University of Applied Sciences
Faculty of Computer Science and Engineering
Fundamentals of
Electrical Engineering
Academic Year 2010/2011
Prof. Dr.Ing. G. Zimmer
Contents
1 Introduction to DC Circuits 2
1.1 Current I . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
1.1.1 Unit of the electric current . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
1.1.2 Electric charge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
1.1.3 Elementary charge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
1.1.4 Kirchhoff’s node equation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
1.2 Voltage U . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
1.2.1 Unit of the potential difference or voltage . . . . . . . . . 7
1.2.2 Kirchhoff’s loop equation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
1.3 Simple linear network elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
1.3.1 The resistor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
1.3.2 Electric sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
1.4 Simple linear networks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
1.4.1 Seriesconnected resistors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
1.4.2 Parallel connected resistors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
1.4.3 Equivalent circuits of an electric source . . . . . . . . . . 15
1.4.4 Voltage divider . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
1.5 Analysis of linear networks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
1.5.1 Superposition method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
1.5.2 Mesh current method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
1.5.3 Node voltage method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
1.6 Simple nonlinear elements and networks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
1.6.1 Semiconductor diode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
2 Introduction to AC Circuits 30
2.1 Alternating voltage and its representation . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
2.2 Network elements of AC circuits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
2.2.1 The ideal elements R, C and L . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
2.2.2 The real elements resistor, capacitor and inductor . . . . . 41
2.3 AC Power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
2.3.1 Maximum power transfer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
I
2.3.2 Series resonance circuit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
2.3.3 Reactive power compensation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
2.4 Graphical representation of network functions . . . . . . . . . . . 56
2.4.1 Location curves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
2.4.2 Transfer functions and Bode plots . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
2.5 Threephase electric power systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
2.5.1 Phasor representation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
2.5.2 Balanced load . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
2.5.3 Arbitrary load . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
3 The electrostatic ﬁeld 78
3.1 Deﬁnition of the electric ﬁeld . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
3.1.1 The electric ﬁeld of a point charge . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
3.2 The electrostatic potential function . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
3.2.1 The gradient of the potential function . . . . . . . . . . . 84
3.3 Electric ﬂux density . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
3.3.1 Divergence of the electric ﬂux density . . . . . . . . . . . 85
3.4 Poisson’s and Laplace’s equation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
3.5 The electric ﬁeld of distributed point charges in space . . . . . . . 88
3.6 Electric ﬁeld of a line charge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
3.7 Graphical representation of ﬁelds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
3.7.1 Equipotential surfaces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92
3.7.2 Electric ﬁeld lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94
3.8 Electric ﬁelds and conducting bodies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
3.9 Electric ﬁelds and dielectric bodies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
3.9.1 Boundary conditions for the electric ﬁeld . . . . . . . . . 99
3.10 Capacitance in two and multiconductor systems . . . . . . . . . 101
3.10.1 Capacitance of shielded twoconductor system . . . . . . 101
3.10.2 Capacitance of an open twoconductor system . . . . . . . 104
3.10.3 Capacitances in multiconductor systems . . . . . . . . . 105
3.11 Energy density of the electrostatic ﬁeld . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
4 Stationary currents 109
4.1 Continuity equation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109
4.2 Deﬁnition of stationary currents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
4.3 Ohm’s law in ﬁeld theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
4.4 Field equation for stationary currents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
4.5 Point source . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
4.6 Boundary conditions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
4.7 Resistance of different conﬁgurations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
4.7.1 Power dissipation density . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
II
5 The magnetic ﬁeld 117
5.1 The magnetic ﬁeld quantities
B and
H . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117
5.2 Deﬁnition of the magnetic ﬁeld . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
5.3 Magnetic ﬁelds of direct currents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
5.3.1 Scalar potential function of the magnetic ﬁeld . . . . . . . 120
5.3.2 Magnetic ﬁelds of thin extended current loop . . . . . . . 122
5.3.3 Magnetic ﬁeld of spatial distributed currents . . . . . . . . 124
5.3.4 Curl of the magnetic ﬁeld . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
5.4 Magnetic ﬂux and magnetic ﬂux density . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126
5.4.1 Magnetic vector potential and the differential equation of
magnetostatics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127
5.5 Magnetic ﬁelds and magnetic bodies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
5.5.1 Hysteresis Loop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131
5.5.2 Boundary conditions for the magnetic ﬁeld . . . . . . . . 134
5.5.3 Magnetic circuits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135
5.6 Energy and energy density of the magnetic ﬁeld . . . . . . . . . . 142
5.6.1 Hysteresis losses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143
5.7 Magnetic forces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144
5.7.1 The Lorentz force . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144
5.7.2 Force on a current carrying wire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144
5.7.3 Law of induction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145
5.8 Inductors und Transformers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148
5.8.1 Self inductance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148
5.8.2 Coupled coils . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153
5.8.3 Lossless transformer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156
5.9 Maxwell’s equations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162
5.9.1 Displacement current . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 163
5.9.2 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 165
1
Chapter 3
The electrostatic ﬁeld
In section 1.1 we already introduced the term electric charges, comparing them to
the molecules of water. In the following sections we will examine their physical
behavior and the forces between them in more detail.
In ancient times people of greek noticed that under certain circumstances amber
can attrac small pieces of paper, without knowing the reason. In the greek lan
guage amber is called electron . Today this word is used to denote a negative
elementary charge. It was the physicist Charles Augustin de Coulomb who in
1785 formulated a law describing the forces between positive and negative elec
tric charges. The idea of the electric ﬁeld is based essentially on considerations of
Michael Faraday (1791  1867).
3.1 Deﬁnition of the electric ﬁeld
To deﬁne the electric ﬁeld we consider the arrangement shown in Fig. 3.1. It
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.·
T
E
d
d
d
/
/
/ª
r
q
~
T
E
d
d
z
y
x
Q
r
F
F
z
F
y
F
x
Figure 3.1: Arrangement to deﬁne the electric ﬁeld
shows a cartesian coordinate system with an arbitrary charge distribution Q next
to its origin. At a point deﬁned by the vectorr we will place a small test charge q.
78
Due to Coulomb’s law a force
F(r) will act on the test charge q and of course this
force will be a function of the pointr in space we considered.
