.0cm

2 .3

FICiURE

P26.62

FICiURE

P26.63

Electrons

63. II What are the electric fields at points 1, 2, and 3 in FICiURE P26.63? Give your answer in component form. 64. II A -10.0 nC charge is located at position (x, y) = (2.0 cm, l.0 em). At what (x, y) position(s) is the electric field a. -225,000. N/C? b. (161,000, - 80,500]) N/C? c. (28,800, + 21,600]) N/C? 65. II A 10.0 nC charge is located at position (x, y) = (l.0 cm, 2.0 em). At what (x, y) position(s) is the electric field a. -225,000. N/C? b. (161,000, + 80,500]) N/C? c. (21,600. - 28,800]) N/C? 66. II Three l.0 nC charges are placed as shown in FICiURE P26.66. Each of these ~!~gi a~r:~~:n;~.;l~~tr:~
q, ~ 1.0 nC q, ~

1.0 nC

G G

FICiURE

P26.58

q2

= 1.0 nC

8.Ln

cm

~:_O_c~

59. II Two 5.0 g point charges on l.O-m-long threads repel each other after being charged to + 100 nC, as shown in FICiURE P26.59. What is the angle O? You can assume that 0 is a small angle.

,1.0 em

front of the middle charge.

iooec
FICiURE

iooec

3.0g

3.0g

a. What are the three fields FICiURE P26.66 £" £2' and £3 created by the three charges? Write your answer for each as a vector in component form, b. Do you think that electric fields obey a principle of superposition? That is, is there a "net field" at this point given by £oot = £, + £2 + £3? Use what you learned in this chapter and previously in our stndy of forces to argue why this is or is not true. c. If it is true, what is £oot?

P26.59

FICiURE

P26.60

Exercises and Problems 67. II An electric field if: = I 00,000 i' N/C causes the 5.0 g point charge in FIGURE P26.67 to hang at a 20° angle. What is the charge on the ball?

811

74. Three 3.0 g balls are tied to SO-cm-Iong threads and hung from a single fixed point. Each of the balls is given the same charge q. At equilibrium, the three balls form an equilateral triangle in a horizontal plane with 20 em sides. What is q? 75. The identical small spheres shown in FIGURE CP26.75 are charged to + 100 nC and - 100 nCo They hang as shown in a 100,000 N/C electric field. What is the mass of each sphere? -1.0 nC
FIGURE CP26.75

FIGURE P26.67

FIGURE P26.68

6S. II An electric field if: = 200,000i' N/C causes the point charge in AGURE P26.68 to hang at an angle. What is O? In Problems 69 through 72 you are given the equation(s) used to solve a problem. For each of these, a. Write a realistic problem for which this is the correct equation( s). b. Finish the solution of the problem. (9.0 X 10' Nm2/C2) X N X (1.60 X 10-1• C) 69.
=

76. The force on the charge is as shown in FIGURE CP26.76. What is the magnitude of this force?
-1.0ne

/~ , \;!J
,

(1.0 X 10 6 m)2 1.5 X 10' N/C

c\\60"_~
m-e
5.0cm FIGURE CP26.76

30"[_0
FIGURE CP26.77

(9.0 X 10' Nm2/C2)q2 70. (0.0150 m)?

=

0.020 N

71.

(9.0 X 10' Nm2/C2) (15 X 10-' C)
r2

=

54,000 N/C
X

~ 72. ~Fx

= =

2X

(9.0 X 10' Nm2/C2)(1.0 (0.020

10-' C)q

m)/sin300)2

X

cos 30°

5.0 X 1O-'N ON

~Fy

=

Challenge Problems
73. A 2.0-mm-diameter copper ball is charged to + 50 nCo What fraction of its electrons have been removed?

77. In Section 26.3 we claimed that a charged object exerts a net attractive force on an electric dipole. Let's investigate this. FIGURE CP26.77 shows a permanent electric dipole consisting of charges + q and - q separated by the fixed distance s. Charge + Q is distance r from the center of the dipole. We'll assume, as is usually the case in practice, that s « r. a. Write an expression for the net force exerted on the dipole by charge +Q. b. Is this force toward +Q or away from +Q? Explain. C. Use the binomial approximation (I + x)-" = I - nx if x« I to show that your expression from part a can be written Foot = 2KqQs/r'. d. How can an electric force have an inverse-cube dependence? Doesn't Coulomb's law say that the electric force depends on the inverse square of the distance? Explain.

STOP TO THINK ANSWERS

Stop to Think 26.1: b. Charged objects are attracted to neutral objects, so an attractive force is inconclusive. Repulsion is the ouly sure test. StoptoThink26.2:q,(+3e) qb( -Ie) > q,( -2e). >q.(+1e) >qd(O) >

Stop to Think 26.4: b. The two forces are an action/reaction opposite in direction but equal in magnitude.

pair,

Stop to Think 26.3: a. The negative plastic rod will polarize the electroscope by pushing electrons down toward the leaves. This will partially neutralize the positive charge the leaves had acquired from the glass rod.

Stop to Think 26.5: C. There's an electric field at all points, whether an if: vector is shown or not. The electric field at the dot is to the right. But an electron is a negative charge, so the force of the electric field on the electron is to the left. Stop to Think 26.6: Eb > E. > Ed > E,.

liThe lectric F·
Liquid crystal displays work by using electric fields to align long polymer molecules.

~ Looking Ahead
The goal of Chapter 27 is to learn how to calculate and use the electric field. In this chapter you will learn to: • • Calculate the electric field due to multiple point charges. Calculate the electric field due to a continuous distribution of charge. Use the electric field of dipoles, lines of charge, and planes of charge. Generate a uniform electric field with a parallel-plate capacitor. Calculate the motion of charges and dipoles in an electric field. You can't see them, but they are all around you---electric fields, that is. Electric fields line up polymer molecules to form the images in the liquid crystal display (LCD) of a wristwatch or a flat-panel computer screen. Electric fields are responsible for the electric currents that flow in your computer and your stereo, and they are essential to the functioning of your brain, your heart, and your DNA. We introduced the idea of an electric field, in Chapter 26, in order to understand the long-range electric interaction between charges. The electric field of a point charge is pretty simple, but real-world charged objects have vast numbers of charges arranged in complex patterns. To make practical use of electric fields, we need to know how to calculate the electric field of a complicated distribution of charge. The major goal of this chapter is to develop a procedure for calculating the electric field of a specified configuration or arrangement of charge. Chapter 26 made a distinction between those charged particles that are the sources of an electric field and other charged particles that experience and move in the electric field. This is a very important distinction. Most of this chapter will be concerned with the sources of the electric field. Only at the end, once we know how to calculate the electric field, will we look at what happens to charges that find themselves in an electric field.

• •

<III Looking Back
This chapter builds on the ideas about electric forces and fields that were introduced in Chapter 26. Charged-particle motion in an electric field is similar to projectile motion. Please review: • • • Section 4.3 Projectile motion. Section 26.4 Coulomb's law. Sections 26.5 The electric field of a point charge.

27.1 Eledric Field Models
The electric fields used in science and engineering are often caused by fairly complicated distributions of charge. Sometimes these fields require exact calculations, but much of the time we can understand the essential physics on the basis of simplified models of the electric field.

818

27.1 . Electric Field Models

819

FIGURE 27.1 A point charge

Four basic electric field models.
An infinitely wide charged plane A charged sphere

An infinitely long charged wire

Four widely used electric field models, illustrated in • • • • The The The The electric electric electric electric field field field field of of of of a point charge. an infinitely long charged wire. an infinitely wide charged plane. a charged sphere.

FIGURE27.1,

are:

FIGURE 27.2 The electric field of a positive and a negative point charge.

Small charged objects can often be modeled as point charges or charged spheres. Real wires aren't infinitely long, but in many practical situations this approxin1ation is perfectly reasonable. As we derive and use these electric fields, we'll consider the conditions under which they are appropriate models. Our starting point is the electric field of a point charge q:

....

1 t/.",,-"\
.I'

,

t

E

v"/
~

,
'"

<B

= _I_{]_r
41TEO r2

(electric field of a point charge)

(27.1)

where is a unit vector pointing away from q and EO = 8.85 X 10-12 C2/Nm2 is the permittivity constant. FIGURE 27.2 reminds you of the electric fields of point charges. Although we have to give each vector we draw a length, keep in mind that each arrow represents the electric field at a point. The electric field is not a spatial quantity that "stretches" from one end of the arrow to the other. The electric field was defined as E = Fon/q, where Fonq is the electric force on charge q. Forces add as vectors, so the net force on q due to a group of point charges is the vector sum

r

I

; ;

1

\

",
.......
)/

-- ...

\

I

Fooq
-->

=

F

lonq

+ F200q + ...

"l/v" ... ....... --8-

Consequently, the net electric field due to a group of point charges is
Enet

Fonq =q

= -q- + -q- + ... =

P

Ionq

F

.- /1"t\
t

....
""-

,

20nQ

e, + E2 + ...

-->

-->

= LEi

-->

(27.2)

where Ei is the field from point charge i. Equation 27.2, which is the primary tool for calculating electric fields, tells us that the net electric field is the vector sum of the electric fields due to each charge. In other words, electric fields obey the principle of superposition. FIGURE 27.3 illustrates this important idea. Much of this chapter will focus on the mathematical aspects of performing the sum.

FIGURE 27.3

Electricfields obey the principle of superposition.
Fieldsof sourcec~~es 1 and 2

Limiting Cases and Typical Field Strengths
The electric field near a charged object depends on the object's shape and on how the charge is distributed. But from far away, any finite object appears to be a point charge in fue distance. Thus the object's electric field at large distances should approximate the field of a point charge.

"{"
Enet is
the net electric field at this point.

820
TABLE

CHAPTER

27·

TheElectricField

27.1

Typical electric field strengths Field strength (N/C)

This is an example of a limiting case. We'll have occasion to look at limiting cases both very far from and very close to charged objects. Limiting cases allow us to • Check a solution by seeing if it has the expected behavior as distances become very large or very small. • Use simpler expressions for the electric field at points very close to or very far from a charged object. We'll emphasize limiting cases throughout this chapter as we develop models of the electric field. Knowing typical electric field strengths will also be helpful. The values in Table 27.1 will help you judge the reasonableness of your solutions to problems.

Field location Inside a currentcarrying wire Near the earth's surface Near objects cbarged by rubbing Electric breakdown in air, causing a spark Inside an atom

102-10" 103_10' 3 X 10' 10"

27.2 The Electric Field of Multiple Point Charges
As we noted in Chapter 26, it is important to distinguish between those charges that are the sources of an electric field and those that experience and move in the electric field. Suppose the source of an electric field is a_¥roup of point charges q" q2, .... According to Equation 27.2, the net electric field Enet at each point in space is a superposition of the electric fields due to each individual charge. The vector sum of Equation 27.2 can be written as (Enet)x = (E,)x (Enet)y = (E,)y (Enet),
=

+ + +

(E2)x (E2)y (E2),

+ + + ...

= L(E,)x =
=

(E,),

Sometimes you'll want to write

e;

e; in component
+ (Enet)y} +

L (E,)y L (E
i),

(27.3)

form: (Enet»):

=

At other times you will give

e; as a magnitude

(Enet),!

and a direction.

PROBLEM-SOLVING

STRATECiY 27.1
MODEL
VISUALIZE

The eledric field of multiple point charges

Model charged objects as point charges. For the pictorial representation:

• • • •

Establish a coordinate system and show the locations of the charges. Identify the point P at which you want to calculate the electric field. Draw the electric field of each charge at P. Use symmetry to determine if any components of Enet are zero. The mathematical representation is Enet
=

SOLVE

LEi. Ei from
the

• For each charge, determine its distance from P and the angle of axes. • Calculate the field strength of each charge's electric field. • Write each vector Ei in component form. • Sum the vector components to determine Enet. • If needed, determine the magnitude and direction of

e:

ASSESS

Check that your result has the correct units, is reasonable, and agrees with any known limiting cases.

27.2 . The Electric Field of Multiple Point Charges

821

EXAMPLE 27.1

The electric field of three equal point charges

Three equal point charges q are located on the y-axis at y = 0 and aty = x d. What is the electric field at a point on the z-axis?
MODEL This problem is a step along the way to understanding the electric field of a charged wire. We'll assume that q is positive when drawing pictures, but the solution should allow for the possibility that q is negative. The question does not ask about any specific point, so we will be looking for a symbolic expression in terms of the unspecified position z, VISUALIZE FIGURE 27.4 shows the charges, the coordinate system, and the three electric field vectors B" B2, and B,. Each of these fields points away from its source charge because of the assumption that q is positive. We need to find the vector sum = B, + B2 + B,.

where '2 = x is the distance from q2 to the point at which we are calculating the field. Vector B, is at angle 0 from the z-axis, so its x-component is

where" is the distance from qt. This expression for (E,)x is correct, but it is not yet sufficient. Both the distance r and the angle 0 vary with the position z and need to be expressed as functions of x. From the Pythagorean theorem, r = (x2 + d2)1I2. Then from trigonometry,

x
cosO = ~ = (x2

e:

+ d2)1fl

x

By combining these pieces, we see that (E,)x is 1 q (E,)x = 4"00 x2 + d2 (x2

FIGURE 27.4

Calculating the electric field of three equal point charges.

')

x

~
4"00 (x2

+ d2)1fl

+ d2)'n

This is the point at which we will calculate the electric field. Before rushing into a calculation, we can make our task much easier by first thinking qualitatively about the situation. For example, the fields B" B2, and B, all lie in the xy-plane, hence we can conclude without any calculations that (E",,), = O. Next, look at the y-components of the fields. The fields B, and B, have equal magnitudes and are tilted away from the x-axis by the same angle O. Consequently, the y-components of B, and B, will cancel when added. B2 has no y-component, so we can conclude that (Eoot)y = O. The ouly component we need to calculate is (En,,)x'
SOLVE

,!

¢

EL

This expression is a bit complex, but notice that the dimensions of xl(x2 + d2)3/2 are 11m2, as they must be for the field of a point charge. Checking dimensions is a good way to verify that you haven't made algebra errors. We can now combine (E,)x and (E2)x to write the x-cnmponent of

B""as

(Enot)x = 2(E,)x

+

(E2)x =

-q-[_t, +
4"00
x

(x

2

+

2x 'n]
d)
2

The other two components of Boot are zero, hence the electric field of the three charges at a point on the x-axis is ~ E
net

q =---+ 2 4"00 x

[I

(x2

+ d2)'n

2x].

,

We're ready to calculate. The x-component (En et )x = (E,)x

of the field is

+

(E2)x

+

(E,)x = 2(E,)x

+

(E2)x

where we used the fact that fields B, and B, have equal zcomponents. Vector B2 has only the x-component

ASSESS This is the electric field ouly at points on the x-axis. Furthermore, this expression is valid ouly for x > O. The electric field to the left of the charges points in the opposite direction, but our expression doesn't change sign for negative x, (This is a consequence of how we wrote (E2)x') We would need to modify this expression to use it for negative values of z, The good news, though, is that our expression is valid for both positive and negative q. A negative value of q makes (Eoot)x negative, which would be an electric field pointing to the left, toward the negative charges.

Let's explore this example a bit more. There are two limiting cases for which we know what the result should be. First, let x become really, really small. As the point in FIGURE 27.4 approaches the origin, the fields £1 and £3 become opposite to each other and cancel. Thus as x --+ 0, the field should be that of the single point charge q at the origin, a field we already know. Is it? Notice that
x .... o

lim

(x2

+ d2)3n

2x

=0

(27.4)

Thus Enet --+ q/47TEOX2 as x --+ 0, the expected field of a single point charge. Now consider the opposite situation, where x becomes extremely large. From very far away, the three source charges will seem to merge into a single charge of size 3q, just as three very distant lightbulbs appear to be a single light. Thus the field for x » d should be that of a point charge 3q. Is it?

822

CHAPTER

27· TheElectricField The field is zero in the limit x ~ 00. That doesn't tell us much, so we don't want to go that far away. We simply want x to be very large in comparison to the spacinf,i d between the source charges. If x » d, then the denominator of the second term of Enet is well approximated by (x2 + d2)3n "" (x2)3n = x3. Thus [ !l~~ + 1
(x2

FIGURE 27.5 The electric field strength along a line perpendicular to three equal point charges. E~ ...... The electric

.··t·····

~h:ax~t;

field matches point charge

+ d2)3n

2x]

1
=~

+

x3 = ~

2x
A

3

(27.5)

lectric field of point charge 3q

Consequently, the net electric field far from the source charges is
Enet(x»d)

~

Electric field of point charge q

= -4--2-1
1TEO X

1

(3q)

(27.6)

O+O----~d~~~2d~~~3~d~~/~.4~d x
The electric field matches fhat of point charge 3q

whenx»d.

As expected, this is the field of a point charge 3q. These checks of limiting cases provide confidence in the result of the calculation. FIGURE 27.5 is a graph of the field strength Enet for the three charges of Example 27.1. Although we don't have any numerical values, we can specify x as a multiple of the charge separation d. Notice how the graph matches the field of a single point charge when x « d and matches the field of a point charge 3q when x » d.

The Electric Field of a Dipole
Permanent electric dipoles.
FIGURE 27.6

and induced

A water molecule is a permanent dipole because the negative electrons spend

more time with the oxygen atom.

i[ ~ [i
..... f
This dipole is induced, or stretched, by the electric field acting on the + and charges.

Two equal but opposite charges separated by a small distance form an electric dipole. FIGURE 27.6 shows two examples. In a permanent electric dipole, such as the water molecule, the oppositely charged particles maintain a small permanent separation. We can also create an electric dipole, as you learned in Chapter 26, by polarizing a neutral atom with an external electric field. This is an induced electric dipole. FIGURE 27.7 shows that we can represent an electric dipole, whether permanent or induced, by two opposite charges ± q separated by the small distance s. The dipole has zero net charge, but it does have an electric field. Consider a point on the positive yaxis. This point is slightly closer to +q than to -q, so the fields of the two charges do not cancel. You can see in the figure. that EdiPO," points in the positive y-direction. Similarly, vector addition shows that Edipole points in the negative y-direction at points along the x-axis. Let's calculate the electric field of a dipole at a point on the axis of the dipole. This is the y-axis in Figure 27.7. The point is distance r + = y - sl2 from the positive charge and r_ = y + sl2 from the negative charge. The net electric field at this point has only a y-component, and the sum of the fields of the two point charges gives
(E )
+y

FIGURE

27.7

The dipole electric field at Y
The dipole electric field

+

(E )
y

= __ 1
47TEO

two points.

E

>E

E+
+-;

__
-

q
47TEO

[_1 __ +1 ]
(y - !S)2 (y !S)2

q_ (y - !S)2

+ __ __k_lj)__ 1 __ 47TEO (y + !S)2
(27.7)

~cause-the ,. t"'04 + charge is Edipole
closer. :....-:-E_

positive y-direction.

at this point is in the

Combining the two terms over a common denominator, we find
= 4:EO

(Edipole)y

[(y - !s~:;y

We omitted some of the algebraic steps, but be sure you can do this yourself. Some of the homework problems will require similar algebra. In practice, we almost always observe the electric field of a dipole only for distances ---_ ,t: ------+-+-----------~~~--.xy » s--that is, for distances much larger than the charge separation. In such cases, the denominator can be approximated (y - ! )2(y + ! "" y'. With this approximation, S S)2 Equation 27. 8 becomes
negative Y-dire"t0n. A dipole has no net charge.
(Edipo1e)y ""

The dipole electric field at this point is in the

+ !S)2]

(27.8)

1 2qs -4-~ 7TEO Y

(27.9)

27.2 . The Electric Field of Multiple Point Charges It is useful to define the dipole moment

823

p, shown in

FIGURE

27.8,

as the vector (27.10)

FIGURE

27.8

The dipole moment.

