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Chapter 1

Electric Field

- electric currents through liquids causes heating

-chemical activity may occur in the liquids around
the electrodes.
- Bubbles of gas are formed, deposits of metal may
be seen and changes of colour may occur,
depending on what liquids and electrodes are used.

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Chapter 1 outline

1.1
1.2
1.3
1.4
1.5
1.6
1.7

Introduction
Electric charge
Movement of charges
electrostatic force
Electric fields
Principle of Superposition
Electric dipoles

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Goals for Chapter 1

By the end of this topic, student will able :
To understand electric charge and see how charge
behaves in conductors and insulators
To calculate force with Coulombs Law
To consider the electric field as a map of force on a test
charge
To see how electric fields superimpose
To visualize and consider the path of electric field lines
around a charge or charges
To see the unique applications of electric dipoles11

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1.1 Introduction
Water pervades the science
of chemistry and biology. Its
not only what we drink when
were thirsty, but its been
called the universal
solvent.
Even if we were to only look
at water, and water as a
solvent, we would see a
simple problem like salt
dissolving in water is the
interaction of electrostatic
charges, of ions and dipoles.
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1.2 Electric charge

Glass rods, plastic tubes, silk, and fur can be used to demonstrate
the movement of electrons and how their presence or absence
make for powerful forces of attraction and repulsion.

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The photocopier, a very clever tool

The world may have come to take copiers for
granted, but they are amazing devices. They use
charge to hold fine dust in patterns until the pattern
may be transferred to paper and made permanent
with heat.

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Visualize a football stadium

as an atom. Electrons would
be garden peas in the
highest seats with charge of
1. Protons would be
basketballs or melons with
charge of +1, and neutrons
would reside about the
protons with no charge. All
of the protons and neutrons
could be in a small basket
on the 50-yard line.

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and a neutral

Lets study the subatomic arrangement of lithium with

all charges balanced and the way only electrons move
to make the atom an ion (+ or ).

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1.3 Movement of chargescharging by

conduction
Materials that allow easy passage
of charge are called conductors.
Materials that resist electronic
flow are called insulators.
The motion of electrons through
conducts and about insulators
allows us to observe opposite
charges attract and like charges
repel.

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Electrons move freely and charges may be

induced
Take a childs toy, a rubber balloon. If you rub the balloon
vigorously on a fuzzy sweater then bring the balloon slowly
toward a painted concrete or plaster wall, the balloon will stick
to the wall and remain for some time.
The electrostatic force between static electrons and the induced
positive charge in the wall attract more strongly than the weight
of the balloon.

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Static electricity about an insulator can

shift
The motion of static charges about a plastic comb and light bits
of paper can cause attractive forces strong enough to overcome
the weight of the paper.

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Charges will seek motion to ground

An uncharged conductor can attract the charge
imparted to paint droplets.

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1.4 Charles Coulomb determined the electrostatic force law

Coulombs Law allows the calculation of electrostatic
attraction or repulsion.

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Newtons Law of Gravitation

The gravitational force
is always attractive and
depends on both the
masses of the bodies
involved and their
separations.

RECAP!!!

Ib

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IIa

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IIb

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1.5 Electric fields may be mapped by force on a test charge

If one measured the force on a test charge at
all points relative to another charge or
charges, an electric field may be mapped.
This experiment is often done in ones mind
(called a gedanken experiment).
The electric force on a charged body is
exerted by the electric field created by other
charged bodies.
Definition of electric field as electric force
per unit charge

FO
E
qO

Fields of force may be sketched for different arrangements

of charge.
Consider the electric field E produced at point P by an
isolated point charge q at S.

Fo

qqo

4 o r 2

q
r
2
4 o r

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Electric fields IIcharges in motion

within
a
field
Example 21.7
When the terminals of a battery are connected to two large parallel conducting
plates, the resulting charges on the plates cause an electric field E in the region
between the plates that is very nearly uniform.
If the plates are horizontal and separated by 1.0cm and the plates are connected
to a 100 volt battery, the magnitude of the field is E=1.0 x 104 N/C.
Suppose the direction of E is vertically upward, as shown in figure

(a) If an electron is release from rest at the

upper plate, what is its acceleration?
(b) What speed and kinetic energy does the
electron acquire while traveling 1.0 cm
to lower plate?
(c) How much time is required for it to
travel this distance?
An electron has charge e = 1.60x10
19C and mass m=9.11x1031kg.

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within a field

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1.6 Principle of Superposition

For example the net force F1 exerted on q1 by q2 and q3 is equal to: F1 F12 F13
Here F12 and F13 are the forces exerted on q1 by q2 and q3 , respectively.
In general the force exerted on q1 by n charges is given by the equation:
n

F1 F12 F13 F14 ... F1n F1i

i 2

One must remember that F12 , F13 , ...are vectors and thus

F1 F12 F14

The net electric force exerted by a group

of charges is equal to the vector sum of
the contribution from each charge.

Similar in electric field, the net electric field exerted by a

group of charges is equal to the vector sum of the
contribution from each charge.
This is the priciple of superposition of electric fields

E E1 E2 E3 ....
q

Electric fields add as vectors

Example 21.9
Point charges q1 and q2 of +12 nC and 12nC, respectively, are placed
0.10m apart. This combination of two charges with equal magnitude and
opposite sign is called an electric dipole.
Compute the electric field cause by q1, the field
caused by q2, and the total field (a) at point a,
(b) at point b and (c) at point c.

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1.7

Electric Dipole

+q

d
-q

+q/2

+q/2

dipole". For every electric dipole we associate

a vector known as "the electric dipole moment"
(symbol p )defined as follows:
The magnitude p qd
The direction of p is along the line that connects

-q

the two charges and points from - q to q.

Many molecules have a built-in electric dipole
moment. An example is the water molecule (H 2 O)
The bonding between the O atom and the two H
atoms involves the sharing of 10 valence electrons
(8 from O and 1 from each H atom)
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Consider force and torque on a dipole

Both force F(+) and F() have magnitude qE, but their direction
are opposite.

Therefore, the net force on an electric dipole in a uniform external

(qE)(is
d sin )
electric field
zero.
The individual torque ( = F. x, F and x is perpendicular) is

p E

The product of the charge q and the separation d is the magnitude

of a quantity called the electric dipole moment, denoted by p:

p qd
Unit : Coulomb meter (C.m)

Potential Energy of an Electric Dipole

When a dipole changes direction in an electric field, the electricfield torque does work on it, with a corresponding change in
potential energy.

dW d pE sin d

2

W ( pE sin )d ( pECos2 pECos1 )

1

W (U 2 U1 )
Therefore

U pECos

or

U pE

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Summary
Properties of Electric
charge, conductors,
and insulators .
Coulombs
law: Coulombs law is
the basic law of
interaction for point
electric charges.

q1 q2

4 0 r 2

1
4 0

Electric field : a vector

F0
quantity, is the force per
E =
q0
unit charge exerted on a
test charge at any point
1
q
Superposition of electric E 4 r 2 r
0
fields: The principle of
superposition of electric
fields states that the
electric field of any
combination of charges
is the vector sum of the
fields caused by the
individual charges.

Electric field lines: Field lines provide a

graphical representation of electric fields.
At any point on a field line, the tangent
to the line is in the direction of at that
point. The number of lines per unit
area (perpendicular to their direction)
is proportional to the magnitude of at
the point.

(qE)(d sin )

p E

U pE