F(r) =
_
_
F
x
(x, y, z)
F
y
(x, y, z)
F
z
(x, y, z)
_
_
Following strictly the thoughts of Coulomb, the charge distribution Q will act
immediate on the test charge. Thus, he formulated a longdistance theory like
Newton did with gravitation. Opposed to this, Faraday had another idea how the
charge distribution acts on the test charge. He suggested that the forces would even
exist if you did not measure themwith a test charge. He called this the electric ﬁeld
of the charge distribution Q. This means that ﬁrstly the charge distribution will
alter the state of the surrounding space. Secondly the test charge will response to
the altered state of space, called the electric ﬁeld of the charge distribution. Thus
the electric ﬁeld will be indenpendent of the test charge and we can formulate
E(r) =
1
q
F(r) =
1
q
_
_
F
x
(x, y, z)
F
y
(x, y, z)
F
z
(x, y, z)
_
_
(3.1)
Following equation 3.1 we ﬁnd for the unit of the electric ﬁeld
[
E] =
[
F]
[q]
=
N
As
=
V
m
Experience has shown that only with the help of the above introduced electric ﬁeld
the observations concerning electricity can be explained.
3.1.1 The electric ﬁeld of a point charge
In his law Coulomb stated that two positive point charges of charge Q and q will
repel each other. The repulsive force will be proportional to the charge of each
and reciprocal to the square of the distance r between them.

F ∼
q · Q
r
2
In the equation above only the absolute value of the force is deﬁned. The direction
of the force will be equal to the direction of the vector r as shown in Fig. 3.2. If
we assumee
r
to be a unit vector in the direction ofr we can formulate Coulomb’s
law also as a vector notation
F = k
C
q · Q
r
2
e
r
79
Q
~
r
E u
q
E
F
Figure 3.2: Illustrating the direction of Coulomb’s force
with k
C
being an unknown proportional constant. Using equation 3.1 we are now
able to deﬁne the electric ﬁeld of a point charge Q being located in the origin of a
coordinate system.
E(r) =
1
q
F = k
C
Q
r
2
e
r
(3.2)
If the international system of units is used, the proportional constant k
C
becomes
k
C
=
1
4πε
where ε is called dielectric constant or static permittivity of the homogenous ma
terial surrounding the point charge, we will discuss in section 3.9 in more detail.
If the point charge is located in free space ε becomes
ε
0
≈ 8.854 10
−12
As
Vm
(3.3)
and is called the vacuum permittivity, permittivity of free space or electric con
stant. If we replace the unit vector e
r
by the ratio of r/r equation 3.2 can be
rewritten in the following form
E(r) =
1
4πε
Q
r
2
r
r
(3.4)
describing the electric ﬁeld of a point charge being located in the origin of a co
ordinate system. Fig. 3.3 gives an idea of the ﬁeld of a positive point charge,
showing that the charge is the source of the electric ﬁeld lines, which are directed
radial outward. The ﬁeld strength decays proportional to the reciprocal square of
the distance r from the charge.
3.2 The electrostatic potential function
In section 1.2 we already introduced the terms potential difference and voltage
by analogy to the potential energy stored in e.g. lifted water. Now we are ready
to study the concept of the electrostatic potential function in more detail. Just as
a mass moved in the gravity ﬁeld of the earth, the movement of a charge in an
electric ﬁeld will too result in a potenial energy that can be assigned to the charge.
80
~
'
Z
Z
Z
Z
Z´
`
`
`
`
`·
`
`
`
`
``
Z
Z
Z
Z
Z»
_ _
'
Figure 3.3: Field of a positive point charge
If we for example move a positive charge q against the direction of the electric
ﬁeld lines we have to work against Coulomb’s force and a positive potential energy
can be assigned to the charge. If we move the charge in the direction of the ﬁeld
lines the potential energy of the charge will be lowered again. The potential energy
of the charge will not change at all, if we move it perpendicular to the direction
of the ﬁeld lines. The direction of the force and the direction of the movement
always have to be considered. As a result the change in potential energy ∆W is
given by the negative scalare product between the force
F and the small way ∆s
of movement.
∆W = −
F · ∆s = −q
E · ∆s
To calculate the total potential energy change during the movement of the charge
q from point A to point B in the electric ﬁeld
E we have to sum up all differential
E
r
r B
A
Figure 3.4: Electric charge moved from A to B
81
work ∆W resulting in a line integral from A to B as illustrated in Fig. 3.4 and given
by equation 3.5.
W = −q
_
B
A
E · ds (3.5)
Since the result of the integral in equation 3.5 is independent of the considered
charge, it only represents a feature of the electric ﬁeld. One speaks of the potential
difference between the points B and A.
φ
B
− φ
A
= −
_
B
A
E · ds (3.6)
If we assume the electric ﬁeld was excited by a charge distribution next to the ori
gin of a coordinate system, the electric ﬁeld will decay proportional to 1/r
2
with
the distance of the origin. So, if we are very far away, the considered charge will
have no potential engery with respect to the charge distribution and it is reasonable
to assume that we have φ
A
(r →∞) = 0. Thus, we use r →∞ as a reference and
for the potential function of a charge distribution exciting the electric ﬁeld
E(r)
we get
φ(r) = −
_
r
∞
E(r) · ds =
_
∞
r
E(r) · ds (3.7)
Example: Potential function of a point charge
To calculate the potential function of a point charge located in the origin of a
coordinate system we ﬁrst formulate the electric ﬁeld of the point charge along
the xaxis.
E(x) =
Q
4πε
1
x
2
e
x
To solve the line integral of equation 3.7 we have to integrate along the xaxis
resulting in ds = dxe
x
, thus we have to solve the following integral
φ(x) =
Q
4πε
_
∞
x
e
x
x
2
·e
x
dx
and as a result we get
φ(x) =
Q
4πε
1
x
Since we considered a point charge in free space any direction in space could
have been choosen as the xdirection. If we use r to describe the distance from the
origin, for potential function of the point charge we get
φ(r) =
Q
4πε
1
r
(3.8)
82
From a mathematical piont of view equation 3.8 assings to every point (x, y, z) in
three dimensional space, because of r =
_
x
2
+y
2
+z
2
a certain value of potential.
Since this is hard to illustrate Fig. 3.4 shows the potential function of a point
Figure 3.5: Potential function of a point charge over the xyplane
charge over the xyplane. In this case the values of the potential function form
a ’hill’ over the xyplane, with a sharp peek next to the origin of the coordinate
system, which is called a pole of the potential function. It is interesting to notice
that accordining to equation 3.8, the potential function is constant for a constant
distance r from the charge. Thus the planes of equal potential form spheres in the
three dimensional space. Since in Fig. 3.5 only the values of a two dimensional
potential function are shown the spheres degenerate to circles around the origin.