The direction of the dipole, and the dipole-moment magnitude p = qs determines the electric field strength. The SI units of the dipole moment are Cm. We can use the dipole moment to write a succinct expression for the electric field at a point on the axis of a dipole: _ 1 Edipo]e"" 3 -47TEO

p = (qs, from the negative of p identifies the orientation

to the positive charge)

s/8 /A
8
-q
The dipole ~oment

+q

2p
r

vector pointing from the
negative to the positive

p is

a

(on the axis of an electric dipole)

(27.11)

charge with magnitude qs.

where r is the distance measured from the center of the dipole. We've switched from y to r because we've now specified that Equation 27.11 is valid only along the axis of the dipole. Notice that the electric field along the axis points in the direction of the dipole moment p. A homework problem will let you calculate the electric field in the plane that bisects and is perpendicnlar to the dipole. This is the field shown on the x-axis in Figure 27.7, but it could equally well be the field on the z-axis as it comes out of the page. The field, for r » s, is
Edipok""

-

1P --4-3 7TEO r

(perpendicular plane)

(27.12)

This field is opposite to same distance.
NOTE ~

p,

and it is only half the strength of the on-axis field at the

Do these inverse-cube equations violate Coulomb's law? Not at all. Coulomb's law describes the force between two point charges, and from Coulomb's law we found that the electric field of a point charge varies with the inverse square of the distance. But a dipole is not a point charge. The field of a dipole decreases more rapidly than that of a point charge, which is to be expected because the dipole is, after all, electrically neutral. <III

EXAMPLE

27.2

The electric field of a water molecule

The water molecule H20 has a permanent dipole moment of magnitude 6.2 X 10-30 Cm. What is the electric field strength 1.0 mn from a water molecule at a point on the dipole's axis?
MODEL The size ofa molecule is = 0.1 mn. Thus r» s, and we can use Equation 27.11 for the on-axis electric field of the molecule's dipole moment. SOLVE

The on-axis electric field strength at r = 1.0 mn is I E = --2p
r3

47TfO

=

2(6.2 X 10-30 Cm) (9.0 X 109Nm2/C2)---'----~~c(1.0 X 10 9 m)3 1.1 X 10' N/C

=
ASSESS

By referring to Table 27.1 you can see that the field strength is "strong" compared to our everyday experience with charged objects but "weak" compared to the electric field inside the atoms themselves. This seems reasonable.

Picturing the Electric Field
We can't see the electric field. Consequently, we need pictorial tools to help us visualize it in a region of space. One method, introduced in Chapter 26, is to picture the electric field by drawing electric field vectors at various points in space. Another way to picture the field is to draw electric field lines.

824

C HAP T E R

27 . The Electric Field

!~~T~~.~ and using electric field lines Drawing

o Electric

field lines start from positive charges and end on negative charges.
Exercises 2-4,
12, 13

II

11.5,11.6

Activ Physics

Step 3 is required to make sure that if has a unique direction at every point in space. Step 4 follows from the fact that electric fields are created by charges. However, we will have to modify step 4 in Chapter 34 when we find another way to create an electric field. FIGURE 27.9. represents the electric field of a dipole as a field-vector diagram. FIGURE 27.9b shows the same field using electric field lines. Notice how the on-axis field points in the direction of p, both above and below the dipole, while the field in the bisecting plane points opposite to p. At most points, however, if has components both parallel to p and perpendicular to p.
FIGURE 27.9

The electric field of a dipole.
(b)

(a)

f

-/

-,

..._l

.,.,./

I
t
t

I --,
l__.
<,

t

/

<,

"FIGURE27.10 shows the electric field of two same-sign charges. This is an electricfield-line diagram on which we've shown a few field vectors. A careful comparison of Figures 27.9b and 27.10 is worthwhile. Make sure you can explain the similarities and differences. Neither field-vector diagrams nor field-line diagrams are perfect pictorial representations of an electric field. The field vectors are somewhat harder to draw, and they show the field at only afew points, but they do clearly indicate the direction and strength of the electric field at those points. Field-line diagrams perhaps look more elegant, and they're sometimes easier to sketch, but there's no formula for knowing where to draw the lines and it's harder to infer the actual direction and strength of the electric field. There simply is no pictorial way to show exactly what the field is. Ouly the mathematical representation is exact. We'll use both field-vector diagrams and field-line diagrams, depending upon the circumstances, but you'll see that the preference of this text is usually to use a field-vector diagram.

27.10 The electric field of two equal positive charges. FIGURE

27.3 . The Electric Field of a Continuous Charge Distribution

825

STOP TO THINK 27.1

At the dot, the electric field points b. Right. d. Down.

8

a. Left. c. Up. e. The electric field is zero.

27.3 The Electric Field of a Continuous Charge Distribution
Ordinary objects-tables, chairs, beakers of water-seem to our senses to be continuous distributions of matter. There is no obvious evidence for an atomic structure, even though we have good reasons to believe that we would find atoms if we subdivided the matter sufficiently far. Thus it is easier, for many practical purposes, to consider matter to be continuous and to talk about the density of matter. Density-the number of kilograms of matter per cubic meter-allows us to describe the distribution of matter as if the matter were continuous rather than atomic. Much the same situation occurs with charge. If a charged object contains a large number of excess electrons-for example, 1012 extra electrons on a metal rod-it is not practical to track every electron. It makes more sense to consider the charge to be continuous and to describe how it is distributed over the object. FIGURE 27.11 a shows an object of length L, such as a plastic rod or a metal wire, with charge Q spread uniformly along it. (We will use an uppercase Q for the total charge of an object, reserving lowercase q for individual point charges.) The linear charge density A is defined to be (27.13) Linear charge density, which has units of C/m, is the amount of charge per meter of length. The linear charge density of a 20-cm-long wire with 40 nC of charge is 2.0 nC/em or 2.0 X 10-7 C/m. The linear charge density A is analogous to the linear mass density IL that you used in Chapter 20 to find the speed of a wave on a string. ...
NOTE ~

FIGURE

27.11

two-dimensional distributions.
(a) Charge length

One-dimensional and continuous charge

Q on a rod of L. The linear

+ +++ +

A ~ QIL ..

charge density is L

+++

+
(b)

++

++

++ ++

/,;,L
'!"

,

l

The charge in a small length ilL is IlQ ~ AIlL.

We'll also be interested in charged surfaces. FIGURE 27.11b shows a two-dimensional distribution of charge across a surface of area A. We define the surface charge density Tj (lowercase Greek eta) to be n=>: A
Q

Charge Q on a surface of area A. The surface charge density is" ~ QIA.

(27.14)

Surface charge density, with units of C/m2, is the amount of charge per square meter. A 1.0 mm X 1.0 mm square on a surface with Tj = 2.0 X 10-4 C/m2 contains 2.0 X 10-10 C or 0.20 nC of charge. (The volume charge density p = QIV, measured in C/m3, will be used in Chapter 28.) Figure 27.11 and the definitions of Equations 27.13 and 27.14 assume that the object is uniformly charged. meaning that the charges are evenly spread over the object. We will assume objects are uniformly charged unless noted otherwise.
NOTE ~

The charge in a small area IlA is IlQ ~ ,,1lA.

Some textbooks represent the surface charge density with the symbol a. Because a is also used to represent conductivity, an idea we'll introduce in Chapter 31, we've selected a different symbol for surface charge density ....

I

STOP TO THINK 27.2 J A piece of plastic is uniformly charged with surface charge density Tja. The plastic is then broken into a large piece with surface charge density Tjb and a small piece with surface charge density Tj,. Rank in order, from largest to smallest, the surface charge densities Tja to Tj,.

0=80

826

CHAPTER

27· TheElectricField

A Problem-Solving

Strategy

Our goal is to find the electric field of a continuous distribution of charge, such as a charged rod or a charged disk. We have two basic tools to work with: • The electric field of a point charge, and • The principle of superposition. We can apply these tools to a continuous distribution of charge if we follow a threestep strategy: 1. Divide the total charge Q into many small point-like charges LlQ. 2. Use our knowledge of the electric field of a point charge to find the electric field ofeachLlQ. 3. Calculate the net field by summing the fields of all the LlQ.

e;

In practice, as you may have guessed, we'll let the sum become an integral. The difficulty with electric field calculations is not the summation or integration itself, which is the last step, but setting up the calculation and knowing what to integrate. We will go step by step through several examples to illustrate the procedures. However, we first need to flesh out the steps of the problem-solving strategy. The aim of this problem-solving strategy is to break a difficult problem down into small steps that are individually manageable.

PROBLEM-SOLVING

STRATECiY 27_2

The eledric field of a continuous distribution of charge

MODEL Model the distribution as a simple shape, such as a line of charge or a disk of charge. Assume the charge is uniformly distributed. VISUALIZE

For the pictorial representation:

the electric field. 9 Divide the total charge Q into small pieces of charge LlQ, using shapes for which you already know how to determine E. This is often, but not always, a division into point charges. o Draw the electric field vector at P for one or two small pieces of charge. This will help you identify distances and angles that need to be calculated. @ Look for symmetries of the charge distribution that simplify the field. You may conclude that some components of E are zero.
SOLVE

o Draw a picture and establish a coordinate system. a Identify the point P at which you want to calculate

The mathematical representation is

Eno'

=

LEi.

• Use superposition to form an algebraic expression for each of the three components of E (unless you are sure one or more is zero) at pointP. • Let the (x, y, z) coordinates of the point remain variables. • Replace the small charge LlQ with an equivalent expression involving a charge density and a coordinate, such as dx, that describes the shape of charge LlQ. This is the critical step in making the transition from a sum to an integral because you need a coordinate to serve as the integration variable. • Express all angles and distances in terms of the coordinates. • Let the sum become an integral. The integration will be over the one coordinate variable that is related to LlQ. The integration limits for this variable must "cover" the entire charged object.
ASSESS

Check that your result is consistent with any limits for which you know what the field should be.

27.3 . The Electric Field of a Continuous Charge Distribution

821

EXAMPLE 27.3
FIGURE 27.12

The electric field of a line of charge

shows a thin, uniformly charged rod of length L with total charge Q that can be either positive or negative. Find the electric field strength at distance d in the plane that bisects the rod.
FIGURE 27.12

MODEL The rod is thin, so we'll assume the charge lies along a line and forms what we call a line of charge. This is an important charge distribution that models the electric field of a charged rod or a charged metal wire. The rod's linear charge density is A = QIL. VISUALIZE
FIGURE 27.13 illustrates the five steps of the problemsolving strategy. We've chosen a coordinate system in which the rod lies along the y-axis and point P, in the bisecting plane, is on the z-axis. We've then divided the rod into N small segments of charge LlQ, each of which can be modeled as a point charge. For every LlQ in the bottom half of the wire with a field that points to the right and up, there's a matching LlQ in the top half whose field points to the right and down. The y-components of these two fields cancel, hence the net electric field on the x-axis points straight away from the rod. The only component we need to calculate is EX" (This is the same reasoning on the basis of symmetry that we used in Example 27.1.)

A thin, uniformly
Total charge

charged rod.

+ + + + + + +
L

Q

!:<I-__
+ + + +

_..dc_ __

..

What is the electric

!
+
FIGURE 27.13

field at this point? The linear charge density is A ~ QIL.

Calculating the electric field of a line of charge.

o Choose

a coordinate system with the origin at the center of the rod.

. {,',;_".

+ + -::0~nlellf

I

-L/2-

+ _- - - 0 Note that the field from + f..---'"" located charge segment +

a symmetrically will cancel (Ejly.

SOLVE Each of the little segments of charge can be modeled as a point charge. We know the electric field of a point charge, so we can write the x-component of if" the electric field of segment i, as

where r, is the distance from charge i to point P. You can see from thefigurethatr, = (y; + d2)1I2andcosO, = dlr, =dl(y; + d2)1I2. With these, (E')xis 1 LlQ (E,)x = -4---'--d2• 7TEO Yi + 1 d
~ V

This is the same superposition we did for the N = 3 case in Example 27.1. The only difference is that we have now written the result as an explicit summation so that N can have any value. We want to let N ..... 00 and to replace the sum with an integral, but we can't integrate over Q; it's not a geometric quantity. This is where the linear charge density enters. The quantity of charge in each segment is related to its length Lly by LlQ = Ally = (QIL)Lly. In terms of the linear charge density, the electric field is QIL
N

yl

+ d2

dLly (y;

dLlQ 4"00 (y; + d2)3a Compare this result to the very similar calculation we did in Example 27.1. If we now sum this expression over all the charge segments, the net x-component of the electric field is

Ex = 4"00 ~

+ d2)3a

Now we're ready to let the sum become an integral. If we let N 00, then each segment becomes an infinitesimal length Lly dy while the discrete position variable y, becomes the continuous integration variable y. The sum from i = 1 at the bottom
Continued

828

CHAPTER

27·

TheElectricField

end of the line of charge to i = N at the top end will be replaced with an integral from y = - Ll2 to y = +Ll2. Thns in the limit N .....00, QIL Ex = 41T'0

Because Ex is the only component of the field, the electric field strength Emd at distance d from the center of a charged rod is 1 Emd = 41T'0 dV d2

fU2
-Lfl

IQI
+
(Ll2j'

ddy (y2

+ d2)3f1.

This is a standard integral that you have learned to do in calculus and that can be found in Appendix A. Note that d is a constant as far as this integral is concerned. Integrating gives QIL Y Ex = 41T'0 dVy2 QIL [Ll2 41T'0 dV(Ll2j'

The field strength must be positive, so we added absolute value signs to Q to allow for the possibility that the charge could be negative. The only restriction is to remember that this is the electric field at a point in the plane that bisects the rod. Suppose we are at a point very far from the rod. If d » L, the length of the rod is not relevant and the rod appears to be a point charge Q in the distance. Thus in the limiting case d » L, we expect the rod's electric field to be that of a point charge. If d» L, the square root becomes (d2 + (L/2j')'fl. =(d2)'fl. = d and the electric field strength at distance d becomes Emd = QI41T'od2, the field of a point charge. The fact that our expression of Emd has the correct limiting behavior gives us confidence that we haven't made any mistakes in its derivation.
ASSESS

+ d2

1li2
-Lfl. -Ll2 d2 - dV(-Ll2)2

=

+
Q

+ d2

1

EXAMPLE

27.4

The electric field of a charged rod

What is the electric field strength 1.0 cm from the middle of an 8.0-cm-long glass rod that has been charged to 10 nC?
SOLVE Example 27.3 found that the electric field strength in the plane that bisects a charged rod is

Using L = 0.080 m, d = 0.010 m, and Q = 1.0 X 10-8 C, we can calculate Emd = 2.2 X 10' N/C For comparison, the field 1.0 cm from a 10 nC point charge would be a somewhat larger 9.0 X 10'N/C.
ASSESS

e: = -41T-'-0--:d~Vrd=.i2=+==(L=I='2=O;)2
An Infinite

1

IQI

This result is consistent with the values in Table 27.1.

Line of Charge

What happens if the rod or wire becomes very long while the linear charge density A remains constant? That is, more charge is added so that the ratio A = I Q IlL stays conslant as L increases. In the limit that L approaches infinity, the electric field strength becomes . I

Eli The electric field of an infinite line of charge.
FIGURE 27.14

no

= lim -L->oo 41TEO rYr2

-~=;;====='" + (L/2)2

IQI

(27.15)

The field points straight away
from the .line at all points.

+-..,.....__ ~ + ------++ +--..,.....__ .......,.__ ------+-

! -----+ ....... -----++-...,.._ ......,..__ ! -----++-...,.._....__
----to- .......

+ -----+- -----+ ....... + +-...,.._ ......,..__ + -----+- ----to- ....... + +--...,.._ .......,.__ -----+- -----+ ....... +

+-...,.._....__

!

-----+---+-

where we've replaced d with the more usual radial distance r. This is the field strength of an infinitely long line of charge having linear charge density A. The linear charge density measures how close together or far apart the charges are on the rod, and this did not change as the rod's length L was increased.
NOTE ~ Unlike a point charge, for which the field decreases as lIr2, the field of an infinitely long charged wire decreases more slowly-as only lIr ....

-----+ ---+-

+--...,.._ .......,.__ -----++
.. +-- +-\\. Infini te lin eo f

+ + -----+- -----+ .......
charge

-----+ .......

The field strength decreases
with distance.

7

Equation 27.15 is of considerable practical significance. Although no real wire is infinitely long, the fact that the field of a point charge decreases inversely with the square of the distance means that the electric field at a point near the wire is determined primarily by the nearest charges on the wire. Over most of the length of a wire, the ends of the wire are too far away to make any significant contribution. Consequently, the field of a realistic finite-length wire is well approximated by Equation 27.15, the field of an infinitely long line of charge, except at points near the end of wire. FIGURE 27.14 shows the electric field vectors of an infinite line of positive charge. The vectors would point inward for a negative line of charge.

27.4 . The Electric Fields of Rings, Disks, Planes, and Spheres

829

STOP TO THINK 27.3 Which of the following actions will increase the electric field strength at the position of the dot?

a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h.

Make the rod longer without changing the charge. Make the rod shorter without changing the charge. Make the rod wider without changing the charge. Make the rod narrower without changing the charge. Add charge to the rod. Remove charge from the rod. Move the dot farther from the rod. Move the dot closer to the rod.

Charged rod

27.4 The Electric Fields of Rings, Disks, Planes, and Spheres
In this section we'll derive the electric fields for three important and related charge distributions: a ring of charge, a disk of charge, and a plane of charge. The ring of charge is the most fundamental and will be the basis for determining the other two. We'll also look at the electric field of a sphere of charge.

EXAMPLE 27.5

The electric field of a ring of charge

A thin ring of radius R is uniformly charged with total charge Q. Find the electric field at a point on the axis of the ring (perpendicular to the ring).
MODEL

charge LlQ, each of which can be modeled as a point charge. As you can see from the figure, the component of the field perpendicular to the axis cancels for two diametrically opposite segments. Thus we need to calculate only the z-component E,.
SOLVE

Because the ring is thin, we'll assume the charge lies along a circle of radius R. You can think of this as a line of charge of length 2'1TR wrapped into a circle. The linear charge density along the ring is A = Q/2'1TR.

The z-component of the electric field due to segment i is (Ej)z

= Ejcos(Jj =

1
41TEO

LlQ ---;:rcosfJj

VISUALIZE

FIGURE 27.15 shows the ring and illustrates the five steps of the problem-solving strategy. We've chosen a coordinate system in which the ring lies in the xy-plane and point P is on the z-axis. We've then divided the ring into N small segments of FIGURE 27.15

You can see from the figure that every segment of the ring, independent of i, has r, =

y'Z2 + R2
I

Calculating the on-axis electric field of a ring

coss, = ~ = __ r,

VZ2

z__

+ R2

of charge.
.y Segment I .t'with charge""

Consequently, the field of segment i is

0 Choose
••••••.••••••••

a coordinate system.

"€}

Divide the ring into segments.

