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Classical Electrodynamics PHY5346 HOMEWORK 2 (August 30, 2012) Due on Thursday, September 20, 2012

Note that for most of the problems that will be assigned during the semester, use of Maple and/or Mathematica is highly encouraged. PROBLEM 4 (similar to J.D. Jackson 1.3) Using Dirac delta functions in the appropriate coordinates, express the following charge distributions as three-dimensional charge densities (r). (a) Charges +q , q , +q , and q located at the following locations: r1 = (+1, +1, 0) ; r2 = (1, +1, 0) ; r3 = (1, 1, 0) ; r4 = (+1, 1, 0) .

Compute the electric dipole moment p of the distribution. (b) In spherical coordinates, a charge Q uniformly distributed over a spherical shell of radius R. (c) In cylindrical coordinates, a charge per unit length uniformly distributed over a cylindrical surface of radius b. (d) In cylindrical coordinates, a charge Q spread uniformly over a at circular disk of negligible thickness and radius R. (e) The same as part (d), but using spherical coordinates. PROBLEM 5 (An application of Earnshaws Theorem) Consider 4 charges all of magnitude q located at the following positions: r1 = (+1, +1, 0) ; r2 = (1, +1, 0) ; r3 = (1, 1, 0) ; r4 = (+1, 1, 0) .

(a) Imagine that a test particle of charge e is placed at the origin. Show that the test particles experiences no force. (b) We now want to study the stability of such an equilibrium conguration against small displacements. Show that near the origin the potential energy felt by the test particle may be written as V (x, y, z ) = V0 + Ax2 + By 2 + Cz 2 + . . . where V0 , A, B , and C are constants that you must compute. (c) Based on the values of A, B , and C obtained in part (b), discuss whether the equilibrium is stable or unstable along the x, y , and z directions.

(d) Discuss whether one could nd a conguration of charges such that an equilibrium point will actually be stable against small displacements in all three directions. Hint: Is the result A + B + C = 0 general or not? PROBLEM 6 (Applications of the mean-value theorem) The mean-value theorem states that in a charge-free region of space, the value of the electrostatic potential at any point in that region is equal to the average of the potential over the surface of any sphere centered at that point. (with R < a). Show that (a) Consider a sphere of radius R centered at the point r0 = az the average value of the electrostatic potential generated by a charge q located at the origin is: (a) independent of R and (b) equal to the electrostatic potential at point r0 . (b) Consider two large parallel conducting plates, as shown in the gure. The lower plate is grounded while the upper one is maintained at 0 = 10. The coordinate grid consists of equal-size squares of unit length. Use the mean value theorem to obtain a numerical solution of Laplaces equation.

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