If one moves along an equipotential surface we have dφ ≡0 and as a result we get
dφ = −
Eds = 0 →
E ⊥ ds (3.9)
This clearly shows that the electric ﬁeld vector is always perpendicular to equipo
tential surfaces. If we now assume to move a second point charge q in the xy
plane we have to do a certain work depending on the way we choose. Its compa
rable to a walk in the mountains. As soon as we walk in the direction of the origin
we have to do a lot of work, since we walk up the potential ’hill’. If we reach a
certain height, we can easily move on an equipotential surface without doing any
work. As soon as we move down the potential ’hill’ we will get back the energy
83
and as soon as we have reached our equipotential surface we started from we can
easily go back to our starting point. Thus, during a round trip in an static electric
ﬁeld no net energy has to be spent. Or in a mathematical formulation:
_
E ds = 0 (3.10)
Equation 3.10 states that the line integral over a closed loop is zero in any arbi
trary static electric ﬁeld. Such a vector ﬁeld is called conservative or curl free.
On the other hand equation 3.10 is the basic reason why Kirchhoff’s voltage law
formulated in section 1.2.2 holds true.
3.2.1 The gradient of the potential function
Now we will have a look on the potential function from a mathematical point of
view. Any arbitrary charge distribution will result in a potential function depend
ing on all three space coordinates φ(x, yz). For the total differential of this function
we can write:
dφ =
∂φ
∂x
dx +
∂φ
∂y
dy +
∂φ
∂z
dz (3.11)
The last term may be written as a scalar product of two vectors
dφ = [e
x
∂φ
∂x
+e
y
∂φ
∂y
+e
z
∂φ
∂z
][e
x
dx +e
y
dy +e
z
dz]
dφ = grad(φ)ds
Usually grad(φ) is called the gradient of the scalar potential φ. We now want to
introduce a symbolic vector
∇ called nabla operator
∇ = e
x
∂
∂x
+e
y
∂
∂y
+e
z
∂
∂z
With the help of the nabla operator, the gradient of a scalar potential function can
also be written in the following form:
∇φ = grad(φ) =
_
_
_
_
_
∂φ
∂x
∂φ
∂y
∂φ
∂z
_
_
_
_
_
(3.12)
Comparing equation 3.11 to 3.9 we can express the electrostatic ﬁeld with the help
of its potential function
E = −
∇φ(r) (3.13)
Equation 3.13 is of special importance since with its help the electric ﬁeld can be
deduced from the potential function describing the electrostatic ﬁeld problem.
84
3.3 Electric ﬂux density
While the electric ﬁeld strength describes the forces in the ﬁeld and is thus an
intensity value of it, Maxwell introduced a further vector ﬁeld called electric ﬂux
density measuring the quantity of the ﬁeld. The elctric ﬂux density is also often
called electric displacement density and
D is used for denotation.
_
A
Dd
A = Q (3.14)
Equation 3.14 is also called Gauss’s law. In case of a point charge in free space its
displacement ﬁeld shows a radial symmetry. Thus, the integral of equation 3.14
can be reduced to a multiplication with the area of a sphere:
4πr
2

D(r) = Q →
D(r) =
Q
4πr
2
e
r
(3.15)
Comparing equation 3.15 to equation 3.4 we ﬁnd the following equation connect
ing the electric ﬁeld
E in free space or vacuum with the electric displacement ﬁeld
D
D(r) = ε
0
E(r) (3.16)
From the last equation we see that in free space there is essentially no structural
difference between the two ﬁelds. If space is ﬁlled with matter both ﬁelds can also
differ in structure signiﬁcantly as for example in anisotropic dielectrica [4]. In the
context of this lecture we will only deal with materials that can be described by
a scalare value, called the relative permittivity ε
r
of the material. In this case we
have the following relation between the ﬁelds
E and
D.
D(r) = ε
r
ε
0
E(r) = ε
E(r) (3.17)
3.3.1 Divergence of the electric ﬂux density
Equation 3.14 formulates a relation between the
Dﬁeld and the charges on the
base of integration. As was already shown by Gauss one can also form a relation
between the two quantities on the base of a differentiation. To deduce the diver
gence theorem from Gauss, we consider Fig. 3.6. In this ﬁgure a cube is deﬁned
having different edges of length ∆x, ∆y, ∆z and which is located around the point
r
0
= (x
0
, y
0
, z
0
). We will assume that charges of amount ∆Q are also located in the
cube. If we now apply the integral of equation 3.14 over the surface of the cube
we can add the electric ﬂux through the six surfaces of the cube.
_
A
Dd
A =
_
A
x1
Dd
A+
_
A
x2
Dd
A+
_
A
y1
Dd
A+
_
A
y2
Dd
A+
_
A
z1
Dd
A+
_
A
z2
Dd
A
85
T
E
Z
Z
Z
Z
Z
Z
©
T
E
x
y z
∆x
∆y
∆z
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.·
r
0
e
x
e
z
−e
y
Figure 3.6: Arrangement to deduce the divergence theorem
In a ﬁrst step we consider the integrals over the areas ∆
A
x1
=−e
x
∆y∆z and ∆
A
x2
=
e
x
∆y∆z in more detail. Both areas are parallel to the yzplane but are located at
x
0
−∆x/2 and x
0
+∆x/2 while the normal of the areas point in the negative and
in the positive xdirection. Concering both areas we get approximately
_
A
x1
D(x
0
−∆x/2)d
A ≈ −D
x
(x
0
−∆x/2)∆y∆z
_
A
x2
D(x
0
+∆x/2)d
A ≈ +D
x
(x
0
+∆x/2)∆y∆z
Dealing with the other areas in the same manner, we obtain
_
A
Dd
A =
_
_
_
{D
x
(x
0
+∆x/2) −D
x
(x
0
−∆x/2)}∆y∆z+
{D
y
(y
0
+∆y/2) −D
y
(y
0
−∆y/2)}∆x∆z +
{D
z
(z
0
+∆z/2) −D
z
(z
0
−∆z/2)}∆x∆y
_
_
_
= ∆Q
If we divide the last equation by the volume ∆V = ∆x ∆y ∆z and if we deﬁne the
charge density ρ by ∆Q/∆V we get in the limit ∆V →0
∂D
x
∂x
+
∂D
y
∂y
+
∂D
z
∂z
= ρ
or in a short term notation
div(
D) =
∂D
x
∂x
+
∂D
y
∂y
+
∂D
z
∂z
=
∇·
D
The term div(
D) =
∇·
D is called the divergence of the
Dﬁeld, which is equal to
the spatial charge density ρ:
div
D =
∇·
D = ρ(x, y, z) (3.18)
86
3.4 Poisson’s and Laplace’s equation
We will now consider an electrostatic ﬁeld problem in a more general manner and
consider a free space with an arbitray but ﬁxed charge distribution ρ(x, y, z). As
soon as the problem is formulated one of course wants to know the ﬁeld excited
by the charge distribution. To solve the problem we start from equation 3.18. As
long as we assume the permittivity ε to be no function of space we get
∇· (ε
E) = ε
∇·
E = ρ(x, y, z)
Remembering that we can allways express the electric ﬁeld by the negative gra
dient of a scalar potential function φ(x, y, z) we end up in the following partial
differential equation
−
∇· (
∇φ(x, y, z)) =
ρ(x, y, z)
ε
In the last equation the nabla operator has to be applied two times on the potential
function. The term
∇
2
is often used as a short term notation and the operator ∆,
called Laplace operator, is also used as a further abbreviation.