(E) = _l_~ " 4'1TEO Z2 The net electric Nsegments:

+ R2 y'Z2 + R2

__ z __

=

_l_ 4'1TEO (Z2

z + R2)3fl

LlQ

il.Q

field is found by summing
N

(Ei),
N

due to all

E, = ~(E,), ~Identifythe
point at which to

=

1 4'1TEO (Z2

+ R2)3n

z

~LlQ

ca!crute the field.

... , ,.:

..

We were able to bring all terms involving z to the front because z is a constant as far as the summation is concerned. Surprisingly, we don't need to convert the sum to an integral to complete this calculation. The sum of all the LlQ around the ring is simply the ring's total charge, ~LlQ = Q, hence the field on the axis is 1 zQ (Erin.), = 4'1TEO (Z2 + R2)3n

'" \
@Note

that the field from a symmetrically located charge segment will
cancel (E,),.

o Draw the field vector
of charge segment i.

This expression is valid for both positive and negative z (i.e., on either side of the ring) and for both positive and negative charge.
ASSESS It will be left as a homework problem to show that this result gives the expected lintit when z » R.

830

CHAPTER

27·

TheElectricField
FIGURE 27.16 shows two representations of the on-axis electric field of a positively charged ring. FIGURE 27.160 shows that the electric field vectors point away from the ring, increasing in length until reaching a maximum when I z I "" R, then decreasing. The graph of (Ering), in FIGURE 27.16b confirms that the field strength has a maximum on either side of the ring. Notice that the electric field at the center of the ring is zero, even though this point is surrounded by charge. You might want to spend a minute thinking about why this has to be the case.

FIGURE 27.16 The on-axis electric field of a ring of charge. (a)

A Disk of Charge
Our goal is to find the electric field of an infinitely wide charged plane because it is one of our basic electric field models. Most of the work is now done. We'll first use the result for a ring of charge to find the on-axis electric field of a disk of charge. Then we'll let the disk expand until it becomes a plane of charge. FIGURE 27.17 shows a disk of radius R that is uniformly charged with charge Q. This is a mathematical disk, with no thickness, and its surface charge density is
'TI =

A

Q

= TrR2

Q

(27.16)

FIGURE 27.17 Calculating the on-axis field of a cha rged disk.

We would like to calculate the on-axis electric field of this disk. Our problem-solving strategy tells us to divide a continuous charge into segments for which we already know how to find E. Because we now know the on-axis electric field of a ring of charge, let's divide the disk into N very narrow rings of radius r and width !1r. One such ring, with radius ri and charge !1Qi' is shown. We need to be careful with notation. The R in Example 27.5 was the radius of the ring. Now we have many rings, and the radius of ring i is rio Similarly, Q was the charge on the ring. Now the charge on ring i is !1Qi' a small fraction of the total charge on the disk. With these changes, the electric field of ring i, with radius r.; is
(Ei), = -4- ( 2
1TEO Z

1

Z!1Qi + 2)312

r;

(27.17)

The on-axis electric field of the charged disk is the sum of the electric fields of all of the rings: (27.18) The critical step, as always, is to relate !1Q to a coordinate. Because we now have a surface, rather than a line, the charge in ring i is !1Q = 'TI !1Ai, where !1Ai is the area of ring i. We can find !1Ai, as you've learned to do in calculus, by "unrolling" the ring to form a narrow rectangle of length Zstr, and height !1r. Thus the area of ring i is !1Ai = 2Trri!1r and the charge is !1Qi = 2Tr'T/Ti!1r. With this substitution, Equation 27.18 becomes (27.19) As N --+ 00, !1r --+ dr and the sum becomes an integral. Adding all the rings means integrating from r = 0 to r = R; thus 'TIZ fR rdr (Edl,k), = 2eo 0 (Z2 + r2)312 (27.20)

All that remains is to carry out the integration. This is straightforward if we make the variable change u = Z2 + r2. Then du = 2rdr or, equivalently, rdr =tdu. At the lower integration limit r = 0, our new variable is u = Z2. At the upper limit r = R, the new variable is u = Z2 + R2.

27.4 . The Electric Fields of Rings, Disks, Planes, and Spheres NOTE ~ When changing variables in a definite integral, you must also change the

831

limits of integration. ... With this variable change the integral becomes

(Edi,,,,J,

= 2Eo 2.

TlZ 1 I"+R' i!

du
U312

TlZ -2

= 4Eo

I ,'+R'

TlZ

UI12"

= 2Eo

[1

Z-

VZ2

1]

+ R2

(27.21)

If we multiply through by z, the on-axis electric field of a charged disk with surface charge density TI =Qhr R 2 is (27.22)
NOTE ~ This expression is valid only for z > O. The field for z magnitude but points in the opposite direction. ...

< 0 has

the same

It's a bit difficult see what Equation 27.22 is telling us, so let's compare it to what we already know. First, you can see that the quantity in square brackets is dimensionless. The surface charge density TI = Q/A has the same units as qlr", so TI/2Eo has the same units as q/47rEor2. This tells us that TI/2Eo really is an electric field. Next, let's move very far away from the disk. At distance z » R, the disk appears to be a point charge Q in the distance and the field of the disk should approach that of a pnint charge. If we let z --+ 00 in Equation 27.22, so that Z2 + R2 = Z2, we find (Edi",,), --+ O. This is true, but not qnite what we wanted. We need to let z be very large in comparison to R, but not so large as to make Edi,k vanish. That requires a little more care in taking the limit. We can cast Equation 27.22 into a somewhat more useful form by factoring the Z2 out of the square root to give (Edi,k), = 2T1 [1 EO

V

1 1 + R Iz

2 2]

(27.23)

Now
(1

+ X)-112
(1

R2/Z2

«

1 if z» R, so the second term in the square brackets is of the form where x « 1. We can then use the binomial approximation

+ z)"

= 1 + nx

if

1

(binomial approximation)

to simplify the expression in square brackets: 1-

VI

+ R2/Z2

1

= 1 - (1 + R2/Z2)-112

=

1-

(1

+

(_l)R2) = If'_ (27.24) 2 Z2 2z2 into

This is a good approximation when z »R. Substituting this approximation Equation 27.23, we find that the electric field of the disk for z » R is
(E""",)

,

TI R2 = -2Eo 2z2

= ---

Q/7rR2 R2 4Eo Z2

= ---

1

Q

47rEo Z2

. If

R

(27.25)

This is, indeed, the field of a point charge Q, giving us confidence in Equation 27.22 for the on-axis electric field of a disk of charge.
NOTE ~ The binomial approximation is an important tool for looking at the limiting cases of electric fields. ...

EXAMPLE 27.6

The electric field of a charged disk

A 10-cm-diameter plastic disk is charged uniformly with an extra 10" electrons. What is the electric field 1.0 mm above the surface at a point near the center?

Model the plastic disk as a uniformly charged disk. We are seeking the on-axis electric field. Because the charge is negative, the field will point toward the disk.
MODEL

Continued

832

CHAPTER

27·

TheElectricField

SOLVE

The total charge on the plastic sqnare is Q = N( -e) = -1.60 X 10-8 C. The surface charge density is Q Q -1.60 X 10-8 C 11 = - = = = -2.04 X 1O-6C/m2 A 'lrR2 'lr(0.050 m)?

The minus sign indicates that the field points toward, rather than away from, the disk. As a vector,

E
ASSESS

=

(1.1 X 10' N/C, toward the disk)

The electric field at z = 0.0010 m, given by Equation 27.22, is E, =

_1I_[1 2'0

~l
I

+ R2/z2

=

-1.1

X

10'N/C

The total charge, -16 nC, is typical of the amount of charge produced on a small plastic object by rubbing or friction. Thus 10' N/C is a typical electric field strength near an object that has been charged by rubbing.

A Plane of Charge
Many electronic on-to steer devices use charged, along flat surfaces-disks, paths. These squares, charged rectangles, surfaces and so electrons the proper are called

eledrodes. Although any real electrode is finite in extent, we can often model an elecplane of charge. As long as the distance z to the electrode is small in comparison to the distance to the edges, we can reasonably treat the edges as if they
trode as an infinite are infinitely far away. field of a plane of charge is found from the on-axis field of a charged the radius R ~ 00. That is, a disk with infinite radius is an infinite 27.22, 11is: Ephm, = Electrodes a few millimeters in size guided electrons through old-fashioned vacuum tubes. Modern field-effect transistors use an electrode, called a gate, that is only about I/LID wide. This is a simple proportional interesting, result, 11
=

The electric disk by letting plane.

From Equation

we see that the electric

field of a plane

of charge

with

surface charge density

2Eo

constant

(27.26) is directly and more of the disI mm

but what does it tell us? First, the field strength density 11: More charge, bigger field. Second, is the same at all points in space, independent

to the charge the field strength

tance z. The field strength from the plane.

1000 m from the plane is the same as the field strength

How can this be? It seems that the field should get weaker as you move away from the plane of charge. But remember that we are dealing with an infinite plane of charge. What does it mean to be "close to" or "far from" an infinite radius R, whether son of z to R. If z disk. But as R ~ No real plane object? For a disk of finite a point at distance
00,

«

R, the point is close to the disk. If z » R, the point is far from the we have no scale for distinguishing near and far. In essence,
in extent, of charge, but we can interpret regardless is much smaller surface as lIz2• leading to Equation E, 27.26 considered field points only Equation 27.26 as saying

z is "close to" or "far from" the disk is a compari-

every point in space is "close to" a disk of infinite radius.
is infinite distance when z that the field of a surface those points whose edge. charge z Eventually, of its shape, is a constant

",/2Eo for
to the

»

z to the surface

than their distance

R, the charged

will begin

to look like a point

Q and the field will have to decrease a positively charged

> O. For

We do need to note that the derivation

plane, with 11 > 0, the electric This requires a complete

the plane on both sides of the plane. z-direction) on the side with z

< O. Thus

< 0 (E pointing

away from
field,

in the negative

description

of the electric

valid for both sides of the plane and for either sign of 11,is

z>O
(27.27)

z<O

27.5 . The Parallel-Plate Capacitor
FIGURE 27.18 shows two views of the electric field of a positively charged plane. All the arrows would be reversed for a negatively charged plane. It would have been very difficult to anticipate this result from Coulomb's law or from the electric field of a single point charge, but step by step we have been able to use the concept of the electric field to look at increasingly complex distributions of charge.

833

FIGURE 27.18 Two views of the electric field of a plane of charge.

A Sphere of Charge
The one last charge distribution for which we need to know the electric field is a sphere of charge. This problem is analogous to wanting to know the gravitational field of a spherical planet or star. The procedure for calculating the field of a sphere of charge is the same as we used for lines and planes, but the integrations are significantly more difficult. We will skip the details of the calculations and, for now, simply assert the result without proof. In Chapter 28 we'll use an alternative procedure to find the field of a sphere of charge. A sphere of charge Q and radius R, be it a uniformly charged sphere or just a spherical shell, has an electric field outside the sphere (r ;;;: that is exactly the same as R) that of a point charge Q located at the center of the sphere:
Esphere=

Edge view

E

ttttttttttttttttttttt ttttttttttttttttttttt ttttttttttttttttttttt +++++++++++++++++++++
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FIGURE 27 .19 The electric field of a sphere of positive charge. The electric field outside a sphere or spherical shell is the same as the field of a point charge Q at the center. .••••

~

Q
---2

r

A

for

r>

R

(27.28)

47TEOr

This assertion is analogous to our earlier assertion that the gravitational force between stars and planets can be computed as if all the mass is at the center. FIGURE 27.19 shows the electric field of a sphere of positive charge. The field of a negative sphere would point inward. Note that the field inside the sphere (r < R) is not given by Equation 27.28.

STOP TO THINK 27.' Rank in order, from largest to smallest, the electric field strengths E. to E; at these five points near a plane of charge.

r·········· /'

+++++++++++

! ! ! !e ! !!!!!

t af t t t t t fc t t

-8/

1

27.5 The Parallel-Plate Capacitor
FIGURE27.20 shows two electrodes, one with charge + Q and the other with - Q, placed face-to-face a distance d apart. This arrangement of two electrodes, charged equally but oppositely, is called a parallel-plate capacitor. Capacitors play important roles in many electric circuits. Our goal is to find the electric field both inside the capacitor (i.e., between the plates) and outside the capacitor. FIGURE 27.20 A

parallel-plate

capacitor.

NOTE ~ The net charge of a capacitor is zero. Capacitors are charged by transferring electrons from one plate to the other. The plate that gains N electrons has charge -Q = N( -e). The plate that loses electrons has charge +Q. <III

+Q

/

(0

Area

A

Q

Let's begin with a qualitative investigation. FIGURE 27.21 on the next page is an eularged view of the capacitor plates, seen from the side. Because opposite charges attract, all of the charge is on the inner surfaces of the two plates. Thus the inner surfaces can be modeled as charged planes with equal but opposite surface charge

834

CHAPTER

27·

TheElectricField

FIGURE 27.21 The electric fields inside and outside a parallel-plate capacitor.

Inside the capacitor, 11+ and Side view of
electrodes "

B_

densities. The electric field E+ of the positive plate points away from the charged surface. The field E_ of the negative plate points toward the surface. The figure shows the fields both between the plates and to the left and right of the capacitor. You might think the right capacitor plate would somehow "block" the electric field created by the positive plate and prevent the presence of an E+ field to the right of the capacitor. To see that it doesn't have this effect, consider an analogous situation with gravity. The strength of gravity above a table is the same as its strength below it. Just as the table doesn't block the earth's gravitational field, intervening matter or charges do not alter or block an object's electric field. <II
NOTE ~

are parallel, so the net field is large.

!:.....!..:...
Enc:=O

!
+ +

"\

.. _

)~
if

..

\ Outside the capacitor, if+ aod iff are opposite, so the net field is zero.

FIGURE 27.22

capacitor.

The electric field of a

Inside the capacitor, E+ and E_ are parallel and of equal strength. Their superposition creates a net electric field inside the capacitor that points from the positive plate to the negative plate. Outside the capacitor, E+ and E_ point in opposite directions and, because the field of a plane of charge is independent of the distance from the plane, have equal magnitudes. Consequently, the fields E+ and E_ add to zero outside the capacitor plates. We can calculate the fields between the capacitor plates from the field of an infinite charged plane. Between the electrodes, E+ is of magnitude ",12Eo and points from the positive toward the negative side. The field E_ is also of magnitude ",12Eo and also points from positive to negative. Thus the electric field inside the capacitor is

(8) Ideal capacitor

+7----+(b) Real capacitor

+ ----+- ----++ ----+- ----++ ----+- ----++ ----+- ----++ ----+- ----++ ----+- ----++ ----+- ----++ ----+- ----+-

-

This is an edge view of the electrodes.

E"p"it'"

~

= E+

~ + E_ ~

= ~' from positive to negative

('"

)
(27.29)

=

Qf .. .) ( EoA' rom positive to negative

The field is constant, pointing from the positive to the negative electrode.

.. .. ..

'"

-+ __

...... II'

+ ----+ + ----++ ----+ + ----++ ----+ + ----++ ----+ + ----++ ----+

11' ...... -----"

A weak fringe field extends outside the electrodes.

r

----+----+ ----+ ----+ ----+ ----+ ----+ ----+ ----+

-

.. .. ..

where A is the surface area of each electrode. Outside the capacitor plates, where E+ and E_ have equal magnitudes but opposite directions, E = O. FIGURE 27.220 shows the electric field of an ideal parallel-plate capacitor constructed from two infinite charged planes. Now, it's true that no real capacitor is infinite in extent, but the ideal parallel-plate capacitor is a very good approximation for all but the most precise calculations as long as the electrode separation d is much smaller than the electrodes' size-that is, their edge length or radius. FIGURE 27.22b shows that the interior field of a real capacitor is virtually identical to that of an ideal capacitor but that the exterior field isn't quite zero. This weak field outside the capacitor is called the fringe field. We will keep things simple by always assuming the plates are very close together and using Equation 27.29 for the field inside a parallel-plate capacitor.
NOTE ~ The shape of the electrodes-circular or square or any other shape-is not relevant as long as the electrodes are very close together. <II

,

Uniform Electric Fields
FIGURE 27.23 shows an electric field that is the same-in strength and direction-at every point in a region of space. This is called a uniform electric field. A uniform electric field is analogous to the uniform gravitational field near the surface of the earth. Uniform fields are of great practical significance because, as you will see in the next section, computing the trajectory of a charged particle moving in a uniform electric field is a straightforward process. The easiest way to produce a uniform electric field is with a parallel-plate capacitor, as you can see in Figure 27.22a. Indeed, our interest in capacitors is due in large measure to the fact that the electric field is uniform. Many electric field problems refer to a uniform electric field. Such problems carry an implicit assumption that the action is taking place inside a parallel-plate capacitor.

FIGURE 27.23

A uniform electric field.

27.6 . Motion of a Charged Particle in an Electric Field

835

EXAMPLE

27.7

The electric field inside a capacitor

Two 1.0 em X 2.0 cm rectangular electrodes are 1.0 mm apart. What charge must be placed on each electrode to create a uniform electric field of strength 2.0 X 106 N/C? How many electrons must be moved from one electrode to the other to accomplish this? The electrodes can be modeled as a parallel-plate capacitor because the spacing between them is much smaller than their lateral dimensions.
MODEL SOLVE The electric field strength inside the capacitor is E = QI"oA. Thus the charge to produce a field of strength E is

The positive plate must be charged to + 3.5 nC and the negative plate to - 3.5 nCo In practice, the plates are charged by using a battery to move electrons from one plate to the other. The number of electrons in 3.5 nC is Q 3.5 X 10-9 C N =- = e 1.60 X 10 19 C/electron
=

2.2 X

1010

electrons

Thus 2.2 X 1010 electrons are moved from one electrode to the other. Note that the capacitor as a whole has no net charge.
ASSESS

Q = (8.85 X 10-12 C2/Nm2)(2.0 X 10-4 m2)(2.0 X 106 N/C)
=

The plate spacing does not enter the result. As long as the spacing is much smaller than the plate dimensions, as is true in this example, the field is independent of the spacing.

3.5 X 10-9 C = 3.5 nC

Inop TO THINK 17.5 I Rank in order, from largest to smallest,

the forces Fa to Fe a proton would experience if placed at points a to e in this parallel-plate capacitor.

+ + a. + --... • ----+- + b C .d-

+-+ +

+--

---e

27.6 Motion of a Charged Particle in an Eledric Field
Our motivation for introducing the concept of the electric field was to understand the

long-range electric interaction of charges. We said that some charges, the source charges, create an electric field. Other charges then respond to that electric field. The first five sections of this chapter have focused on the electric field of the source charges. Now we turn our attention to the second half of the interaction. FIGURE 27.24 shows a particle of charge q and mass m at a point where an electric field E has been produced by other charges, the source charges. The electric field exerts a force
Fonq

PhYSICS

Activ

11.9,11.10

=

qE

on the charged particle. This relationship between field and force was the definition of the electric field. Notice that the force on a negatively charged particle is opposite in direction to the electric field vector. Signs are important!
FIGURE 27.24

The vector is the electric field at this point.

-: \
E

The electric field exerts a force on a charged particle.

F",/
~

E

The force on a positive charge is in the direction of E.

The force on

opposite the direction of

/

E

i negative

charge is

E.

836

CHAPTER

27· TheElectricField If Ponq is the only force acting on q, it causes the charged particle to accelerate with a =--=-E

~P

onq

q~

m

m

(27.30)

This acceleration is the response of the charged particle to the source charges that created the electric field. The ratio qlm is especially important for the dynamics of charged-particle motion. It is called the charge-to-maS5 ratio. Two equal charges, say a proton and a Na + ion, will experience equal forces P = qE if placed at the same point in an electric field, but their accelerations will be different because they have different masses and thus different charge-to-mass ratios. Two particles with different charges and masses but with the same charge-to-mass ratio will undergo the same acceleration and follow the same trajectory.

Motion in a Uniform Field
The motion of a charged particle in a uniform electric field is especially important for its basic simplicity and because of its many valuable applications. A uniform field is constant at all points-constant in both magnitude and direction-within the region of space where the charged particle is moving. It follows, from Equation 27.30, that a charged particle in a uniform electric field will move with constant acceleration. The magnitude of the acceleration is a
=-

"DNAfingerprints" are measured with the technique of gel electrophoresis. A solution of DNAfragments is placed in a well at one end of a plate covered with gel. The fragments are negatively charged when in solution, and they begin to migrate through the gel when a uniform electric field is established parallel to the surface of the plate. Because the gel exerts a drag force, the fragments move at a terminal speed inversely proportional to their size. Thus gel electrophoresis sorts the DNA fragments by size, and fluorescent markers allow the results to be seen.

qE
m

=

constant

(27.31)

where E is the electric field strength, and the direction of is parallel or antiparallel to E, depending on the sign of q. Identifying the motion of a charged particle in a uniform field as being one of constant acceleration brings into play all the kinematic machinery that we developed in Chapters 2 and 4 for constant-acceleration motion. The basic trajectory of a charged particle in a uniform field is a parabola, analogous to the projectile motion of a mass in the near-earth uniform gravitational field. In the special case of a charged particle moving parallel to the electric field vectors, the motion is one-dimensional, analogous to the one-dimensional vertical motion of a mass tossed straight up or falling straight down.
NOTE ~ The gravitational acceleration ag"v always points straight down. The electric field acceleration a,lec can point in any direction. You must determine the electric field E in order to learn the direction of a. <II

a

EXAMPLE 27.8 An electron moving across a capacitor Two 6.0-cm-diameter electrodes are spaced 5.0 mm apart. They are charged by transferring 1.0 X 10" electrons from one electrode to the other. An electron is released from rest at the snrface of the negative electrode. How long does it take the electron to cross to the positive electrode?What is its speed as it collides with the positive electrode?Assnme the spacebetween the electrodes is

An electron accelerates across a capacitor (plate separation exaggerated).
FIGURE 27.25

The capacitor was charged by transferring lOll electrons from the right electrode to the left electrode.

a vacuum.
MODEL The electrodes form a parallel-plate capacitor. The electric field inside a parallel-plate capacitor is a nniform field, so the electron will have constant acceleration. VISUALIZE FIGURE 27.25

Electron

-Q

+Q

2R ~ 6.0cm

shows an edge view of the capacitor and the electron. The force on the negative electron is opposite the electric field, so the electron is repelled by the negative electrode as it accelerates across the gap of width d.

27.6 . Motion of a Charged Particle in an Electric Field

831

The electrodes are not point charges, so we cannot use Coulomb's law to find the force on the electron. Instead, we must analyze the electron's motion in terms of the electric field inside the capacitor. The field is the agent that exerts the force on the electron, causing it to accelerate. The electric field strength inside a parallel-plate capacitor with charge Q = Ne is
SOLVE

with for macroscopic objects. We can use one-dimensional kinematics, with Xi = 0 and Vi = 0, to find the time required for the electron to cross the capacitor:
Xf

=

d = !a(M)2 2

E=~ =
eo

_g_
eoA

=

__l!!_

=

e07l'R2

639000 N/C
'

M = \/--;; = 3.0 X 10-lOS = 0.30ns The electron's speed as it reaches the positive electrode is
V=

(2d

The electron's acceleration in this field is a = eE = 1.1 X 1017m/s2 m where we used the electron mass m = 9.11 X 10-31 kg. This is an enormous acceleration compared to accelerations we're familiar

aM = 3.3 X 107m/s.

We used e rather than -e to find the acceleration because we already knew the direction; we needed only the magnitude. The electron's speed, after traveling a mere 5 mm, is approximately 10% the speed of light.
ASSESS

Parallel electrodes such as those in Example 27.8 are often used to accelerate charged particles. If the positive plate has a small hole in the center, a beam of electrons will pass through the hole, after accelerating across the capacitor gap, and emerge with a speed of 3.3 X 107 m/s. This is the basic idea of the electron gun used in televisions, oscilloscopes, computer display terminals, and other cathode-ray tube (CRT) devices. (A negatively charged electrode is called a cathode, so the physicists who first learned to produce electron beams in the late 19th century called them cathode rays.) The following example shows that parallel electrodes can also be used to deflect charged particles sideways.

EXAMPLE 27.9

Defleding an eledron beam

An electron gun creates a beam of electrons moving horizontally with a speed of 3.3 X 107 m/s. The electrons enter a 2.0-cm-long gap between two parallel electrodes where the electric field is ff = (5.0 X Hr N/C, down). In which direction, and by what angle, is the electron beam deflected by these electrodes? The electric field between the electrodes is uniform. Assume that the electric field outside the electrodes is zero.
MODEL VISUALIZE

SOLVE This is a two-dimensional motion problem. The electron enters the capacitor with velocity vector V. = VOx' = 3.3 X 107, m/s and leaves with velocity ii, = v'x' + V,y]' The electron's angle of travel upon leaving the electric field is

e = tan-'(::)
This is the deflection angle. To find 0 we must compute the final velocity vector ii,. There is no horizontal force on the electron, so Vlx = VOx = 3.3 X 107 mls. The electron's upward acceleration has magnitude

shows an electron moving through the electric field. The electric field points down, so the force on the (negative) electrons is upward. The electrons will follow a parabolic trajectory, analogous to that of a ball thrown horizontally, except that the electrons "fall up" rather than down.
FIGURE 27.26 FIGURE 27.26 The deflection a uniform electric field. L
=

a of an electron beam in

=---;;;
=

eE
=

(1.60 X 10-'9 C)(5.0 9.11XI031kg

X

104 N/C)

8.78 X 1015 mls2 to

2.0cm

We can use the fact that the horizontal velocity is constant determine the time interval M needed to travel length 2.0 cm:

t.t E
=

=

!-_ = 0.020 m vox 3.3 X 107 mls

=

606 X 10-10 s

.

(5.0

x 10" N/C,

down)

Vertical acceleration will occur during this time interval, resulting in a fmal vertical velocity
V'y

=

Vo,

+

aM = 5.3 X 1000mls
Continued

838

CHAPTER

27· TheElectricField

The electron's velocity as it leaves the capacitor is thus
V, = (3.3 X 10',

+

5.3 X 10"}) mls

and the deflection angle 0 is

e=

tan-'(::)

=

9.10

The accelerationsof chargedparticles in electric fields are enormous in comparison to the free-fall acceleration g. Thus it is rarely necessary to include the gravitational force when calculating the trajectories of charged particles. The only exception might be for a macroscopic charged object, such as a charged plastic bead, in a weak electric field.
ASSESS

Example 27.9 demonstrates how an electron beam is steered to a point on the screen of a cathode-ray tube. First, a high-speed electron beam is created by an electron gun like that of Example 27.8. The beam then passes first through a set of vertical deflection plates, as in Example 27.9, then through a second set of horizontal deflection plates. After leaving the deflection plates, it travels in a straight line (through vacuum, to eliminate collisions with air molecules) to the screen of the CRT, where it strikes a phosphor coating on the inside surface and makes a dot of light. Properly choosing the electric fields within the deflection plates steers the electron beam to any point on the screen.

Motion in a Nonuniform Field
The circular motion of a charged particle around a charged sphere.
FIGURE 27.27

The motion of a charged particle in a nonuniform electric field can be quite complicated. Sophisticated mathematical techniques and computers are used to determine the trajectories. However, one type of motion in a nonuniform field is easy to analyze: the circular orbit of a charged particle around a charged sphere or wire. FIGURE 27.27 shows a negatively charged particle orbiting a positively charged sphere, much as the moon orbits the earth. You will recall from Chapter 8 that Newton's second law for circular motion is (Fnet), = mvrtr. Here the radial force has magnitude I q I E, where E is the electric field strength at distance r. Thus the charge can move in a circular orbit if

IqlE

=

mv2 -r-

(27.32)

Specific examples of circular orbits will be left for homework problems.

I

STOP TO THINK 27.6

I Which electric field is responsible

1 1 !//! f_~;, \~aJectory 1 1 ""
(8) (b)

-- -- - --- -- (c) (d) (e)

for the proton's trajectory?

27.7 Motion of a Dipole in an Electric Field
Let us conclude this chapter by retuming to one of the more striking puzzles we faced when making the observations at the beginning of Chapter 26. There you found that charged objects of either sign exert forces on neutral objects, such as when a comb

27.7 . Motion of a Dipole in an Electric Field

839

used to brush your hair picks up pieces of paper. Our qualitative understanding of the polarization force was that it required two steps: • The charge polarizes the neutral object, creating an induced electric dipole. • The charge then exerts an attractive force on the near end of the dipole that is slightly stronger than the repulsive force on the far end. We are now in a position to make that understanding more quantitative. We will analyze the force on a permanent dipole. A homework problem will let you think about induced dipoles.

Dipoles in a Uniform Field
FIGURE 27.28a shows an electric dipole in a uniform external electric field E that has been created by source charges we do not see. That is, E is not the field of the dipole but, instead, is a field to which the dipole is responding. In this case, because the field is uniform, the dipole is presumably inside an unseen parallel-plate capacitor. The net force on the dipole is the sum of the forces on the two charges forming the dipole. Because the charges ± q are equal in magnitude but opposite in sign, the two forces F + = + qE and F_ = - qE, are also equal but opposite. Thus the net force on the dipole is FIGURE 27.28 A

dipole in a uniform

electric field.
(a) The electric field exerts

F_
(b)

_____. ----+-

'~\r,,:
----+-

E

F

not

=

F+ + F_

=

6

(27.33)

F_~F+
-----+/-----+----+E
This dipole is in equilibrium.

There is no net force on a dipole in a uniform electric field. There may be no net force, but the electric field does affect the dipole. Because the two forces in Figure 27.28a are in opposite directions but not aligned with each other, the electric field exerts a torque on the dipole and causes the dipole to rotate. The torque causes the dipole to rotate until it is aligned with the electric field, as shown in FIGURE 27.28b. In this position, the dipole experiences not only no net force but also no torque. Thus Figure 27.28b represents the equilibrium position for a dipole in a uniform electric field. Notice that the positive end of the dipole is in the direction in which E points. FIGURE 27.29 shows a sample of permanent dipoles, such as water molecules, in an external electric field. All the dipoles rotate until they are aligned with the electric field. This is the mechanism by which the sample becomes polarized. Once the dipoles are aligned, there is an excess of positive charge at one end of the sample and an excess of negative charge at the other end. The excess charges at the ends of the sample are the basis of the polarization forces we discussed in Section 26.3. It's not hard to calculate the torque on a dipole. The two forces on the dipole in FIGURE 27.30 form what we called a couple in Chapter 12. There you learned that the torque T on a couple is the product of the force F with the distance I between the lines along which the forces act. You can see that I = s sinO, where 0 is the angle the dipole makes with the electric field E. Thus the torque on the dipole is
T

FIGURE 27.29 A sample of permanent dipoles is polarized in an electric field.

_

The dipoles align with the electric field.

if.

//E::::±l E::::±l E::::±l E::::±l

if.

E::::±l E::::±l E::::±lE::::±l _ E::::±l E::::±l E::::±l E::::±l

-\

Excess negative charge on this surface

=

Excess positive charge on this surface

(-

FIGURE 27.30

The torque on a dipole.

= IF = (ssinO)(qE)

= pEsinO

(27.34)

where p = qs was our defiuition of the dipole moment. The torque is zero when the dipole is aligned with the field, making 0 = O. Recall from Chapter 12, that the torque can be written in a compact mathematical form as the cross product between two vectors. The terms p and E in Equation 27.34 are the magnitudes of vectors, and 0 is the angle between them. Thus in vector notation, the torque exerted on a dipole moment Ii by an electric field E is

In terms of vectors,

T
The torque is greatest when opposite to E.

=

Ii

X

E
to

(27.35)

Ii is perpendicular

E, zero

when

Ii is aligned

with or

if.---r-if.
X

T

P

E.

840

CHAPTER

27· TheElectricField

EXAMPLE

27.10

The angular acceleration of a dipole dumbbell

SOLVE

Two 1.0 g balls are connected by a 2.0-cm-long insulating rod of negligible mass. One ball has a charge of + 10 nC, the other a charge of -10 nCoThe rod is held in a 1.0 X 10" N/C uniform electric field at an angle of 30° with respect to the field, then released. What is its initial angular acceleration? The two oppositely charged balls form an electric dipole. The electric field exerts a torque on the dipole, causing an angular acceleration.
MODEL VISUALIZE FIGURE 27.31

The dipole moment is p = qs = (1.0 X 10-8 C) X (0.020 m) = 2.0 X 10-10 Cm. The torque exerted on the dipole moment by the electric field is
T

= =

pEsinO = (2.0 X 10-'0 Cm)(1.0 X 10" N/C) sin30°

1.0 X 10-6 Nm

Youlearned in Chapter 12 that a torque causes an angular acceleration" = TIl, where lis the moment of inertia. The dipole rotates about its center of mass, which is at the center of the rod, so the
moment of inertia is

shows the dipole in the electric field. The dipole of Example 27.10.

1= m,r,> + m2rl

=

2m 2s

FIGURE 27.31

(1)2

=

2ms2

1

=

2.0 X 1O-7kgm2

Thus the rod's angular accelerationis
a = ~ = 1.0 X 10- Nm = 5.0 rad/s" I 2.0 X 10 7kgm2
ASSESS
6

This value of " is the initial angular acceleration, when the rod is first released. The torque and the angular acceleration will decrease as the rod rotates toward alignment with E.

Dipoles in a Nonuniform Field
Suppose that a dipole is placed in a nonuniform electric field, one in which the field strength changes with position. For example, FIGURE 27.32 shows a dipole in the nonuniform field of a point charge. The first response of the dipole is to rotate until it is aligned with the field, with the dipole's positive end pointing in the same direction as the field. Now, however, there is a slight difference between the forces acting on the two ends of the dipole. This difference occurs because the electric field, which depends on the distance from the point charge, is stronger at the end of the dipole nearest the charge. This causes a net force to be exerted on the dipole. Which way does the force point? FIGURE 27.32a shows a positive point charge. Once the dipole is aligned, the leftward attractive force on its negative end is slightly stronger than the rightward repulsive force on its positive end. This causes a net force to the left, toward the point charge. The dipole in FIGURE 27.32b aligns in the opposite orientation in the field of a negative point charge, but the net force is still to the left. As you can see, the net force on a dipole is toward the direction of the strongest field. Because any finite-size charged object, such as a charged rod or a charged disk, has a field strength that increases as you get closer to the object, we can conclude that a dipole will experience a net force toward any charged object.

FIGURE 27.32

An aligned dipole is drawn toward a point charge.

27.7 . Motion of a Dipole in an Electric Field

841

EXAMPLE 27.11

The force on a water molecule

The water molecule H20 has a permanent dipole moment of magnitude 6.2 X 10-30 Cm. A water molecule is located 10 nm from a Na+ ion in a saltwater solution. What force does the ion exert on the water molecule?
VISUALIZE FIGURE 27.33

are an action/reaction

shows the ion and the dipole. The forces pair.

third l~w that the force FdiPoleonion has the same magnitude as the force Fion on dipole that we are seeking. We calculated the on-axis field of a dipole in Section 27.2. An ion of charge q = e will experience a force of magnitude F = qEdipole = eEdipole when placed in that field. The dipole's electric field, which we found in Equation 27.11, is 1
Edipole

2p

=

41TEo -----;s-

The interaction between an ion and a permanent dipole.
FIGURE 27.33
FionondiPole

The force on the ion at distance r = 1.0 X 10-8 m is

~ Na+ ion

...

~

Fdipoleonion

=

eEdipole

=

_1_

41TEO

2ep = 1.8 X 10-14 N
r3

Water molecule

r ~ 10nm

Thus the force on the water molecule 10-14 N.
ASSESS

is Fion on dipole = 1.8 X

ANa+ ion has charge q = +e. The electric field of the ion aligns the water's dipole moment and exerts a net force on it. We could calculate the net force on the dipole as the small difference between the attractive force on its negative end and the repulsive force on its positive end. Alternatively, we know from Newton's
SOLVE

While 1.8 X 10-14 N may seem like a very small force, it is = 10" times larger than the size of the earth's gravitational force on these atomic particles. Forces such as these cause water molecules to cluster around any ions that are in solution. This clustering plays an important role in the microscopic physics of solutions stndied in chemistry and biochemistry.

842

CHAPTER

27· TheElectricField

SUMMARY
The goal of Chapter 27 has been to learn how to calculate and use the electric field.

General Principles
Sources of

E
E are
_1_1J_;
41TEO r2

Consequences of

E

Electric fields are created by charges. Two major tools for calculating • The field of a point charge:

The electric field exerts a force on a charged particle: F= qE

E

=

The force causes acceleration:

a = (q/m)E
Trajectories of charged particles are calculated with kinematics. The electric field exerts a torque on a dipole:
T

• The ptinciple of superposition Multiple point charges Use superposition: Continuous

E

=

E, + E2 + E3 +
of charge

distribution

=

pEsinO

~E F_

• Divide the charge into segments LiQ for which you already know the field. • Find the field of each LiQ. • Find

The torque tends to align the dipoles with the field.

E by summing

the fields of all LiQ.

The summation usually becomes an integral. A critical step is replacing LiQ with an expression involving a charge density (,\ or TI)and an integration coordinate.

In a nonuniform electric field, a dipole has a net force in the direction of increasing field strength.

Applications
Electric dipole Infinite plane of charge with surface charge density TI Parallel-plate capacitor The electric field inside an ideal capacitor is a uniform electric field: E (TI =;,;' fro m positive to negative ) .. .

The electric dipole moment is

p

=

(qs, from negative to positive)

_ 1 Field on axis: E = 4""0 Field in bisecting plane:

2p -;> E
= --_

E
1
4'7TfO

=

(_11_,
2'0

perpendicular

to Plane)

E, r

Sphere of charge Same as a point charge Q for r

Infinite line of charge with linear charge density ,\ +++++++

>R

tttttt

!!!!!!

"l/
--+

+ + + + + + + +

___l__.

E

=

(_1_
4'7TEO

2,\, perpendicular r

to line)

/+

+++ ++R +

A real capacitor has a weak: fringe field around it.

1

-,

Conceptual Questions

843

Terms and Notation
dipole moment, electric field line linear charge density, A surface charge density, '1

p

uniformly charged line of charge electrode

plane of charge sphere of charge parallel-plate capacitor

fringe field uniform electric field charge-to-mass ratio, qlm

r:;:l
~

For homework assigned on MasteringPhysics, go to www.masteringphysics.com

Problems labeled chapters.

integrate significant material from earlier

Problem difficulty is labeled as I (straightforward) to

III (challenging).