∇
2
= ∆
In a cartesian coordinate system we have:
∇
2
= ∆ =
∂
2
∂x
2
+
∂
2
∂y
2
+
∂
2
∂z
2
(3.19)
With the help of the deﬁned operators we get Poisson’s equation
∇
2
φ(x, y, z) = ∆φ(x, y, z) = −
ρ(x, y, z)
ε
(3.20)
If there are no charges distributed in space, Piosson’s equation reduces to Laplace’s
equation.
∇
2
φ(x, y, z) = ∆φ(x, y, z) = 0 (3.21)
Of course equation 3.21 will only have a non trivial solution, when there are some
electrostatic objects in space. The basic ﬁeld problem in electrostatics is to solve
Poission’s or Laplace’s equation for a potential function φ which satisﬁes speciﬁed
boundary conditions. The theory dealing with methods how to solve these equa
tions is called potential theory. In the course of this lecture we will only consider
some simple examples of the above equations.
87
3.5 The electric ﬁeld of distributed point charges in
space
So for we only formulated the electric ﬁeld of a point charge located in the origin
of an coordinate system. If we consider only one point charge, this always is
possible, but if there exist more charges, we also have to deal with the case of a
charge not located in the origin of a coordiante system as illustrated in Fig. 3.7.
To do so, we ﬁrst have to introduce a vector r
q
pointing to the charge q. This
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·¬
/
/
/
/
/
/
/
/
/ ª
r
q
T
E
d
d
z
y
x
r
q
r
p
r
Figure 3.7: Point charge located at an arbitrary point in space
vector is also called source vector, since it deﬁnes the location of the source of the
electric ﬁeld. A further vectorr
p
is required, denoting the point where we want to
calculate the ﬁeld. With the help of these vectors one can easily deﬁne the vector
r =r
p
−r
q
pointing from the charge to the point of interest. Thus we get for the
electric ﬁeld inr
p
of one point charge located atr
q
E(r
p
) =
q
4πε
r
p
−r
q
r
p
−r
q

3
(3.22)
If we now want to calculate the ﬁeld of N charges in the point r
p
we ﬁrst have
to number them by an index i and then we have to consider the inﬂuence of each
charge q
i
, resulting in a superposition of all single ﬁeld vectors
E
i
.
E(r
p
) =
1
4πε
N
∑
i=1
q
i
r
p
−r
qi
r
p
−r
qi

3
(3.23)
Using the same considerations in principle we get for the potential function of N
charges
φ(r
p
) =
1
4πε
N
∑
i=1
q
i
r
p
−r
qi

(3.24)
88
If we now assume that the charge distribution is described by a charge density
function ρ(r
q
) in space we get for the inﬁnitesimal charge dq located atr
q
dq = ρ(r
q
)dv
q
and the summations in equation 3.23 and 3.24 go over into an integration over the
volume of charge distribution
E(r
p
) =
1
4πε
_
V
r
p
−r
q
r
p
−r
q

3
ρ(r
q
)dv
q
(3.25)
φ(r
p
) =
1
4πε
_
V
ρ(r
q
)
r
p
−r
q

dv
q
(3.26)
3.6 Electric ﬁeld of a line charge
In contrast to the discussion above we now want to consider charges that are dis
tributed along a line with a given line charge density λ, having the unit As/m. If
the charge density is distrituted along a line in space denoted by the parametrized
pathr
q
(t) we can say that at the point r
q
on the path a charge of dq = λ(r
q
)dr
q
is
located as shown in Fig:3.8. Of course this single point charge will only contribute
r
p
r
q
dq
r
0
P
Figure 3.8: Potential function of a charge distribution along a ﬁlament
a small amount d
E to the total ﬁeld at the considered pointr
p
in space
d
E(r
p
) =
1
4πε
r
p
−r
q
r
p
−r
q

3
λ(r
q
)d r
q
89
To get all contribution we have to sum up or to integrate along the path P of the
line charges
E(r
p
) =
1
4πε
_
P
r
p
−r
q
r
p
−r
q

3
λ(r
q
)d r
q
(3.27)
Using the same considerations we get for the potential function of a line charge
φ(r
p
) =
1
4πε
_
P
λ(r
q
)d r
q
r
p
−r
q

(3.28)
Example: Potential function and electric ﬁeld of a homogeneous straight line
charge
To calculate the potential function of a straight line charge we consider Fig. 3.9
E r r
ρ
z
L −L
r d
d
d
d
ds
dq
r
T
Figure 3.9: Geometry to calculate the potential function of a line charge along the
ρaxis
and assume that the line charge is distributed along the zaxes of a cylindrical
coordinate system in the interval [−L, L]. In a ﬁrst step, we want to calculate the
potential function only along the ρcoordinate, thus we haver
p
= ρe
ρ
. Since the
sources are located on the zaxes the vectorr
q
is equal to ze
z
and we have dr
q
=dz.