CONCEPTUAL
1. You've been assigned the task of determining the magnitude and direction of the electric field at a point in space. Give a step-bystep procedure of how you will do so. List any objects you will use, any measurements you will make, and any calculations you will need to perform. Make sure that your measurements do not disturb the charges that are creating the field. 2. Reproduce FIGURE Q27.2 on your paper. For each part, draw a dot or dots on the figure to show any position or positions (other than infinity) where =

QUESTIONS
b. A proton is very far from the wire. What is the ratio F,IF; of the electric force on the proton after the segment is shrunk to the force before the segment was shrunk? c. Suppose the original segment of wire is stretched to 10 times its original length. How much charge must be added to the wire to keep the linear charge density unchanged? 5. A wire has initial linear charge density Ai. The wire is stretched in length by 50%, and one-third of the charge is removed. What is the ratio A,I Ai' where A, is the final linear charge density? 6. The hollow soda straw in FIGURE Q27.6 is uniformly charged. What is the electric field at the center (inside) of the straw? Explain.

E

o.

(a)

Inside straw (b) FIGURE Q27.2

8
FIGURE Q27.6

++++
++
+

+.+

+++

3. Rank in order, from largest to smallest, the electric strengths E, to E4 at points 1 to 4 in FIGURE Q27.3. Explain.

field

()++++++++)
FIGURE Q27.3 FIGURE Q27.4

4. A small segment of wire in FIGURE Q27.4 contains 10 nC of charge. a. The segment is shrunk to one-third of its original length. What is the ratio A,t Ai' where Ai and A, are the initial and final linear charge densities?

7. An electron experiences a force of magnitude F when it is 1 cm from a very long, charged wire with linear charge density A. If the charge density is doubled, at what distance from the wire will a proton experience a force of the same magnitude F? 8. The irregularly shaped area of charge in + FIGURE Q27.8 has surface charge density + '1i. Each dimension (x and y) of the area is reduced by a factor of3.163. a. What is the ratio '1,I'1i, where '1, is the final surface charge density? b. An electron is very far from the area. FIGURE Q27.8 What is the ratio F,I F, of the electric force on the electron after the area is reduced to the force before the area was reduced? 9. A circular disk has surface charge density 8 nC/cm'. What will the surface charge density be if the radius of the disk is doubled?

844

CHAPTER

27·

TheElectricField 14. A small object is released in the center of the capacitor in FIGURE Q27.14. For each situation, does the object move to the right, to the left, or remain in place? If it moves, does it accelerate or move at constant speed? a. A positive object is released from rest. b. A neutral but polarizable object is released from rest. c. A negative object is released from rest.

10. A sphere of radius R has charge Q. The electric field strength at distance r > R is E,. What is the ratio ErIE, of the final to initial electric field strengths if (a) Q is halved, (b) R is halved, and (c) r is halved (but is still> R)? Each part changes only one quantity; the other quantities have their initial values. 11. The ball in FIGURE Q27.11 is suspended from a large, uniformly charged positive plate. It swings with period T. If the ball is discharged, will the period increase, decrease, or stay the same? Explain.

+ + + + + + + + + +

--+---+ + + 50 + + +

+ FIGUREQ27.14

~'m

d_G~eq

0'

FIGUREQ27.11

FIGUREQ17.12

12. Rank in order, from largest to smallest, the electric field strengths E, to E, at the five points in FIGURE Q27.12. Explain. 13. A parallel-plate capacitor consists of two square plates, size L X L, separated by distance d. The plates are given charge ± Q. What is the ratio ErIE, of the final to initial electric field strengths if (a) Q is doubled, (b) L is doubled, and (c) d is doubled? Each part changes only one quantity; the other quantities have their initial values.

15. A proton and an electron are released from rest in the center of a capacitor. a. Is the force ratio FplF, greater than 1, less than 1, or equal to I? Explain. b. Is the acceleration ratio apia, greater than 1, less than 1, or equal to I? Explain. 16. Three charges are placed at the corners + + of the triangle in FIGURE Q17.16. The ++ + charge has twice the quantity of charge + of the two - charges; the net charge is + + zero. + a. Is the triangle in equilibrium? If so, + explain why. If not, draw the equilib+ rium orientation. + + b. In eqnilibrium, will the triangle move to the right, to the left, or remain in FIGUREQ27.16 place? Explain.

6

EXERCISES
Exercises
Section 27.2 The Electric Field of Multiple Point Charges

AND

PROBLEMS

3. II What are the strength and direction of the electric field at the position indicated by the dot in FIGURE En7.3? Specify the direction as an angle above or below horizontal.

1. II What are the strength and direction of the electric field at the position indicated by the dot in FIGURE EX17.I? Specify the direction as an angle above or below horizontal.

G3.0nC 5.0cm Wem 5.0cm

5.0cm

5.0cm G

I I

G

3.0nC

G3.0nC 5.0cm

5.0cm 8-30nC 8-3.0nC

<----------<0

Wem

I I

G

3.0nC

<----------<0

5.0cm

jOcm

FIGUREEX17.3
30nC G3.0nC

FIGUREEX27.e

FIGUREEX27.1

FIGUREEX27.2

2. II What are the strength and direction of the electric field at the position indicated by the dot in FIGURE EX17.2?Specify the direction as an angle above or below horizontal.

4. II What are the strength and direction of the electric field at the position indicated by the dot in FIGURE En7.e? Specify the direction as an angle above or below horizontal. 5. II An electric dipole is formed from ± 1.0 nC charges spaced 2.0 mm apart. The dipole is at the origin, oriented along the yaxis. What is the electric field strength at the points (a) (x, y) = (10 em, 0 em) and (b) (x, y) = (0 cm, 10 cm)?

Exercises and Problems 6. II An electric dipole is formed from two charges, ± q, spaced 1.0 cm apart. The dipole is at the origin, oriented along the yaxis. The electric field strength at the point (x, y) = (0 em, 10 em) is 360 N/C. a. What is the charge q? Give your answer in nCo b. What is the electric field strength at the point (x, y) = (10 em, 0 cm)?

845

16. II The electric field strength 2.0 cm from a 10-cm-diameter metal ball is 50,000 N/C. What is the charge (in nC) on the ball?

Section 27.5 The Parallel-Plate

Capacitor

Section 27.3 The Electric Distribution

Field of a Continuous

Charge

7. I The electric field strength 5.0 em from a very long charged wire is 2000 N/C. What is the electric field strength 10.0 cm from the wire? 8. II A 10-cm-Iong thin glass rod uniformly charged to + 10 nC and a 10-cm-Iong thin plastic rod uniformly charged to -10 nC are placed side by side, 4.0 em apart. What are the electric field strengths E, to E3 at distances 1.0 em, 2.0 em, and 3.0 cm from the glass rod along the line connecting the utidpoints of the two rods? 9. II Two IO-cm-Iong thin glass rods uniformly charged to + 10 nC are placed side by side, 4.0 em apart. What are the electric field strengths E, to E3 at distances 1.0 em, 2.0 em, and 3.0 em to the right of the rod on the left along the line connecting the utidpoints of the two rods? 10. II A IO-cm-Iong thin glass rod is uniformly charged to +40 nCo A small glass bead, charged to +6.0 nC, is 4.0 cm from the center of the rod. What is the force (magnitude and direction) on the bead?

17. II Aparallel-plate capacitorisformed from two 4.0 em X 4.0 em electrodes spaced 2.0 mm apart. The electric field strength inside the capacitor is 1.0 X 10' N/C. What is the charge (in nC) on each electrode? 18. II Two circular disks spaced 0.50 mm apart form a parallel-plate capacitor. Transferring 3.0 X 10' electrons from one disk to the other causes the electric field strength to be 2.0 X 10' N/C. What are the diameters of the disks? 19. II Air "breaks down" when the electric field strength reaches 3.0 X 10' N/C, causing a spark. A parallel-plate capacitor is made from two 4.0-cm-diameter disks. How many electrons must be transferred from one disk to the other to create a spark between the disks?

Section 27.6 Motion of a Charged

Particle

in an Electric Field

Section 27.4 The Electric Spheres

Fields of Rings, Disks, Planes, and

II. II Two 10-cm-diameter charged rings face each other, 20 em apart. The left ring is charged to - 20 nC and the right ring is charged to + 20 nCo a. What is the electric field both magnitude and direction, at the utidpoint between the two disks? b. What is the force F on a -1.0 nC charge placed at the midpoint? 12. II Two 10-cm-diameter charged rings face each other, 20 cm apart. Both rings are charged to +20 nCo What is the electric field strength at (a) the utidpoint between the two rings and (b) the center of the left ring? 13. II Two 10-cm-diameter charged disks face each other, 20 cm apart. The left disk is charged to - 50 nC and the right disk is charged to + 50 nCo a. What is the electric field both magnitude and direction, at the utidpoint between the two disks? b. What is the force F on a -1.0 nC charge placed at the utidpoint? 14. II Two 10-cm-diameter charged disks face each other, 20 em apart. Both disks are charged to + 50 nCo What is the electric field strength at (a) the utidpoint between the two disks and (b) a point on the axis 5.0 em from one disk? IS. II A 20 cm X 20 cm horizontal metal electrode is uniformly charged to + 80 nCo What is the electric field strength 2.0 mm above the center of the electrode?

E,

20. II A 0.10 g plastic bead is charged by the addition of 1.0 X IOlD excess electrons. What electric field E (strength and direction) will cause the bead to hang suspended in the air? 21. II Two 2.0-cm-diameter disks face each other, 1.0 mm apart. They are charged to ± 10 nCo a. What is the electric field strength between the disks? b. A proton is shot from the negative disk toward the positive disk. What launch speed must the proton have to just barely reach the positive disk? 22. II An electron in a uniform electric field increases its speed from 2.0 X 107 mls to 4.0 X 107 m/s over a distance of 1.2 cm. What is the electric field strength? 23. II An electron is released from rest 2.0 cm from an infinite charged plane. It accelerates toward the plane and collides with a speed of 1.0 X 107 m/s. What are (a) the surface charge density of the plane and (b) the time required for the electron to travel the 2.0 em? 24. II The surface charge density on an infinite charged plane is - 2.0 X 10-' C/m2• A proton is shot straight away from the plane at 2.0 X 10' mls. How far does the proton travel before reaching its turning point?

Section 27.7 Motion of a Dipole in an Electric Field 25. I The permanent electric dipole moment of the water molecule (H20) is 6.2 X 10-30 Cm. What is the maximum possible torque on a water molecule in a 5.0 X 10' N/C electric field? 26. II A point charge Q is distance r from the center of a dipole consisting of charges ±q separated by distance S. The charge is located in the plane that bisects the dipole. At this instant, what are (a) the force (magnitude and direction) and (b) the magnitude of the torque on the dipole? You can assume r» S. 27. II An ammonia molecule (NH3) has a permanent electric dipole moment 5.0 X 10-30 Cm. A proton is 2.0 urn from the molecule in the plane that bisects the dipole. What is the electric force of the molecule on the proton?

E,

846

CHAPTER

27·

TheElectricField 35. II Three charges are on the y-axis. Charges -q are at y = ±d and charge + 2q is at y = O. a. Determine the electric field E along the x-axis. b. Verify that your answer to part a has the expected behavior as x becomes very small and very large. c. Sketch a graph of Ex versus x for 0 :5 X :5 00. 36. II FIGURE P27.36 is a cross section of two infinite lines of charge that extend out of the page. Both have linear charge density A. a. Find an expression for the electric field strength E at height y above the midpoint between the lines. b. Draw a graph of E versus y.

Problems
28. II What are the strength and direction of the electric field at the position indicated by the dot in FIGURE P27.28? Give your answer (a) in component form and (b) as a magnitude and angle measured cw or ccw (specify which) from the positive x-axis.
0CID in-c C\2.

9-----8 -5.0nC ~
4.0cm

4.0cm : 2.0cm:

-8

io ec

5.0nC@-FIGURE

---.

-5.0nC FIGURE

8-P27.29

-8

io ec

8
FIGURE

y1
P27.36

8

G\
FIGURE

y1
P27.37

8

P27.28

'iioes of charge/ coming out of the page

Lines of charge / coming out of the page

29. II What are the strength and direction of the electric field at the position indicated by the dot in FIGURE P27.29? Give your answer (a) in component form and (b) as a magnitude and angle measured cw or ccw (specify which) from the positive x-axis. 30. II What are the strength and direction of the electric field at the position indicated by the dot in FIGURE P27.30? Give your answer (a) in component form and (b) as a magnitude and angle measured cw or ccw (specify which) from the positive x-axis. -Q

io ec

$--

S.Ocm

----9

-lOne

8
L,
,

--.
P L

3.0em:

---8
FIGURE

-5_OnC

8 4Q
FIGURE

-8
-Q

P27.30

P27.31

31. II FIGURE P27.31 shows three charges at the corners of a square. a. Write the electric field at point P in component form. b. A particle with positive charge q and mass m is placed at point P and released. What is the initial magnitude of its acceleration? 32. II Charges =« and +2q in FIGURE P27.32 are located atx = ±a. 2a 1 a. Determine the electric field at points I to 4. Write each field in component form. b. Reproduce Figure P27.32, then -q draw the four electric field vectors on the figure. -2a 4 33. II Two positive charges q are distance s apart on the y-axis. FIGURE P27.32 a. Find an expression for the electric field strength at distance x on the axis that bisects the two charges. b. For q = 1.0 nC and s = 6.0 mm, evaluate E at x = 0,2,4,6, andlOmm. c. Draw a graph of E versus x for 0 :5 X :5 00. 34. II Derive Equation 27.12 for the field Em""l' in the plane that bisects an electric dipole.

37. II FIGURE P27.37 is a cross section of two infinite lines of charge that extend out of the page. The linear charge densities are ± A. a. Find an expression for the electric field strength E at height y above the midpoint between the lines. b. Draw a graph of E versus y. 38. II Two infinite lines of charge, each with linear charge density A, lie along the x- and y-axes, crossing at the origin. What is the electric field strength at position (x, y)? 39. III The electric field 5.0 cm from a very long charged wire is (2000 N/C, toward the wire). What is the charge (in nC) on a 1.0-cm-Iong segment of the wire? 40. III Three 10-cm-Iong rods form an equilateral triangle in a plane. Two of the rods are charged to + 10 nC, the third to -10 nCo What is the electric field strength at the center of the triangle? 41. III A proton orbits a long charged wire, making 1.0 X 10" revolutions per second. The radius of the orbit is 1.0 em, What is the wire's linear charge density? 42. II FIGURE P27.42 shows a thin rod oflength L with total charge Q. a. Find an expression for the electric field strength on the axis of the rod at distance r from the center. b. Verify that your expression has the expected behavior if r»L. C. Evaluate E at r = 3.0 cm if L = 5.0 em and Q = 3.0 nCo

L
L

1+ +++ +++ +++ ++1

P

+ + + + + + + + + + + +

P

FIGURE

P27.42

FIGURE

P27.43

43. II FIGURE P27.43 shows a thin rod oflength L with total charge Q. Find an expression for the electric field E at distance x from the end of the rod. Give your answer in component form. 44. II Show that the on-axis electric field of a ring of charge has the expected behavior when z « R and when z » R.

Exercises and Problems 45. II a. Show that the maximum electric field strength on the axis of a ring of charge occurs at z = RIV2. b. What is the electric field strength at this point? 46. II Charge Q is uniformly distributed along a thin, flexible rod of length L. The rod is then bent into the semicircle shown in a. Find an expression for the electric field if at the center of the semicircle. Hint: A small piece of arc length fl.s spans a small angle fl.O = t.sIR, where R is the radius. b. Evaluate the field strength if L = 10 em and Q = 30 nCo
FIGURE P27.46.

841

FIGURE P27.46

FIGURE P27.47

47. II A plastic rod with linear charge density A is bent into the quarter circle shown in FIGURE P27.47. We want to find the electric field at the origin. a. Write expressions for the x- and y-components of the electric field at the origin due to a small piece of charge at angle O. b. Write, but do not evaluate, definite integrals for the x- and ycomponents of the net electric field at the origin. C. Evaluate the integrals and write in component form. 48. II You've hung two very large d sheets of plastic facing each other with distance d between them, as shown in FIGURE P27.48. By rubbing them with wool and silk, you've managed to give one sheet a uniform surface charge density 711 = -710 and the other a uniform surface 'I'll = -'l'jo 712 = 3'1'jo

s:

charge density 712 = + 3710' What FIGURE P27 .48 is the electric field vector at points 1, 2, and 3? 49. III The electric field strength 5.0 cm from a very wide charged electrode is 1000 N/C. What is the charge (in nC) on a 1.0-cmdiameter circular segment of the electrode? 50. II Two 2.0-cm-diameter insulating spheres have a 6.0 em space between them. One sphere is charged to + 10 nC, the other to -15 nCo What is the electric field strength at the midpoint between the two spheres? 51. II Two parallel plates 1.0 em apart are equally and oppositely charged. An electron is released from rest at the surface of the negative plate and simultaneously a proton is released from rest at the surface of the positive plate. How far from the negative plate is the point at which the electron and proton pass each other?

52. II A proton traveling at a speed of 1.0 X 1(>" mls enters the gap between the plates of a Z.O-em-wide parallel-plate capacitor. The surface charge densities on the plates are ± 1.0 X 10-6 C/m2• How far has the proton been deflected sideways when it reaches the far edge of the capacitor? Assume the electric field is uniform inside the capacitor and zero outside. 53. II An electron is launched at a 45° angle and a speed of 5.0 X 106 mls from the positive plate of the parallel-plate capacitor shown in FIGURE P27.53. The electron lands 4.0 cm away. 4.0cm a. What is the electric field strength inside the capacitor? FIGURE P27.53 b. What is the smallest possible spacing between the plates? 54. II A problem of practical interest is to make a beam of electrons turn a 90° corner. This can be done with the parallelplate capacitor shown in FIGURE P27.54. An electron with kinetic energy 3.0 X 10-17 J enters through a small hole in the bottom plate of the capacitor. a. Should the bottom plate be charged positive or negative relative to the top plate if you want the electron to FIGURE P27.54 turn to the right? Explain. b. What strength electric field is needed if the electron is to emerge from an exit hole 1.0 em away from the entrance hole, traveling at right angles to its original direction? Hint: The difficulty of this problem depends on how you choose your coordinate system. C. What minimum separation dmin must the capacitor plates have? 55. III You have a summer intern position at a laboratory that uses a high-speed proton beam. The protons exit the machine at a speed of Z.O X 10" mis, and you've been asked to design a device to stop the protons safely. You know that protons will embed themselves in a metal target, but protons traveling faster than Z.O X 105 mls emit dangerous x rays when they hit. You decide to slow the protons to an acceptable speed, then let them hit a target. You take two metal plates, space them Z.O cm apatt, then drill a small hole through the center of one plate to let the proton beam enter. The opposite plate is the target in which the protons will embed themselves. a. What are the minimum surface charge densities you need to place on each plate? Which plate, positive or negative, faces the incoming proton beam? b. What happens if you charge the plates to ± 1.0 X 10-5 C/m2? Does your device still work? 56. II A Z.O-mm-diameter glass sphere has a charge of + 1.0 nCo What speed does an electron need to orbit the sphere 1.0 mm above the surface? 57. III A proton orbits a 1.0-cm-diameter metal ball 1.0 mm above the surface. The orbital period is 1.0 f.'s. What is the charge on the ball? 58. II In a classical model of the hydrogen atom, the electron orbits the proton in a circular orbit of radius 0.053 nm. What is the orbital frequency? The proton is so much more massive than the electron that you can assume the proton is at rest.

848

CHAPTER

27·

TheElectricField

59. II In a classical model of the hydrogen atom, the electron orbits a stationary proton in a circular orbit. What is the radius of the orbit for which the orbital frequency is 1.0 X 1012 S-I? 60. II An electric field can induce an electric dipole in a neutral atom or molecule by pushing the positive and negative charge in opposite directions. The dipole moment of an induced dipole is directly proportional to the electric field. That is, = aE, where a is called the polarizability of the molecule. A bigger field stretches the molecule farther and causes a larger dipole

p

moment.

a. What are the units of a? b. An ion with charge q is distance r from a molecule with polarizability a. Find an expression for the force on dipole' 61. II Show that an infinite line of charge with linear charge density A exerts an attractive force on an electric dipole with magnitude F =2ApI47reor2. Assume that r is much larger than the charge separation in the dipole.

»:

In Problems 62 through 65 you are given the equation(s) used to solve a problem. For each of these a. Write a realistic problem for which this is the correct equation(s). b. Finish the solution of the problem. 62. (9.0 X 109 Nm2/C2) 63. (9.0 X 109 Nm2/C2) (2.0 X 10-9 C) s (O.025m)
r
,

tions imply that the electric field of the ball is very nearly constant over the volume of the foil disk. a. What are the magnitude and direction of the ball's electric field at the position of the foil? Your answer will be an expression involving Q and h. b. The ball's electric field polarizes the foil. The foil surfaces, with charges +q and -q, then act as the plates of a parallelplate capacitor with separation t. But the foil is a conductor in electrostatic equilibrium, so the electric field Em inside the foil must be zero. Ein = 0 seems to be inconsistent with the surfaces of the foil acting as a parallel-plate capacitor. Use words and pictures to explain how Em = 0 even though the surfaces of the foil are charged. C. Now write the condition that Ein = 0 as a mathematical statement and use it to find an expression for the charge q on the upper surface of the foil. d. Suppose Q = 50 nC, R = 1.0 mm, and t = 0.010 mID. These are all typical values. The density of aluminum is p = 2700 kg/rrr', How close must the ball be to lift the foil?

=

1150 N/C 25,000 N/C
FIGURE CP27.67

2(2.0 X 10-7 C/m)

=

64.2~J 1 - v'/+ R,] L~o
=

19 65. 2.0 X 1012mls2 = (1.60 X 10- C) E (1.67 X 10-27 kg)

E=

(8.85 X 10

12

C2/Nm2)

Q

(0.020 m)?

Challenge Problems
66. Your physics assignment is to figure out a way to use electricity to launch a small 6.0-cm-long plastic drink stirrer. You decide that you'll charge the little plastic rod by rubbing it with fur, then hold it near a long, charged wire. When you let go, the electric force of the wire on the plastic rod will shoot it away. Suppose you can uniformly charge the plastic stirrer to 10 nC and that the linear charge density of the long wire is 1.0 X 10-7 C/m. What is the electric force on the plastic stirrer if the end closest to the wire is 2.0 em away?

68. A rod of length L lies along the y-axis with its center at the origin. The rod has a nonuniform linear charge density A = where a is a constant with the units C/m2• a. Draw a graph of A versus y over the length of the rod. b. Determine the constant a in terms of L and the rod's total charge Q. Hint: This requires an integration. Think about how to handle the absolute value sign. C. Find the electric field strength of the rod at distance x on the

alyl,

x-axis.
a. An infinitely long sheet of charge of width L lies in the xyplane between x = - Ll2 and x = Ll2. The surface charge density is 71.Derive an expression for the electric field if at height z above the centerline of the sheet. b. Verify that your expression has the expected behavior if z« L and if z ts L. C. Draw a graph of field strength E versus z. 70. a. An infinitely long sheet of charge of width L lies in the xyplane between x = -Ll2 and x = Ll2. The surface charge density is 71. Derive an expression for the electric field if along the x-axis for points outside the sheet (x > Ll2). b. Verify that your expression has the expected behavior if 69. Hint: In(l + u) = u ifu« 1. C. Draw a graph of field strength E versus x for x 71. The two parallel plates in FIGURE CP27.71 are 2.0 cm apart and the electric field strength between them is 1.0 X 104 N/C. An electron is launched at a 45° angle from the positive plate. What is the maximum initial speed Vo the electron can FIGURE have without hitting the negative plate?

! /A !

~ 1.0 x lO-'Chn

FIGURE

CP27.66

t

Plastic stirrer + + +.~~~----~------~ + 2.0 em 6.0 em + + +

/

x»L.

> Ll2.
2.0 em

67. We want to analyze how a charged object picks up a neutral piece of metal. FIGURE CP27.67 shows a small circular disk of aluminum foil lying flat on a table. The foil disk has radius Rand thickness I. A glass ball with positive charge Q is at height h above the foil. Assume that R « h and t «R. These assump-

CP27.71

Exercises and Problems 72. One type of ink-jet printer, called an electrostatic ink-jet printer, forms the letters by nsing deflecting electrodes to steer charged ink drops up and down vertically as the ink jet sweeps horizontally across the page. The ink jet forms 30-l£m-diameter drops of ink, charges them by spraying 800,000 electrons on the surface, and shoots them toward the page at a speed of 20 m1s. Along the way, the drops pass through two parallel electrodes that are 6.0 mm long, 4.0 mm wide, and spaced 1.0 mm apart. The distance from the center of the plates to the paper is 2.0 cm. To form the letters, which have a maximum height of 6.0 mm, the drops need to be deflected up or down a maximum of 3.0 mm. Ink, which consists of dye particles suspended in alcohol, has a density of 800 kg/nr'. a. Estimate the maximum electric field strength needed in the space between the electrodes. b. What amount of charge is needed on each electrode to produce this electric field? 73. A positron is an elementary particle identical to an electron except that its charge is + e. An electron and a positron can rotate about their center of mass as if they were a dumbbell connected by a massless rod. What is the orbital frequency for an electron and a positron 1.0 urn apart?

849

74. You have a summer intern position with a company that designs and builds nanomachines. An engineer with the company is designing a microscopic oscillator to help keep time, and you've been assigned to help him analyze the design. He wants to place a negative charge at the center of a very small, positively charged metal loop. His claim is that the negative charge will undergo simple harmonic motion at a frequency determined by the amount of charge on the loop. a. Consider a negative charge near the center of a positively charged ring. Show that there is a restoring force on the charge if it moves along the z-axis but stays close to the center. That is, show there's a force that tries to keep the charge at z = O. b. Show that for small oscillations, with amplitude « R, a particle of mass m with charge -q undergoes simple harmonic motion with frequency

i= -~-)
27T

qQ 47TEomR'

R and Q are the radius and charge of the ring. c. Evaluate the oscillation frequency for an electron at the center of a 2.0-l£m-diameter ring charged to 1.0 X 10-13 C.

STOP TO THINK ANSWERS

Stop to Think 27.1: c. From symmetry, the fields of the positive charges cancel. The net field is that of the negative charge, which is toward the charge. Stop to Think 27.2: 'I, All pieces of a uniformly charged surface have the same surface charge density. Stop to Think 27.3: b, e, and h. b and e both increase the linear charge density A. Stop to Think 27.4: Ea Eb E, Ed E,. The field strength of a charged plane is the same at all distances from the plane. An

electric field diagram shows the electric field vectors at only a few points; the field exists at all points. Stop to Think 27.5: Fa Fb F, Fd F,. The field strength inside a capacitor is the same at all points, hence the force on a charge is the same at all points. The electric field exists at all points whether or not a vector is shown at that point. Stop to Think 27.6: c. Parabolic trajectories reqnire constant acceleration and thus a uniform electric field. The proton has an initial velocity component to the left, but it's being pushed back to the right.

= "b =

"a'

=

=

=

=

=

=

=

=

imGa
The nearly spherical shape of the girl'shead determines the shape of the electric field that causes her hair to stream outward.

~ Looking Ahead The goal of Chapter 28 is to understand and apply Gauss's law. In this chapter you wilileam to: • Recognizeand use symmetry to determine the shape of electric fields. • Calculatethe electric fluxthrough a surface. • Use Gauss's law to calculate the electric field of symmetric charge distributions. • Use Gauss's law to understand the properties of conductors in electrostatic equilibrium. .... Looking Back This chapter builds on basic ideas about electric fields. please review: • Section 11.3 The vector dot product. • Sections 26.4 and 26.5 Coulomb's law and the electric field of a point charge. • Section 27.2 Electricfield vectors and electric field lines.

The electric field of this charged sphere points straight out because that's the only field direction compatible with the symmetry of the sphere. Spheres, cylinders, and planes=common shapes for electrodes-all have a high degree of symmetry. As you'll see in this chapter, their symmetry determines the geometry of their electric fields. You learned in Chapter 27 how to calculate electric fields by starting from Coulomb's law for the electric field of a point charge. This is a foolproof method in principle, but in practice it often requires excessive mathematical gymnastics to carry through the necessary integrations. In this chapter you'll learn how some important electric fields, those with a high degree of symmetry, can be deduced simply from the shape of the charge distribution. The principle underlying this approach to calculating electric fields is called Gauss's law. Gauss's law and Coulomb's law are equivalent in the sense that each can be derived from the other. But Gauss's law gives us a very different perspective on electric fields, much as conservation laws give us a perspective on mechanics different from that of Newton's laws. In practice, Gauss's law allows us to find some static electric fields that would be difficult to find using Coulomb's law. Ultimately, we'll find that Gauss's law is more general in that it applies not only to electrostatics but also to the electrodynamics of fields that change with time.

28.1 Symmetry
Suppose we knew only two things about electric fields: 1. An electric field points away from positive charges, toward negative charges, and 2. An electric field exerts a force on a charged particle.

850

28.1 . Symmetry

851

From this information alone, what can we deduce about the electric field of the infinitely long charged cylinder shown in FICiURE 28.1? We don't know if the cylinder's diameter is large or small. We don't know if the charge density is the same at the outer edge as along the axis. All we know is that the charge is positive and the charge distribution has cylindrical symmetry. Symmetry is an especially important idea in science and mathematics. We say that a charge distribution is symmetric if there is a group of geometric transformations that don't cause any physical change. To make this idea concrete, suppose you close your eyes while a friend transforms a charge distribution in one of the following three ways. He or she can • Translate (that is, displace) the charge parallel to an axis, • Rotate the charge about an axis, or • Reflect the charge in a mirror. When you open your eyes, will you be able to tell if the charge distribution has been changed? You might tell by observing a visual difference in the distribution. Or the results of an experiment with charged particles could reveal that the distribution has changed. If nothing you can see or do reveals any change, then we say that the charge distribution is symmetric under that particular transformation. FICiURE 28.2 shows that the charge distribution of Figure 28.1 is symmetric with respect to • Translation parallel to the cylinder axis. Shifting an infinitely long cylinder by 1mm or 1 DOO m makes no noticeable or measurable change. • Rotation by any angle about the cylinder axis. Turning a cylinder about its axis by 1 or 1 ° DO° makes no detectable change. • Reflections in any plane containing or perpendicular to the cylinder axis. Exchanging top and bottom, front and back, or left and right makes no detectable change. A charge distribution that is symmetric under these three groups of geometric transformations is said to be cylindrically symmetric. Other charge distributions have other types of symmetries. Some charge distributions have no symmetry at all. Our interest in symmetry can be summed up in a single statement: The symmetry distribution. of the electric field must match the symmetry of the charge

FICiURE 28.1 A charge distribution with cylindricalsymmetry.

b++++++++++++++++3
~Infinitely long charged cylinder

FICiURE 28.2 Transformations that don't change an infinite cylinder of charge.

b

b

....

S S

Original

cylinder

Translation
parallel to

the axis

Rotation about the

axis

\

~

Reflection in plane

containing
the axis

If this were not true, you could use the electric field to test whether the charge distribution had undergone a transformation. Now we're ready to see what we can learn about the electric field in Figure 28.1. Could the field look like FICiURE 28.38? (Imagine this picture rotated about the axis. Field vectors are also coming out ofthe page and going into the page.) That is, is this a possible field? This field looks the same if it's translated parallel to the cylinder axis, if up and down are exchanged by reflecting the field in a plane coming out of the page, or if you rotate the cylinder about its axis.
FICiURE

b

Reflection perpendicular

to the axis

28.3 Could the field of a cylindricalcharge distribution look like this?
(b) The charge distribution is not changed by the reflection, but the field is. This field doesn't match the symmetry of the cylinder, so the

(8) Is this a possible electric field of an infinitely long charged cylinder? Suppose the charge and the field are reflected in a plane perpendicular

to the axis.

Reflection plane ~:

b+++++++++++++++3

Y
~

/E/!/

c::::::::>
Reflect

y;;:'''~:.~
/ / /E/

b+++++++++++++++3

~E~'~

852

CHAPTER

28 . Gauss's Law

FIGURE 28.4 Or might the field of a cylindricalcharge distribution look like this? <a)

0Reflect

(b)

'l r -®~ /!,Ji'fl "'
, ,£

This field is changed.
It doesn't

the symmetry of thecylinder,sothe field can't look like this.

match

But the proposed field fails one test. Suppose we reflect the field in a plane perpendicular to the axis, a reflection that exchanges left and right. This reflection, which would not make any change in the charge distribution itself, produces the field shown in FIGURE 28.3b.This change in the field is detectable because a positively charged particle would now have a component of motion to the left instead of to the right. The field of Figure 28.3a, which makes a distinction between left and right, is not cylindrically symmetric and thus is not a possible field. In general, the electric field of a cylindrically symmetric charge distribution cannot have a component parallel to the cylinder axis. Well then, what about the electric field shown in FIGURE 28.4.? Here we're looking down the axis of the cylinder. The electric field vectors are restricted to planes perpendicular to the cylinder and thus do not have any component parallel to the cylinder axis. This field is symmetric for rotations about the axis, but it's not symmetric for a reflection in a plane containing the axis. The field of FIGURE 28.4b,after this reflection, is easily distinguishable from the field of Figure 28.4a. Thus the electric field of a cylindrically symmetric charge distribution cannot have a component tangent to the circular cross section. FIGURE 28.5 shows the only remaining possible field shape. The electric field is radial, pointing straight out from the cylinder like the bristles on a bottle brush. This is the one electric field shape matching the symmetry of the charge distribution.
FIGURE 28.5 This is the only shape for the electric field that matches the symmetry of the charge distribution.

End view

What Good Is Symmetry?
Given how little we assumed about Figure 28. I-that the charge distribution is cylindrically symmetric and that electric fields point away from positive charges-we've been able to deduce a great deal about the electric field. In particular, we've deduced the shape of the electric field. Now, shape is not everything. We've learned nothing about the strength of the field or how strength changes with distance. Is E constant? Does it decrease like lIr or lIr2? We don't yet have a complete description of the field, but knowing what shape the field has to have will make finding the field strength a much easier task. That's the good of symmetry. Symmetry arguments allow us to rule out many conceivable field shapes as simply being incompatible with the symmetry of the charge distribution. Knowing what doesn't happen, or can't happen, is often as useful as knowing what does happen. By the process of elimination, we're led to the one and only shape the field can possibly have. Reasoning on the basis of symmetry is a sometimes subtle but always powerful means of reasoning.

Three Fundamental

Symmetries

Three fundamental symmetries appear frequently in electrostatics. The first row of FIGURE 28.6 shows the simplest form of each symmetry. The second row shows a more

28.1 . Symmetry complex, but more realistic, situation with the same symmetry. We may not know the field strength, but the field shape in these more complex situations must match the symmetry of the charge distribution.
NOTE ~ Figures must be finite in extent, but the planes and cylinders in Figure 28.6 are assumed to be infinite. <II
FIGURE 28.6

853

Three fundamental

symmetries.
Cylindrical symmetry

Planar symmetry

Spherical symmetry

Basic symmetry:

The field is perpendicular to the plane.

toward or away

More complex example:

+++++++++++++

Infinite parallel-plate

capacitor

..
(c)

from the axis.

toward or away from the center.

@
Concentric spheres

Coaxial cylinders

Objects do exist that are extremely close to being perfect spheres, but no real cylinder or plane can be infinite in extent. Even so, the fields of infinite planes and cylinders are good models for the fields of finite planes and cylinders at points not too close to an edge or an end. Planar and cylindrical electrodes are common in a vast number of practical devices, so the fields that we'll study in this chapter, even if idealized, are not without important applications.

I STOP TO THINK 2 •. 1 I A uniforrnl y charged rod has a finite

length L. The rod is symmetric under rotations about the axis and under reflection in any plane containing the axis. It is not symmetric under translations or under reflections in a plane perpendicular to the axis unless that plane bisects the rod. Which field shape or shapes match the symmetry of the rod?
(a)

()+ + + + + + + + +

t !

1

!

t !

'G)"",

/

/

/ ()+ +

-,

+++++++

1

-,

!

/

1 -G)--

(d)

!

-+--fl

+ + + + + + + + + l--+

<,

/'

\ I /' I \ -,

-G)--

1

!

(h)

()+ + + + +

1t

!!

t ++ l

++

t

!

1 -G)--

(e)

!

-+--fl +

+ + + + + + + + l--+

l--;!

-

854

CHAPTER

28 . Gauss's Law

28.2 The Concept of Flux
FIGURE 28.78 shows an opaque box surrounding a region of space. We can't see what's in the box, but there's an electric field vector coming out of each face of the box. Can you figure out what's in the box?

FIGURE 28.7 Although we can't see into the boxes, the electric fields passing through the faces tell us something about what's in them.

(8) The field is coming out of each face of

(b) The field is going into each face of the

the box. There must

box. There must be
the box. "-

(c) A field passing through the box

implies there's
no the box" in net charge

a negative charge in

-_,)...-I

CD'
:

E

-

E

~

FIGURE 28.8 Gaussian surface surrounding a charge. A two-dimensional cross section is usually easier to draw.

(8)

A Gaussian surface

is a closed surface
around a charge.

A //

two-dimensional cross section through

a spherical Gaussian
surface is easier to draw.

Of course you can. Because electric fields point away from positive charges, and the electric field is coming out of every face of the box, it seems clear that the box contains a positive charge or charges. Similarly, the box in FIGURE 28.7b certainly contains a negative charge. What can we tell about the box in FIGURE 28.7c? The electric field points into the box on the left. An equal electric field points out on the right. This might be the electric field between a large positive electrode somewhere out of sight on the left and a large negative electrode off to the right. An electric field passes through the box, but we see no evidence there's any charge (or at least any net charge) inside the box. These examples suggest that the electric field as it passes into, out of, or through the box is in some way connected to the charge within the box. However, these simple pictures don't tell us how much charge there is or where within the box the charge is located. Perhaps a better box would be more informative. Suppose we surround a region of space with a closed surface, a surface that divides space into distinct inside and outside regions. Within the context of electrostatics, a closed surface through which an electric field passes is called a Gaussian surface. named after the 19th-century mathematician Karl Gauss who developed the mathematical foundations of geometry. This is an imaginary, mathematical surface, not a physical surface, although it might coincide with a physical surface. For example, FIGURE 28.88 shows a spherical Gaussian surface surrounding a charge. A closed surface must, of necessity, be a surface in three dimensions. But threedimensional pictures are hard to draw, so we'll often look at two-dimensional cross sections through a Gaussian surface, such as the one shown in FIGURE 28.8b. Now, a better choice of box makes it more clear what's inside. We can tell from the spherical symmetry of the electric field vectors poking through the surface that the positive charge inside must be spherically symmetric and centered at the center of the sphere. Notice two features that will soon be important: The electric field is everywhere perpendicular to the spherical surface and has the same magnitude at each point on the surface. FIGURE 28.9 shows another example. An electric field emerges from four sides of the cube in FIGURE 28.98 but not from the top or bottom. We might be able to guess what's within the box, but we can't be sure. FIGURE 28.9b uses a different Gaussian surface, a closed cylinder (i.e., the cylindrical wall and the flat ends), and FIGURE 28.9c simplifies the drawing by showing two-dimensional end and side views. Now, with a better choice of surface, we can tell that the cylindrical Gaussian surface surrounds some kind of cylindrical charge distribution, such as a charged wire. Again, the electric field is everywhere perpendicular to the cylindrical surface and has the same magnitude at each point on the surface.