Due to the fact, that the vectorsr
p
andr
q
are perpendicular to each other, we get
for the absolute value of their difference
r
p
−r
q
 =
_
z
2
+ρ
2
If we consider the contribution of an inﬁnitesimal small charge dq = λdz to the
total potential, we get
dφ =
1
4πε
λdz
_
z
2
+ρ
2
To get the total value we have perform an integration over the interval [−L, L]
φ(ρ) =
λ
4πε
_
L
−L
dz
_
z
2
+ρ
2
90
As a result of this integration we get:
φ(ρ) =
λ
4πε
ln
_
_
_
L
2
+ρ
2
+L
_
L
2
+ρ
2
−L
_
_
(3.29)
Now we want to consider the limit L ≫ρ. In this case we can use an approxima
tion to the square root, which results in
_
L
2
+ρ
2
≈ L(1+
ρ
2
2L
2
)
Inserting the last approximation into equation 3.29 yields for the potential function
of a very long but ﬁnite straight line charge
φ(ρ) =
λ
2πε
ln
_
2L
ρ
_
(3.30)
Strictly spoken equation 3.30 is only true on the ρaxis of a cylindrical coordinate
system for a very long line charge placed symmetrical to both sides of the origin.
In the limit L →∞the potential function would also tend to inﬁnity due to the term
ln(2L). Since the eletric ﬁeld is given by the negative gradient of the potential
function, even in the limit L →∞ the inﬁnite constant
λ
2πε
ln(2L) will have no
inﬂuence on the electric ﬁeld and we can also use equation 3.30 to deduce the
electric ﬁeld of a straight line charge of inﬁnte extention. In case of a cylindrical
coordinate system the gradient of a function being a function of ρ only reads
E = −
∇φ = −e
ρ
d
dρ
φ(ρ)
Performing the differentiation yields
E(ρ) =
λ
2πε
1
ρ
e
ρ
(3.31)
3.7 Graphical representation of ﬁelds
In the preceeding sections we discussed the ﬁelds and the potential functions of
different electrostatic arrangements. Due to the fact that the mathematical equa
tions are not trivial it is helpfull to visualize the result. During the developement
of ﬁeld theory several methods have evolved to do this. In the next section we will
ﬁrst of all deal with the visualization of the potential function.
91
3.7.1 Equipotential surfaces
An appropriate method to visualize a potential function is to have a look on
equipotential surfaces of this function. Since the potential function in electro
static is a threedimensional function, the equipotential surfaces are in general
twodimensional surfaces in threedimensional space. It is no problem to visu
alize one surface in threedimensional space, but if you want to visualize more
than one it becomes difﬁcult. Therefore it is often appropriate to formulate the
Figure 3.10: Equipotential lines of two equal charges placed in the xyplane
potential function only on a surface in space. In this case the equipotential sur
faces degenerate to equipotential lines on this surface. To illustrate the concept
of equipotential lines we will consider two equal point charges in the xy plane
located on the xaxis at the points x =−a and x = a. Using equation 3.24 we can
write for the potential function in the xy plane
φ(x, y) =
Q
4πε
_
_
1
_
(x +a)
2
+y
2
+
1
_
(x −a)
2
+y
2
_
_
92
Fig 3.10 shows the equipotential lines of the two charges also in the xy plane.
The potential difference between the lines is equal, resulting in a very narrow line
spacing next to the charges. A further possibility to illustrate the potential function
was already given in Fig. 3.4 or a single positive charge, where the values of the
potential function were drawn as a ’hill’ over the xy plane. The same can be done
with the equipotential lines as shown in Fig. 3.11. The same arrangement as for
Figure 3.11: Equipotential lines drawn over the xy plane
Fig. 3.10 was used but now each equipotential line is drawn over the xy plane
according to its value. It is interesting to study the relation between equipotential
surfaces and the electric ﬁeld vector
E. If we consider an inﬁnitesimal ds lying in
the equipotential surface we of course have
dφ =
∇φ · ds ≡ 0
since per deﬁnition the potential will not change in an equipotential surface. But
according two equation 3.13 the electric ﬁeld vector can always be expressed by
the negative gradient of the potential function. Thus on an equipotential surface
93
the following equation holds true:
E · ds ≡0 (3.32)
As a result of equation 3.32 the electric ﬁeld vector
E will always be perpendicular
to an equipotential surface.
3.7.2 Electric ﬁeld lines
Field lines of the electric ﬁeld are pathes s(t) in threedimensional space. In each
point s of the path the direction of the tangent vector ds of the path is equal to
the direction of the ﬁeld vector
E(s) at the point s, as shown in Fig. 3.12 The
E
s(t)
0
Figure 3.12: Deﬁnition of a ﬁeld line
formulation above results in the following equation between the electric ﬁeld
E
and the tangent vector ds of the ﬁeld lines:
ds ×
E = 0 (3.33)
Example: Field lines of a point charge in the xy plane of a cartesian coordinate
system.
We will now consider a point charge in the origin of a cartesian coordinate system.
Rewriting equation 3.4 in a cartesian coordinate system we ﬁnd
E(x, y) =
Q
4πε
1
x
2
+ y
2
_
x
_
x
2
+ y
2
e
x
+
y
_
x
2
+ y
2
e
y
_
94
E(x, y) = E(r)(e
x
cos(ϕ) +e
y
sin(ϕ))
Using equation 3.33 and ds = dxe
x
+dye
y
results in
ds ×
E = E(r)(dxsin(ϕ) −dycos(ϕ))e
z
= 0
leading to the following differential equation for the ﬁeld lines
dy
dx
= tan(ϕ) = const
Integration results in the following relation between y and x. Discribing all possi
ble straight lines thru the origin of the cartesian coordinate system.
y = tan(ϕ) · x
Normally the electric ﬂux between the ﬁeld line is kept constant, resulting in Fig.
3.13 for the ﬁeld lines of a point charge.
~
'
Z
Z
Z
Z
Z´
`
`
`
`
`·
`
`
`
`
``
Z
Z
Z
Z
Z»
_ _
'
Figure 3.13: Field lines of a point charge in the xy plane
3.8 Electric ﬁelds and conducting bodies
If we assume a conducting body is brought into an existing electric ﬁeld, of course
the original ﬁeld distribution will change. As long as there exists an electric ﬁeld
tangential to the surface of the body an electric current will ﬂow and the charge
distribution on the body will change. In the ﬁnal state there will exist no electric
ﬁeld tangential to the surface of the conducting body. Hence all electric ﬁeld lines
will be perpendicular to the surface of the body. Comparing these considerations
with section 3.7.1 we can state that the surface of a conducting body is always an
equipotential surface in the presence of an eletric ﬁeld. Furthermore we can state
95
E
φ = constant
κ = 0
Figure 3.14: Electric ﬁeld lines on the surface of a conducting body
that the charges will all be located on the surface and there will exist no electric
ﬁeld inside the body. This behavior is illustrated in Fig. 3.14. If we now consider
a small cylinder that is located next to the surface of the conducting body with a
height h tending to zero. Due to Gauss’s law the electric ﬂux density multiplied
by the area ∆A of the cover of the cylinder must be equal to the charge ∆Q inside
the cylinder.