28.2 . The Concept of Flux

855

FIGURE 28.9 (a)

Gaussian surface is most useful when it matches the shape of the field.

V
Cubic Gaussian surface

(b~

i1~~i1
Cylindrical Gaussian

E':' ';:h :E/~*'
I
Two-dimensional cross sections of a Gaussian surface
FIGURE 28.10 Not every surface is useful for learning about charge.

surface

For contrast, consider the spherical surface in FIGURE28.1 Oa. This is also a Gaussian surface, and the protruding electric field tells us there's a positive charge inside. It might be a point charge located on the left side, but we can't really say. A Gaussian surface that doesn't match the symmetry of the charge distribution isn't terribly useful. The nonclosed surface of FIGURE 28.10b doesn't provide much help either. What appears to be a uniform electric field to the right could be due to a large positive plate on the left, a large negative plate on the right, or both. A nonclosed surface doesn't provide enough information. These examples lead us to two conclusions: 1. The electric field, in some sense, "flows" out of a closed surface surrounding a region of space containing a net positive charge and into a closed surface surrounding a net negative charge. The electric field may flow through a closed surface surrounding a region of space in which there is no net charge, but the net flow is zero. 2. The electric field pattern through the surface is particularly simple if the closed surface matches the symmetry of the charge distribution inside. The electric field doesn't really flow like a fluid, but the metaphor is a useful one. The Latin word for flow isflux, and the amount of electric field passing through a surface is called the electric flux. Our first conclusion, stated in terms of electric flux, is • There is an outward flux through a closed surface around a net positive charge. • There is an inward flux through a closed surface around a net negative charge. • There is no net flux through a closed surface around a region of space in which there is no net charge. This chapter has been entirely qualitative thus far as we've established pictorially what we mean by symmetry, the idea of flux, and the fact that the electric flux through a closed surface has something to do with the charge inside. Understanding these qualitative ideas is essential, but to go further we need to make these ideas quantitative and precise. In the next section, you'll learn how to calculate the electric flux through a surface. Then, in the section following that, we'll establish a precise relationship between the net flux through a Gaussian surface and the enclosed charge. That relationship, Gauss's law, will allow us to determine the electric fields of some interesting and useful charge distributions.

(aJ
A Gaussian surface that doesn't match the symmetry of the electric field isn't very useful.

(bJnonc1osed A

surface doesn't

~

-->

provide enough information

E

about the charges. •••................. "

I

STOP TO THINK

2 •• 2

J This

box contains

a. b. c. d. e. f.

A positive charge. A negative charge. No charge. A net positive charge. A net negative charge. No net charge.

856

CHAPTER

28 . Gauss's Law

28.3 Calculating Electric Flux
11.7

phYSics

Activ

Let's start with a brief overview of where this section will take us. We'll begin with a definition of flux that is easy to understand, then we'll tum that simple definition into a formidable-looking integral. We need the integral because the simple definition applies only to uniform electric fields and flat surfaces. Those are good starting points, but we'll soon need to calculate the flux of nonuniform fields through curved surfaces. Mathematically, the flux of a nonuniform field through a curved surface is described by a special kind of integral called a surface integral. It's quite possible that you have not yet encountered surface integrals in your calculus course, and the "novelty factor" contributes to making this integral look worse than it really is. We will emphasize over and over the idea that an integral is just a fancy way of doing a sum, in this case the sum of the small amounts of flux through many small pieces of a surface. The good news is that every surface integral we need to evaluate in this chapter, or that you will need to evaluate for the homework problems, is either zero or is so easy that you will be able to do it in your head. This seems like an astounding claim, but you will soon see it is true. The key will be to make effective use of the symmetry of the electric field. Now that you've been warned, you needn't panic at the sight of the mathematical notation that will be introduced. We'll go step by step, and you'll see that, at least as far as electrostatics is concerned, calculating the electric flux is not difficult.

The Basic Definition

of Flux

Imagine holding a rectangular wire loop of area A in front of a fan. As FIGURE 28.11 shows, the volume of air flowing through the loop each second depends on the angle between the loop and the direction of flow. The flow is maximum through a loop that is perpendicular to the airflow; no air goes through the same loop if it lies parallel to the flow.
FIGURE 28.11

and ii.
(a) (b)

The amount of air flowing through a loop depends on the angle between

v

Unit vector normal to loop~

n

(c) The loop is tilted by angle B.

~""-::o+
The air flowing through the loop is maximum when 8 = 0°. No air flows through the loop when 8 = 90
V_j_
0

,;)

= vcos8 is the componeri~ of the air velocity perpendicular to the loop.

The flow direction is identified by the velocity vector ii. We can identify the loop's orientation by defining a unit vector II normal to the plane of the loop. Angle () is then the angle between ii and II. The loop perpendicular to the flow in FIGURE 28.11a has ()= 0°; the loop parallel to the flow in FIGURE 28.llb has () = 90°. You can think of ()as the angle by which a loop has been tilted away from perpendicnlar.
~ A surface has two sides, so II could point either way. We'll choose the side that makes () :5 90°. ... NOTE

You can see from FIGURE 28.11 c that the velocity vector ii can be decomposed into components vj_ = vcoss perpendicnlar to the loop and VII = vsin() parallel to the loop. Only the perpendicular component vj_carries air through the loop. Consequently, the volume of air flowing through the loop each second is volume of air per second (m3/s) flows through the loop if it is tilted 90°.
=

vj_A = vAcos()

(28.1)

()= 0° is the orientation for maximum flow through the loop, as expected, and no air

28.3 . Calculating Electric Flux An electric field doesn't flow in a literal sense, but we can apply the same idea to an electric field passing through a surface. FIGURE 28.12 shows a surface of area A in a uniform electric field E. Unit vector is normal to the surface and () is the angle between ji andE. Only the component E. = Ecos() passes through the surface. With this in mind, and using Equation 28.1 as an analog, let's define the electric flux <Pe as
FIGURE 28.12 An electric field passing through a surface. Ej_ = EcosB is the component of theelectric fieldthatpasses through the surface. / Nonnal

851

n

surface

to

<P,

= E~A = EAcos()

(28.2)

The electric flux measures the amount of electric field passing through a surface of area A if the normal to the surface is tilted at angle ()from the field. Equation 28.2 looks very much like a vector dot product: E .A = EA cos (). For this idea to work, let's define an area vedor A = to be a vector in the direction of that is, perpendicular to the surface-with a magnitude A equal to the area of the surface. Vector A has units of m2• FIGURE28.13a shows two area vectors.

An

n-

FIGURE 28.13 (a)

The electric flux can be defined in terms of the area vector
(b)
~4

A.

Area vector X to is perpendicular thesurface. he _...-" A T magnitude of

A is

4

thesurfacearea

A /,-'

_+- __ --"
Theelecrri
Area

A

Area

A

through the surface

is <I>.~i!·A.

FIGURE 28.13b shows an electric field passing through a surface of area A. The angle between vectors A and E is the same angle used in Equation 28.2 to define the electric flux, so Equation 28.2 really is a dot product. We can define the electric flux more concisely as

(electric flux of a constant electric field)

(28.3)

Writing the flux as a dot product helps make clear how angle () is defined: () is the angle between the electric field and a line perpendicular to the plane of the surface.
NOTE ~ Figure 28.13b shows a circular area, but the shape of the surface is not relevant. However, Equation 28.3 is restricted to a constant electric field passing through a planar surface. ...

EXAMPLE 28.1

The electric flux inside a parallel-plate capacitor

E = _Q_ =
EoA,I,""

Two 100 em2 parallel electrodes are spaced 2.0 em apart. One is chargedto +5.0 nC, the other to -5.0 nCoA 1.0 em X 1.0em surface between the electrodes is tilted to where its normal makes a 45° angle with the electric field. What is the electric flux through this surface?
MODEL Assume the surface is located near the center of the capacitor where the electric field is uniform. The electric flux doesn't depend on the shape of the surface. VISUALIZE

(8.85 10' N/C

X

10

12 C2/Nm2)

5.0 X lO-'C (1.0

X 10

2

m2)

=

5.65

X

A 1.0em X 1.0em surface has A flux through this surface is
<1>, =
= = ASSESS

=

1.0 X

10-4

m2• The electric

£'A

=

EAcosO
X 1O-4m2)cos45°

(5.65 X 10'N/C)(1.0 4.0 Nm2/C

The surface is square, rather than circular, but otherwise the sitoation looks like Figure 28.13b. SOLVE In Chapter 27, we found the electric field inside a parallelplate capacitor to be

The units of electric flux are the product of electric field and area units: N m2/e.

858

CHAPTER

28 . Gauss's Law

The Electric Flux of a Nonuniform

Electric Field

FIGURE

28.14

A surface in a nonuniform

electric field.

Our initial definition of the electric flux assumed that the electric field E was constant over the surface. How should we calculate the electric flux if E varies from point to point on the surface? We can answer this question by returning to the analogy of air flowing through a loop. Suppose the airflow varies from point to point. We can still find the total volume of air passing through the loop each second by dividing the loop into many small areas, finding the flow through each small area, then adding them. Similarly, the electric flux through a surface can be calculated as the sum of the fluxes through smaller pieces of the surface. Because flux is a scalar, adding fluxes is easier than adding electric fields. FIGURE 28.14 shows a surface in a nonuniform electric field. Imagine dividing the surface into many small pieces of area BA. Each little area has an area vector BA perpendicular to the surface. Two of the little pieces, labeled i and j, are shown in the figure. The electric fluxes through these two pieces differ because the electric fields are different. Consider the small piece i where the electric field is Ei. The small electric flux B<Pi through area (BA)i is B<Pi =

Ei'

(BA)i

(28.4)

Piece i

it may

The total area A ban be divided into many small pieces of area iiA.
be different at each piece.

The flux through every other little piece of the surface is found the same way. The total electric flux through the entire surface is then the sum of the fluxes through each of the small areas: (28.5) Now let's go to the limit BA ~ dA.. That is, the little areas become infinitesimally small, and there are infinitely many of them. Then the sum becomes an integral, and the electric flux through the surface is

<P,

=

f
surface

E·dA

(28.6)

The integral in Equation 28.6 is called a surface integral. Equation 28.6 may look rather frightening if you haven't seen surface integrals before. Despite its appearance, a surface integral is no more complicated than integrals you know from calculus. After all, what does ff(x) dx really mean? This expression is a shorthand way to say "Divide the x-axis into many little segments of length Bx, evaluate the functionjiz) in each of them, then add up f(x)Bx for all the segments along the line." The integral in Equation 28.6 differs only in that we're dividing a surface into little pieces instead of a line into little segments. In particular, we're summing the fluxes through a vast number of very tiny pieces You may be thinking, "OK, I understand the idea, but I don't know what to do. In calculus, I learned formulas for evaluating integrals such as x2dx. How do I evaluate a surface integral?" This is a good question. We'll deal with evaluation shortly, and it will tum out that the surface integrals in electrostatics are qnite easy to evaluate. But don't confuse evaluating the integral with understanding what the integral means. The surface integral in Equation 28.6 is simply a shorthand notation for the summation of the electric fluxes through a vast number of very tiny pieces of a surface. The electric field might be different at every point on the surface, but suppose it isn't. That is, suppose the surface is in a uniform electric field E. A field that is the same at every single point on a surface is a constant as far as the integration of Equation 28.6 is concerned, so we can take it outside the integral. In that case,

f

<P,

=

f
surface

E' dA. =

f

Ecos()dA

=

Ecos()

f
surface

dA

(28.7)

28.3 . Calculating Electric Flux

859

The integral that remains in Equation 28.7 tells us to add up all the little areas into which the full surface was subdivided. But the sum of all the little areas is simply the area of the surface:

I

dA = A

(28.8)

surface

This idea-that the surface integral of dA is the area of the surface-is one we'll use to evaluate most of the surface integrals of electrostatics. If we substitute Equation 28.8 into Equation 28.7, we find that the electric flux in a uniform electric field is cPe = EAcosO. We already knew this, from Equation 28.2, but it was important to see that the surface integral of Equation 28.6 gives the correct result for the case of a uniform electric field.

FIGURE 28.15

A curved surface in an

electric field.

The Flux Through a Curved Surface
Most of the Gaussian surfaces we considered in the last section were curved surfaces. FIGURE 28.15 shows an electric field passing through a curved surface. How do we find the electric flux through this surface? Just as we did for a flat surface! Divide the surface into many small pieces of area BA. For each, define the area vector BA perpendicular to the surface at that point. Compared to Figure 28.14, the only difference that the curvature of the surface makes is that the BA are no longer parallel to each other. Find the small electric flux BcPi = Ei· (BA)i through each little area, then add them all up. The result, once again, is (28.9) We assumed, in deriving this expression the first time, that the surface was flat and that all the BA were parallel to each other. But that assumption wasn't necessary. The meaning of Equation 28.9-a summation of the fluxes through a vast number of very tiny pieces-is unchanged if the pieces lie on a curved surface. We seem to be getting more and more complex, using surface integrals first for nonuniform fields and now for curved surfaces. But consider the two situations shown in FIGURE 28.16. The electric field E in FIGURE 28.16a is everywhere tangent, or parallel, to the curved surface. We don't need to know the pagnitude of E to reco~nize that E . dA is zero at every point on the surface because E is perpendicular to dA at every point. Thus cP e = O.A tangent electric field never pokes through the surface, so it has no flux through the surface. The electric field in FIGURE28.16b is everywhere perpendicular to the surface and has the same magnitude E at every point. E differs in direction at different points on a curved surface, but at any particular point E is parallel to dA and E . dA is simply E dA. In this case, cPe=
FIGURE 28.16 Electric fields that are everywhere tangent to or everywhere perpendicular to a curved surface.

The flux thro~;~
this little piece is

8<1>, ~ E,·(8A),.

Curved surface of total area A

(b)

I

E·dA=

I

EdA=E

I

dA=EA

(28.10)

surface

As we evaluated the integral, the fact that E has the same magnitude at every point on the surface allowed us to bring the constant value outside the integral. We then used the fact that the integral of dA over the surface is the surface area A. We can summarize these two situations with a Tactics Box.

perpendicular to the
surface and has the same

E is

everywhere

magnitude at each point.
The flux is EA.

TACTICS Evaluating surface integrals
BOX 28.1

o
f)

If the electric field is everywhere tangent to a surface, the electric flux through the surface is cPe = O. If the electric field is everywhere perpendicular to a surface and has the same magnitude E at every point, the electric flux through the surface is cP e = EA.

860

CHAPTER

28 . Gauss's Law

These two results will be of immeasurable value for using Gauss's law because every flux we'll need to calculate will be one of these situations. This is the basis for our earlier claim that the evaluation of surface integrals is not going to be difficult.

The Electric Flux through a Closed Surface
Our final step, to calculate the electric flux through a closed surface such as a box, a cylinder, or a sphere, requires nothing new. We've already learned how to calculate the electric flux through flat and curved surfaces, and a closed surface is nothing more than a surface that happens to be closed. However, the mathematical notation for the surface integral over a closed surface differs slightly from what we've been using. It is customary to use a little circle on the integral sign to indicate that the surface integral is to be performed over a closed surface. With this notation, the electric flux through a closed surface is

e, =

fE.dA

(28.11)

Only the notation has changed. The electric flux is still the summation of the fluxes through a vast number of tiny pieces, pieces that now cover a closed surface. A closed surface has a distinct inside and outside. The area vector M is defined to always point toward the outside. This removes an ambiguity that was present for a single surface, where M could point to either side. <III
NOTE ~

EXAMPLE 28.2

Calculating the electric flux through a closed cylinder

A cylindrical charge distribution has created the electric field if = £o(r2/r(/);, where Eo and ro are constants and where unit vector ; lies in the xy-plane. Calculate the electric flux through a closed cylinder oflength L and radius R that is centered along the z-axis.
MODEL The electric field extends radially ontward from the z-axis with cylindrical symmetry. The z-component is E, = O. The cylinder is a Gaussian surface. VISUALIZE FIGURE28.17a

To calculate the flux, we divide the closed cylinder into three surfaces: the top, the bottom, and the cylindrical wall. The electric field is tangent to the surface at every point on the top and bottom surfaces. Hence, according to step 1 in Tactics Box 28.1, the flux through those two surfaces is zero. For the cylindrical wall, the electric field is perpendicular to the surface at every point and has the constant magnitude E = Eo(R2/r02) at every point on the surface. Thus, from Step 2 in Tactics Box 28.1,
SOLVE

is a view of the electric field looking along the z-axis. The field strength increases with increasing radial distance, and it's symmetric about the z-axis. FIGURE 28.17b is the closed Gaussian surface for which we need to calculate the electric flnx. We can place the cylinder anywhere along the z-axis becanse the electric field extends forever in that direction.

If we add the three pieces, the net flnx through the closed surface is <l>e =
=

fE'dA
EAwruJ

=

<l>tnp

+ <l>bottnm +

<l>wruJ = 0

+0+

EA_

FIGURE 28.17 The electric field and the closed surface through which we will calculate the electric flux. (8)

-4--------,_------~~x

'"

y

(b)
lit"

••• hefieldis T
...... everywhere

perpendicular /Wall.

Electric field, lookiog along the z-axis

/ /1"

,/

/
~

x

28.4 . Gauss's Law

861

We've evaluated the surface integral, nsing the two steps in Tactics Box 28.1, and there was nothing to it! To fmish, all we need to recall is that the surface area of a cylindrical wall is circumference X height, or AwruJ 27rRL. Thus = <Pe
ASSESS =

R2) 27rLR3 (E02 (27rRL) = --2 -Eo
TO TO

ing us confidence in our answer. Notice the important role played by symmetry.The electric field was perpendicular to the wall and of constant value at every point on the wall because the Gaussian surface had the same symmetry as the charge distribution. We would not have been able to evaluatethe surfaceintegralin such an easy way for a surfaceof any other shape.Symmetryis the key.

LR3/ro2 has units of nr', an area, so this expression for l:I>e

has units ofNm2/C.These are the correctunits for electric flux, giv-

Example 28.2 illustrated a two-step approach to performing a flux integral over a closed surface. In summary:

TACTICS
BOX 28.2

Finding the flux through a closed surface

Divide the closed surface into pieces that are everywhere tangent to the electric field and everywhere perpendicular to the electric field. 6 Use Tactics Box 28.1 to evaluate the surface integrals over these surfaces, then add the results.
Exercise 11

o

II

STOP TO THINK 18.3

The total electric flux

through this box is a.ONm2/C b. 1 Nm2/C c.2Nm2/C d.4Nm2/C e.6Nm2/C f.8Nm2/C

11 11
11

if

=

(1 N/C, up)

11 1t

Plane of charge

!!

if

=

(1 N/C, down)

28.4 Gauss's Law
The last section was long, but knowing how to calculate the electric flux through a closed surface is essential for the main topic of this chapter: Gauss's law. Gauss's law is equivalent to Coulomb's law for static charges, although Gauss's law will look very different. The purpose oflearning Gauss's law is twofold: • Gauss's law allows the electric fields of some continuous distributions of charge to be found much more easily than does Coulomb's law. • Gauss's law is valid for moving charges, but Coulomb's law is not (although it's a very good approximation for velocities that are much less than the speed of light). Thus Gauss's law is ultimately a more fundamental statement about electric fields than is Coulomb's law.

Activ physics

11.8

862

CHAPTER

28 . Gauss's Law

FIGURE 28.18 A spherical Gaussian surface surrounding a point charge.

Cross section of a Gaussian sphere of
radius T. This is a mathematical not a physical surface. surface,

if

Let's start with Coulomb's law for the electric field of a point charge. FIGURE 28.18 shows a spherical Gaussian surface of radius r centered on a positive charge q. Keep in mind that this is an imaginary, mathematical surface, not a physical surface. There is a net flux through this surface because the electric field points outward at every point on the surface. To evaluate the flux, given formally by the surface integral of Equation 28.11, notice that the electric field is perpendicular to the surface at every point on the surface and, from Coulomb's law, it has the same magnitude E = q/47TEor2 at every point on the surface. This simple situation arises because the Gaussian surface has the same symmetry as the electric field. Thus we know, without having to do any hard work, that the flux integral is (28.12) The surface area of a sphere of radius r is Asphere = 47Tr2. If we use Asphere and the Coulomb-law expression for E in Equation 28.12, we find that the electric flux through the spherical surface is (28.13) You should examine the logic of this calculation closely. We really did evaluate the surface integral of Equation 28.11, although it may appear, at first, as if we didn't do much. The integral was easily evaluated, we reiterate for emphasis, because the closed surface on which we performed the integration matched the symmetry of the charge distribution. In such cases, the surface integral for the flux is simply a field strength multiplied by a surface area.
NOTE ~ We found Equation 28.13 for a positive charge, but it applies equally to negative charges. According to Equation 28.13, <Pe is negative if 'l is~negative. And that's what we would expect from the basic definition of flux, E . A. The electric field of a negative charge points inward, while the area vector of a closed surface points outward, making the dot product negative. ...

if
The electric field is everywhere perpendicular to the surface and has

the same magnitude at every point.

Electric Flux Is Independent
FIGURE 28.19 The electric flux is the same through every sphere centered a point charge.

of Surface Shape and Radius

on

Notice something interesting about Equation 28.13. The electric flux depends on the amount of charge but not on the radius of the sphere. Although this may seem a bit surprising, it's really a direct consequence of what we mean by flux. Think of the flnid analogy with which we introduced the term "flux." If fluid flows outward from a central point, all the fluid crossing a small-radius spherical surface will, at some later time, cross a large-radius spherical surface. No fluid is lost along the way, and no new flnid is created. Similarly, the point charge in FIGURE 28.19 is the only source of electric field. Every electric field line passing through a small-radius spherical surface also passes through a large-radius spherical surface. Hence the electric flux is independent ofr.
NOTE ~ This argument hinges on the fact that Coulomb's law is an inverse-square force law. The electric field strength, which is proportional to lIr2, decreases with distance. But the surface area, which increases in proportion to r2, exactly compensates for this decrease. Consequently, the electric flux of a point charge through a spherical surface is independent of the radius of the sphere. ...

..........."
Every field line passing through the smaller sphere also passes through the larger sphere. Hence the flux through the two spheres is the same.

FIGURE 28.20.

This conclusion about the flux has an extremely important generalization. shows a point charge and a closed Gaussian surface of arbitrary shape and

28.4 . Gauss's Law

863

dimensions. All we know is that the charge is inside the surface. What is the electric flux through this surface? One way to answer the question is to approximate the surface as a patchwork of spherical and radial pieces. The spherical pieces are centered on the charge and the radial pieces lie along lines extending outward from the charge. (Figure 28.20 is a two-dimensional drawing so you need to imagine these arcs as actually being pieces of a spherical shell.) The figure, of necessity, shows fairly large pieces that don't match the actual surface all that well. However, we can make this approximation as good as we want by letting the pieces become sufficiently small. The electric field is everywhere tangent to the radial pieces. Hence the electric flux through the radial pieces is zero. The spherical pieces, although at varying distances from the charge, form a complete sphere. That is, any line drawn radially outward from the charge will pass through exactly one spherical piece, and no radial lines can avoid passing through a spherical piece. You could even imagine, as FICiURE 28.20b shows, sliding the spherical pieces in and out without changing the angle they subtend until they come together to form a complete sphere. Consequently, the electric flux through these spherical pieces that, when assembled, form a complete sphere must be exactly the same as the flux qleo through a spherical Gaussian surface. In other words, the flux through any closed surface surrounding a point charge q is q, =
e

FICiURE 28.20 An arbitrary Gaussian surface can be approximated with spherical and radial pieces. (a) Point charge The spherical pieces are centered on the charge.

,->=-~.J

The radial pieces are along
lines extending out from

the charge. There's no flux
through these.

The approximation with spherical and radial pieces can be as good as desired by letting the pieces become sufficiently small.
(b)

f

~~

E'dA=-

q eo

(28.14)

This surprisingly simple result is a consequence of the fact that Coulomb's law is an inverse-square force law. Even so, the reasoning that got us to Equation 28.14 is rather subtle and well worth reviewing.

Charge Outside the Surface
The closed surface shown in FICiURE 28.210 has a point charge q outside the surface but no charges inside. Now what can we say about the flux? By approximating this surface with spherical and radial pieces centered on the charge, as we did in Figure 28.20, we can reassemble the surface into the equivalent surface of FICiURE 28.21 b. This closed surface consists of sections of two spherical shells, and it is equivalent in the sense that the electric flux through this surface is the same as the electric flux through the original surface of Figure 28.2Ia. If the electric field were a fluid flowing outward from the charge, all the fluid entering the closed region through the first spherical surface would later exit the
FICiURE (a) The flux is negative 28.21 The spherical pieces can slide in or out to form

a complete sphere. Hence the flux through the
pieces is the same as the flux through a sphere.

A point charge outside a Gaussian surface.

on some pieces of
the surface.

"....

........-von

The flux is positive

some pieces of the surface.
Closed surface

Approximating

this surface with spherical

(

and radial pieces allows it to be reassembled as the surface to the right that has the same flux.

The fluxes through these surfaces are equal but opposite. The net flux is zero.

864

CHAPTER

28 . Gauss's Law

region through the second spherical surface. There is no net flow into or out of the closed region. Similarly, every electric field line entering this closed volume through one spherical surface exits through the other spherical surface. Mathematically, the electric fluxes through the two spherical surfaces have the same magnitude because <Pe is independent of r. But they have opposite signs because the outward-pointing area vector A is parallel to £ on one surface but opposite to £ on the other. The sum of the fluxes through the two surfaces is zero, and we are led to the conclusion that the net electric flux is zero through a closed surface that does not contain any net charge. Charges outside the surface do not produce a net flux through the surface. This isn't to say that the flux through a small piece of the surface is zero. In fact, as Figure 28.21a shows, nearly every piece of the surface has an electric field either entering or leaving and thus has a nonzero flux. But some of these are positive and some are negative. When summed over the entire surface, the positive and negative contributions exactly cancel to give no net flux.

Multiple
Charges both inside and outside a Gaussian surface.
FIGURE 28.22 The fluxes due to charges

Charges

o o o

outside the surface are all zero. q,

6\ o

Finally, consider an arbitrary Gaussian surface and a group of charges q10 q2, q3, ... such as those shown in FIGURE 28.22. Some of these charges are inside the surface, others outside. The charges can be either positive or negative. What is the net electric flux through the closed surface? By definition, the net flux is

e, =

T£' dA

___________ Two-dimensional
cross section of a

Gaussian surface

From the principle of superposition, the electric field is £ = £1 + £2 + £3 + ... , where £10 £2, £3, ... are the fields of the individual charges. Thus the flux can be written

Total charge inside is Qin'

<Pe

= JE1'dA
=

1-

- + 1- 'dA - + 1- 'dA - + ... JE JE
2 3

(28.15)

The fluxes due to charges inside the surface add.

<PI + <P2 + <P3 + ...

where <P1o <P2, <P3, ... are the fluxes through the Gaussian surface due to the individual charges. That is, the net flux is the sum of the fluxes due to individual charges. But we know what those are: qleo for the charges inside the surface and zero for the charges outside. Thus

<Pe

=

('f1_ + ~ + ... + (ji_ for all charges
EO EO EO

inside the surface)

(28.16)

+ (0 +
We define Q;n
=

0

+ . . . + 0 for

all charges outside the surface)

q1

+ q2 + ... + q;for

all charges inside the surface

(28.17)

as the total charge enclosed within the surface. With this definition, we can write our result for the net electric flux in a very neat and compact fashion. For any closed surface enclosing total charge Q;n, the net electric flux through the surface is

(28.18) This result for the electric flux is known as (iauss's law.

28.5 . Using Gauss's Law

865

What Does Gauss's Law Tell Us?
In one sense, Gauss's law doesn't say anything new or anything that we didn't already know from Coulomb's law. After all, we derived Gauss's law from Coulomb's law. But in another sense, Gauss's law is more important than Coulomb's law. Gauss's law states a very general property of electric fields-namely, that charges create electric fields in just such a way that the net flux of the field is the same through any surface surrounding the charges, no matter what its size and shape may be. This fact may have been implied by Coulomb's law, but it was by no means obvious. And Gauss's law will turn out to be particularly useful later when we combine it with other electric and magnetic field equations. Gauss's law is the mathematical statement of our observations in Section 28.2. There we noticed a net "flow" of electric field out of a closed surface containing charges. Gauss's law quantifies this idea by making a specific connection between the ''flow,'' now measured as electric flux, and the amount of charge. But is it useful? Although to some extent Gauss's law is a formal statement about electric fields, not a tool for solving practical problems, there are exceptions: Gauss's law will allow us to find the electric fields of some very important and very practical charge distributions much more easily than if we had to rely on Coulomb's law. We'll consider some examples in the next section.

I

STOP TO THINK 2 •. ' These are two-dimensional cross sections through three-dimensional closed spheres and a cube. Rank in order, from largest to smallest, the electric fluxes CP,to CP,through surfaces a to e.

I

(a)

(b)

(c)

(d)

(e)

28.5 Using Gauss's Law
In this section, we'll use Gauss's law to determine the electric fields of several impor-

tant charge distributions. Some of these you already know, from Chapter 27; others will be new. Three important observations can be made about using Gauss's law: 1. Gauss's law applies ouly to a closed surface, called a Gaussian surface. 2. A Gaussian surface is not a physical surface. It need not coincide with the boundary of any physical object (although it could if we wished). It is an imaginary, mathematical surface in the space surrounding one or more charges. 3. We can't find the electric field from Gauss's law alone. We need to apply Gauss's law in situations where, from symmetry and superposition, we already can guess the shape of the field. These observations and our previous discussion of symmetry and flux lead to the following strategy for solving electric field problems with Gauss's law.

866

CHAPTER

28 . Gauss's Law

MODEL VISUALIZE

Model the charge distribution Draw a picture

as a distribution

with symmetry.

of the charge distribution.

• • • •

Determine the symmetry of its electric field. Choose and draw a Gaussian surface with the same symmetry. You need not enclose to the electric field. representation is based on Gauss's law all the charge within the Gaussian surface is either tangent surface. to or perpendicular Be sure every part of the Gaussian

SOLVE

The mathematical

Use Tactics Boxes 28.1 and 28.2 to evaluate Check that your result has the correct

the surface integral. units, is reasonable, and answers

ASSESS

the question.

EXAMPLE

28.3

Outside a sphere of charge

In Chapter 27 we asserted, without proof, that the electric field outside a sphere of total charge Q is the same as the field of a point charge Q at the center. Use Gauss's law to prove this result. The charge distribution within the sphere need not be uniform (i.e., the charge density might increase or decrease with r), but it must have spherical synunetry in order for us to use Gauss's law. We will assume that it does.
MODEL

charged sphere will be our Gaussian surface. Because this surface surrounds the entire sphere of charge, the enclosed charge is simplyQrn = Q.
SOLVE

Gauss's law is

shows a sphere of charge Q and radius R. We want to find if outside this sphere, for distances r > R. The spherical synunetry of the charge distribution tells us that the electric field must point radially outward from the sphere. Although Gauss's law is true for any surface surrounding the charged sphere, it is useful only if we choose a Gaussian surface to match the spherical symmetry of the charge distribution and the field. Thus a spherical surface of radius r > R concentric with the
VISUALIZE FIGURE 28.23 FIGURE 28.23 A spherical Gaussian surface surrounding a sphere of charge.

To calculate the flux, notice that the electric field is everywhere perpendicular to the spherical surface. And although we don't know the electric field magnitude E, spherical symmetry dictates that E must have the same value at all points equally distant from the center of the sphere. Thus we have the simple result that the net flux through the Gaussian surface is

<P,

=

EA'J'hore = 47Tr2E

where we used the fact that the surface area of a sphere is A'J'hore = 47Tr2. With this result for the flux, Gauss's law is 47Tr2E =

Q
eo

Gaussian
surface~

i \_ i is everywhere
perpendicular to
the surface.

Thus the electric field at distance r outside a sphere of charge is IQ Eoutside = 41TEo----;S Or in vector form, making use of the fact that Eoutside

if is radially

outward,

=

I

Q_ r

41TEO ~

where;
Sphere of total charge
ASSESS

is a radial unit vector.

Q

The field is exactly that of a point charge Q, which is what we wanted to show.

28.5 . Using Gauss's Law

861

The derivation of the electric field of a sphere of charge depended crucially on a proper choice of the Gaussian surface. We would not have been able to evaluate the flux integral so simply for any other choice of surface. It's worth noting that the result of Example 28.3 can also be proven by the superposition of point-charge fields, but it requires a difficult three-dimensional integral and about a page of algebra. We obtained the answer using Gauss's law in just a few lines. Where Gauss's law works, it works extremely well! However, it works ouly in situations, such as this, with a very high degree of symmetry.

EXAMPLE 28.4

Inside a sphere of charge

The charge enclosed in a sphere of radins r is thns Qin - pV, -

What is the electric field inside a uniformly charged sphere?
MODEL We haven't considered a situation like this before. To begin, we don't know if the field strength is increasing or decreasing as we move outward from the center of the sphere. But the field inside must have spherical symmetry. That is, the field must point radially inward or outward, and the field strength can depend only on r. This is sufficient information to solve the problem because it allows us to choose a Gaussian surface. VISUALIZE FIGURE 28.24 shows a spherical Gaussian surface with radius r :5 R inside, and concentric with, the sphere of charge. This surface matches the symmetry of the charge distribution, hence if is perpendicular to this surface and the field strength E has the same value at all points on the surface.

_

_( Q

171"R' 371"r

)(4 ') _ -

Ji3Q

r'

The amount of enclosed charge increases with the cube of the distance r from the center and, as expected, eqnals Qrn = Q if r = R. With this expression for Qin, Gauss's law is

Thus the electric sphere is

field at radius r inside a uniformly

charged

1
Einside

=

4'7TfO

Ji3 r
with

Q

FIGURE 28.24

uniform

A spherical Gaussian surface inside a sphere of charge.

Sphere of / total charge

Q

@
r

The electric field strength inside the sphere increases linearly the distance r from the center.

GaUSsianSUrfaceinside
the sphere of charge

ASSESS The field inside and the field outside a sphere of charge match at the boundary of the sphere, r = R, where both give E = Q1471"EoR2. In other words, the field strength is continuous as we cross the boundary of the sphere. These results are shown graphically in FIGURE28.25.

FIGURE 28.25

a uniform
SOLVE

The flux integral is identical to that of Example 28.3:

Consequently, Gauss's law is

<P,

=

471"r2E = Qrn
EO

o
E

The electric field strength of sphere of charge of radius R.

The difference between this example and Example 28.3 is that Qin is no longer the total charge of the sphere. Instead, Qrn is the amonnt of charge inside the Ganssian sphere of radins r. Becanse the charge distribntion is uniform, the volume charge density is

The field inside the sphere increases linearly with distance.

Q

Q

p = VR = 171"R'

868

CHAPTER

28 . Gauss's Law

EXAMPLE 28.5

The electric field of a long. charged wire

In Chapter 27, we used superposition to find the electric field of an infinitely long line of charge with linear charge density (C/m) A. It was not an easy derivation. Find the electric field using Gauss's law. A long, charged wire can be modeled as an infinitely long line of charge.
MODEL VISUALIZE FIGURE 28.26

charge is inside the closed surface. The wire has linear charge density A, so the amount of charge inside a cylinder of length L is simply Qin = AL Finding the net flux is just as straightforward. We can divide the flux through the entire closed surface into the flux through each end plus the flux through the cylindrical wall. The electric field pointing straight out from the wire, is tangent to the end surfaces at every point. Thus the flux through these two surfaces is zero. On the wall, E is perpendicular to the surface and has the same strength E at every point. Thus

shows an infinitely long line of charge. We can use the symmetry of the sitnation to see that the only possible shape of the electric field is to point straight into or out from the wire, rather like the bristles on a bottle brush. The shape of the field suggests that we choose our Gaussian surface to be a cylinder of radius r and length L, centered on the wire. Because Gauss's law refers to closed surfaces, we must include the ends of the cylinder as part of the surface.
FIGURE 28.26 A

E,

<1>,

=

<l>top

+

<l>bott=

+ <l>woll

=

0

+ 0 + EA,yl

=

27rrLE

Gaussian surface around a

charged wire.

where we used ACYl = 27rrL as the surface area of a cylindrical wall of radius r and length L. Once again, the proper choice of the Gaussian surface reduces the flux integral merely to finding a surface area. With these expressions for Qin and <1>" Gauss's law is

<1>,

=

Qin AL 27rrLE = =fO EO

Thus the electric field at distance r from a long, charged wire is A Ewire = 21T'for This agrees exactly with the result of the more complex derivation in Chapter 27. Notice that the resnlt does not depend on our choice of L. A Gaussian surface is an imaginary device, not a physical object. We needed a finite-length cylinder to do the flux calculation, but the electric field of an infinitely long wire can't depend on the length of an imaginary cylinder.
ASSESS

jA!
The field is perpendicular to

the surface on the cylinder wall.
SOLVE

Gauss's law is

<1>, =

f- E·dA

Q =--'"
'0

where Qm is the charge inside the closed cylinder. We have two tasks: to evaluate the flux integral, and to determine how much

Example important of length

28.5, for the electric

field of a long, charged charge.

wire, contains

a subtle

but wire

idea, one that often occurs when using Gauss's L encloses only some of the wire's

law. The Gaussian

cylinder

The pieces

of the charged

outside the cylinder contribute anything law because cal symmetry.

are not enclosed by the Gaussian surface and consequently do not to the net flux. Even so, they are essential to the use of Gauss's wire to produce an electric field with cylindrito the the wire outside the cylinder may not contribute

it takes the entire charged In other words,

flux, but it affects the shape of the electric field. Our ability to write CPo = EA,y! depended on knowing that E is the same at every point on the wall of the cylinder. That would not be true for a charged wire of finite length, charged wire. so we cannot use Gauss's law to find the electric field of a finite-length

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