D · ∆
A = ∆Q
If we deﬁne a unit e
n
which is normal to the surface in the considered point we
have
D · e
n
=
∆Q
∆A
= σ
with σ deﬁning a surface charge density. Thus we can formulate the following
sentence:
If there exists an electric ﬁeld E
n
normal to the surface of a conducting body, on
its surface will exist a surface charge density having the following value
σ = D
n
= εE
n
(3.34)
As a further result of our consideration we can formulate the following sentence:
An electrostatic ﬁeld described by the potential function φ(r
p
) is not altered, if a
part of an equipotential surface with potential φ
0
is replaced by a thin conducting
sheet having the same potential.
As an example we will consider the potential function of two point charges Q and
96
−Q, which are located on the zaxes at the points z = ±a. This conﬁguration is
normally called a dipole, with a socalled dipole moment
M
D
= 2aQe
z
. For the
potential function φ
1
of the positive charge we can write according to equation 3.8
φ
1
=
Q
4πε
1
_
(z −a)
2
+ρ
2
while the potential function φ
2
of the negative charge reads
φ
2
= −
Q
4πε
1
_
(z +a)
2
+ρ
2
Of course the total potential function φ
T
of both charges will be given by the
φ
T
= 0
Figure 3.15: Equipotential lines of a dipole drawn in the zρplane
addition of φ
1
and φ
2
. Lines of equivalent potential are shown in Fig. 3.15.
φ
T
=
Q
4πε
_
_
1
_
(z −a)
2
+ρ
2
−
1
_
(z +a)
2
+ρ
2
_
_
(3.35)
97
With the help of Fig. 3.15 and equation 3.35 one sees that the plane deﬁned by
z = 0 has the potential φ
T
= 0 and as a result, the plane z = 0 can be replaced
by a perfect conductor. This is illustrated in Fig. 3.16, which on the left hand
side shows the original conﬁguration of the two charges with different sign and on
z
T
uQ
z
T
u Q
u −Q
φ = 0
Figure 3.16: Equivalent conﬁgurations for z > 0
the right hand side an equivalent conﬁgurtaion, where only the positive charge is
present over a conductor, with potential φ
T
= 0. Since the two conﬁguations are
equivalent we can replace a point charge over a conductor with φ
T
= 0, normally
called ground, by an arrangement of the original charge and their mirrored image,
which is a charge with the same value but of different sign. Since we can assumed
that any potential can be build up by a certain charge conﬁguration we can formu
late the following sentence:
If in the halfspace z > 0 a charge conﬁguration above a conducting ground with
φ = 0 is deﬁned, the total potential function φ
T
(r
p
) for z > 0 can be calcualated
by the difference of the exciting potential φ
E
(r
p
) and the value of the mirrored
potential φ
M
(r
∗
p
) withr
∗
p
=r
p
−2e
z
z
p
.
3.9 Electric ﬁelds and dielectric bodies
Up to now we only considered the electric ﬁeld in free space or vacuum with
equation 3.16 describing the relation between the electric ﬁeld
E and the electric
ﬂux density
D. To describe the inﬂuence of matter one can easily extend equation
3.16 to the following form:
D = ε
r
ε
0
E (3.36)
In equation 3.36 a new factor ε
r
is introduced, called the relative permittivity of
the medium. This simple relation holds true only for a linear, isotropic material
98
with instantaneous responses to changes in the electric ﬁeld. Nevertheless, in the
domain of electrical engineering in most cases this relation is an appropriate de
scription for practical applications. The product ε = ε
r
ε
0
is called permittivity of
the medium. Of course equation 3.36 describes a medium from a macroscopic
point of view appropriate to the times of Maxwell, when the atomic structure of
matter was unknown.
To get an imagination of how atoms of a medium will react on an external
applied electric ﬁeld we will have a look on Fig. 3.17. It shows in Fig. 3.17a an
undistored atom possessing rotational symmetry. If an electric ﬁeld
E is applied to
the medium, it results in a distortion of the atoms or molecules as shown in Figure
3.17b in such a manner as to create an effective electric dipole. Considering all
atoms will result in dipole moments
P per unit volume, called polarization. With
E
+

Figure 3.17: Dipole induced by an electric ﬁeld
the help of the dipole moment per unit volume we deﬁne the new displacement
density vector
D in the medium by:
D = ε
0
E +
P
For a lot of materials the polarization
P will be in the same direction as the applied
electric ﬁeld
E and will be proportional to its absolute value. Thus we can rewrite
the above equation in the following form
D = ε
0
E + χ
e
ε
0
E = ε
0
ε
r
E → ε
r
= 1 + χ
e
where χ
e
is a further constant of the material, called electric susceptibility, and
ε
r
is the already known relative permittivity of the medium. Table 3.1 gives the
relative permittivities of some materials at room temperature.
3.9.1 Boundary conditions for the electric ﬁeld
To deduce the boundary conditions for the electric ﬁeld
E and the electric ﬂux den
sity
D we consider two media with parameters ε
1
and ε
2
which form a boundary
99
Material ε
r
Concrete 4.5
Graphite 10  15
Methanol 30
Paper 3.5
Polyethylene 2.25
Polystyrene 2.4  2.7
Silicon 11.9
Teﬂon 2.1
Titanium dioxide 80  170
Water 80
Table 3.1: Relative permittivity of different materials
D
D
1
2
h
1
e
2
e
Figure 3.18: Boundary between two different media
as shown in Figure 3.18. To examine the conditions for the electric ﬂux density
D
we ﬁrst consider a small cylinder of height h →0 and apply Gauss’s law. In the
case of vansihing surface charges we ﬁnd
lim
h→0
_
D· d
A = 0
As the height of the cylinder tends to zero only the top and botton surface of the
cylinder will contribute to the integral and we get
D
1
· ∆
A
1
+
D
2
· ∆
A
2
= 0
If we now remember that the top and the botton surface have the same absolute
value ∆A, but their normal unit vectors have opposite directione
1
=−e
2
=e
n
we
ﬁnd
D
1
·e
n
∆A −
D
2
·e
n
∆A →
D
1
·e
n
=
D
2
e
n
The last equation formulated in a sentence states:
100
The normal component of the electric displacement density has to be continuous
at a boundary interface between two media
To obtain a boundary condition for the electric ﬁeld
E we cosider the circulation
integral as shown in Figure 3.19. To deduce the condition we deﬁne a tangent
E
2
E
1
1
e
2
e
h
Figure 3.19: Boundary between two different media
unit vector e
t
lying in the boundary plane as well as in the plane of the circulation
integral. Again we suppose that the height h of the last plane tends to zero. So we
ﬁnd
lim
h→0
_
C
E · ds ≈
E
1
· ∆s
1
+
E
2
· ∆s
2
= 0
If we take into consideration the different orientations of the small elements ∆s
1
=
−∆s
2
= ∆se
t
we get
E
1
·e
t
∆s −
E
2
·e
t
∆s = 0 →
E
1
·e
t
=
E
2
·e
t
The last equation formulated in a sentence states:
The tangential component of the electric ﬁeld has to be continuous at a boundary
interface between two media
3.10 Capacitance in two and multiconductor sys
tems
3.10.1 Capacitance of shielded twoconductor system
First we consider an arbitrary charge distribution. As a result of this charge dis
tribution an eletrostatic ﬁeld will exist in the threedimensional space surrounding
the charges, which is accompanied by a potential function. Both the electrostatic
101
φ
2
φ
1
Q
Figure 3.20: Shielded twoconductor system
ﬁeld and the potential function can be calculated with the help of equation 3.23
and 3.24. If we now calculate equipotential surfaces with potential φ
1
and φ
2
, we
can use thin conducting sheets to form a shielded twoconductor system without
altering the static ﬁeld (Fig. 3.20) inbetween the conductors. The inner conductor
with potential φ
1
will carry the total charge Q while the outer conductor with po
tential φ
2
will carry a total charge of −Q. Due to the considered arrangement we
will always have the relation φ
1
>φ
2
. Now we are ready to deﬁne the capacitance
between the two conducting bodies as:
C =
Q
φ
1
−φ
2
=
Q
∆φ
> 0 (3.37)
which will always be postitive. The capitance of an electrostatic arrangement mea
sures the amount of electric charges stored for a given potential difference. If such
an arrangement is realized for practical application it is called a capacitor, which
was already introduced as a network element in section 2.2.1. Of course the total
charge may also be calculated by a surface integral of the electric displacement
density vector
D over the surface of one conducting body, while the potential dif
ference between the bodies can be calculated by a line integration over the electric
ﬁeld between them. Thus we also can rewrite equation 3.37 in the form
C =
_
S
D· d
A
_
2
1
E · ds
(3.38)
Spherical capacitor
As a ﬁrst application of the above section we will deduce the capcitance of a
spherical capacitor. For this purpose we consider a point charge in the origin of
102
a coordinate system. From equation 3.8 we know that the equipotential surfaces
of a point charge form concentric spheres in three dimensional space. Thus we
can assume two concentric spheres with radii r
1
and r
2
with r
1
< r
2
. According
to equation 3.8 they will have the following potentials
φ
1
=
Q
4πε
1
r
1
φ
2
=
Q
4πε
1
r
2
if we assume the inner sphere carries the total charge Q. Thus for the capacitance
of a sperical capacitor we get according to equation 3.37.
C
S
=
4πε
1
r
1
−
1
r
2
(3.39)
Cylindrical capacitor
To deduce the cpacitance of a cylindrical capacitor, we again have a look on the
ﬁeld distribution of an homogeneous line charge as discussed in 3.6. According to
equation 3.30 the equipotential surfaces form concentric cylinders around the line
charge. If we now choose a inner cylinder with radius ρ
1
and an outer cylinder
with radius ρ
2
to form a tube with conducting walls, the original ﬁeld distribution
will not be disturbed and we end up in a cylindrical capacitor. Its cross section
is shown in Fig. 3.21. Using equation 3.30 we can calculate the values of the
ρ
2
ρ
1
Figure 3.21: Cross section of a cylindrical capacitor
potential function on the inner and outer cylinder
φ
1
=
λ
2πε
ln
_
2L
ρ
1
_
φ
2
=
λ
2πε
ln
_
2L
ρ
2
_
103
assuming λ being the constant charge per unit length of the line charge. Hence we
get for the potential difference
φ
1
−φ
2
=
λ
2πε
ln
_
ρ
2
ρ
1
_
To calculate the total capacitance of a cylindrical capacitor we have to assign a
certain length l to it. Then the total charge Q on the inner cylinder will be λl,
neglecting fringing ﬁelds on both ends of the capacitor. As a result we get for the
capacitance using equation 3.37
C
C
=
2πεl
ln
_
ρ
2
ρ
1
_ (3.40)
3.10.2 Capacitance of an open twoconductor system
In the previous section we discussed capacitors with electrotstatic ﬁelds being
strictly conﬁned to a speciﬁed region in space. Now we want to discuss open
structures as for example shown in Fig. 3.22. In contrast to the shielded arrange
φ
2
φ
1
Q
−Q
E
Figure 3.22: Open twoconductor system
ments the electrostatic ﬁeld has at least in principle an inﬁnte extension, making
its practical application crucial to perturbution by other electrostatic objects. Nev
ertheless we can also use the equations 3.37 and 3.38 to calculate the capacitance
between the two conducting bodies.
Parallel plate capacitor
Fig. 3.23 shows the idealized electrotstatic ﬁeld of a parallel plate capacitor, ne
glecting fringing ﬁelds at the boundaries of the conducting sheets of the capacitor.
Normally the area A of the plates the distance d between and the dielectric ε
r
104
φ
1
Q
E
Figure 3.23: Ideal electrotstatic ﬁeld of a parallel plate capacitor
between them are the physical quantities describing the capacitor. Due to the as
sumed homogeneous ﬁeld between the plates, Gauss’s law applied to the top plate
reduces to
_
T
D· d
A ≈ D· A = εE · A = Q
and for the potential difference ∆φ between the top and bottom plate we get
∆φ =
_
B
T
E · ds = E · d
Using the results from the equations above and equation 3.37, we can deduce the
expression to calculate the capacitance of an ideal parallel plate capacitor
C
P
=
εA
d
(3.41)
3.10.3 Capacitances in multiconductor systems
To study a multi conductor system we ﬁrst consider the potential function of two
point charges Q
1
and Q
2
being seperated by a distance a. Of course in the vicin
ity of each charge the equipotential surface will form spheres around each point
charge, which again can be replaced by conducting sheets without altering the
electrostatic ﬁeld, forming two small spheres with radii r
1
and r
2
and fulﬁlling
the relation r
1
, r
2
≪a. Due two the to point charges the ﬁrst sphere will have the
following potential
φ
1
=
Q
1
4πε
1
r
1
+
Q
2
4πε
1
a
while we get for the potential of the second sphere
φ
2
=
Q
1
4πε
1
a
+
Q
2
4πε
1
r
2
105
The equations above can be rewritten in the form of a linear system of equations
as follows
φ
1
= p
11
Q
1
+ p
12
Q
2
φ
2
= p
21
Q
1
+ p
22
Q
2
(3.42)
with
p
11
=
1
4πεr
1
p
22
=
1
4πεr
2
p
21
= p
12
=
1
4πεa
The coefﬁcients p
ik
are called Maxwell’s coefﬁcients of potential. For the arrange
ment of the two spheres we see that the following equations holds true, which are
valid in general[5]
p
i j
> 0 and p
i j
= p
ji
Equation 3.42 can easily be extended to a system of N conductors with charges
Q
1
. . . Q
N
and potentials φ
1
. . . φ
N
φ
1
= p
11
Q
1
+ p
12
Q
2
+· · · + p
1N
Q
N
φ
2
= p
21
Q
1
+ p
22
Q
2
+· · · + p
2N
Q
N
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
φ
N
= p
N1
Q
1
+ p
N2
Q
2
+· · · + p
NN
Q
N
(3.43)
Of course equation 3.42 can also be solved for the charges.
Q
1
= k
11
φ
1
+k
12
φ
2
Q
2
= k
21
φ
1
+k
22
φ
2
(3.44)
with
k
11
=
4πεa
2
r
1
a
2
−r
1
r
2
k
22
=
4πεa
2
r
2
a
2
−r
1
r
2
k
21
= k
12
=
4πεr
1
ar
2
a
2
−r
1
r
2
In the special case of the two spheres, we see that the following relation holds
true, which is again also valid in general [5]
k
ii
> 0 k
i j
= k
ji
< 0
Equation 3.44 can also easily be extended to a system of N conductors
Q
1
= k
11
φ
1
+ k
12
φ
2
+· · · + k
1N
φ
N
Q
2
= k
21
φ
1
+ k
22
φ
2
+· · · + k
2N
φ
N
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Q
N
= k
N1
φ
1
+k
N2
φ
2
+· · · +k
NN
φ
N
(3.45)
The coefﬁcients k
i j
are called Maxwell’s coefﬁcients of capacitance.
106
Capacitance matrix of a multi conductor system
With the help of equation 3.45, the charge Q
i
in a multi conductor system can also
be written in the following notation
Q
i
=
N
∑
n=1
k
in
φ
n
=
N
∑
n=1
k
in
φ
n
+ k
in
φ
i
− k
in
φ
i
Q
i
=
N
∑
n=1
k
in
(φ
n
−φ
i
) + k
in
φ
i
Q
i
= φ
i
N
∑
n=1
k
in
−
N
∑
n=1
k
in
(φ
i
−φ
k
)
Using the following deﬁnition for the elements of the capacitance matrix
C
ii
=
N
∑
i=1
k
ik
C
ik
= −k
ik
> 0
we can rewrite the equation for the charge of conductor i
Q
i
= C
ii
φ
i
+
N
∑
i=1
C
ik
U
ik
with U
ik
= φ
i
−φ
k
(3.46)
φ
i
φ
k
C
kk
C
ik
C
ii
φ = 0
r → ∞
Figure 3.24: Arrangement to illustrate the coefﬁcients of the capacitance matrix
3.11 Energy density of the electrostatic ﬁeld
In the following section we will deduce an expression which describes the energy
density of the electrostatic ﬁeld. To keep the mathematical expressions simple
107
we ﬁrst consider a simple open two conductor system that forms a capacitor with
capacitance C as shown in Fig. 3.22. If we now assume there already exists a
potential difference or voltage U = ∆φ between the two conductors and we now
want to move an inﬁnitesimal charge dq from conductor one to condcutor two we
have to do the following work
dW = U dq
Of course the transported charge dq will result in an increase of voltage between
the conductors
dU =
1
C
dq → dq = CdU
With the help of the last expression we can rewrite the work to be done in the
following form
dW = UCdU (3.47)
In one sense equation 3.47 describes the inﬁnitesimal work to be done, if a further
charge dq is brought from one conductor to the other. In another sense equation
3.47 describes the work to be done, if we want to increase the voltage or potential
differences between the concutors. Thus by integration of 3.47 we can calculate
the total work to be done to charge the capacitor up to a voltage U
0
and to build
up an electrostatic ﬁeld between the conductors
W =
_
U
0
0
CU dU =
1
2
CU
2
0
(3.48)
Due to the conservation of energy the total work must now be stored inside the
capacitor. But since the geometry did not change, the energy must be stored in the
electrostatic ﬁeld. If we now assume that the capacitance is realized by a parrallel
plate capacitor, we can calculate its energy density per volume w
e
w
e
=
W
V
=
1/2ε
A
d
U
2
0
Ad
=
1
2
εE
2
The last equation can also be written in a vector notation and thus we get the ﬁnal
expression for the energy density of the electrostatic ﬁeld
w
e
=
1
2
D·
E (3.49)
108
Bibliography
[1] Jackson J.D.: Classical Electrodynamics, John Wiley & Sons, New York,
1999.
[2] Sze, S.M.: Physics of Semiconductor Devices, John Wiley & Sons, 1981.
[3] Hiley, J. et al: HUGHES, Electrical and Electronic Technoloy, Pearson Edu
cation, 2008.
[4] Kittel, C.: Introduction to Solid State Physics, John Wiley & Sons, 2004.
[5] Hannakam, L.: Einf¨ uhrung in die Feldtheorie, Verlag Dr. K¨ oster, 2003.
166