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# CHAPTER (2)

## Electric Charges, Electric Charge

Densities and
Electric Field Intensity
Charge Configuration
a) Point Charge:

## The concept of the point charge is used when the

dimensions of an electric charge distribution are very
small compared to the distance to the neighboring
charges, i.e. the point charge is occupying a very small
physical space

b) Distributed Charge

## The charge may be distributed along a line, among a

surface or among a volume.

## (1) Line Charge: +

++ ++
+
+
+
The line charge density 𝝆𝒍 is dl
+
+
dQ = ρL dl
defined as the charge per unit +
+
+ + + +
length.
∆𝑸 𝑪
𝝆𝒍 = 𝒍𝒊𝒎∆𝒍→𝟎 � �𝒎�
∆𝒍

𝒅𝑸
𝝆𝒍 = �𝑪�𝒎�
𝒅𝒍
So,
𝒅𝑸 = 𝝆𝒍 𝒅𝒍

## The total charge Q of the line can be determined by

𝒍 𝒍
𝑸 = � 𝒅𝑸 = � 𝝆𝒍 𝒅𝒍 [𝑪]
𝟎 𝟎

𝑸 = 𝝆𝒍 𝒍 [𝑪]

U

## The surface charge density 𝝆𝒔 is defined as the charge

per unit surface area.

∆𝑸
𝝆𝒔 = 𝒍𝒊𝒎∆𝒔→𝟎 �𝑪� 𝟐 �
∆𝒔 𝒎

𝒅𝑸
𝝆𝒔 = �𝑪� 𝟐 �
𝒅𝒔 𝒎

So,
𝒅𝑸 = 𝝆𝒔 𝒅𝒔

## The total charge Q of the surface can be determined by

𝑸 = � 𝒅𝑸 = � 𝝆𝒔 𝒅𝒔

𝑸 = 𝝆𝒔 𝑺 [𝑪]

## 3) Volume charge density (𝝆𝒗 )

U

∆𝑸
𝝆𝒗 = 𝒍𝒊𝒎∆𝒗→𝟎 �𝑪� 𝟑 �
∆𝒗 𝒎

�𝑪� 𝟐 �
𝒅𝑸 dv
𝝆𝒗 = 𝒅𝒗 𝒎 dQ = ρv dv

So,

𝒅𝑸 = 𝝆𝒗 𝒅𝒗

## The total charge Q of the surface can be determined by

𝑸 = � 𝒅𝑸 = � 𝝆𝒗 𝒅𝒗

U U

𝑸 = 𝝆𝒗 𝑽 [𝑪]
Example:

## A uniform spherical volume charge density

distribution contains a total charge of 10-8 C, if the
radius of the sphere =2x10-2 m. Find ρv .

Solution:

4π 3 4π
Q = 10 −8 C , r = 2 * 10 −2 m , V = r = (2 * 10 −2 ) 3 = 8 * 10 −6 m 2
3 3
10 −8
.
Q
∴ ρv = = = 2.98 * 10 −4 C m −3
V 4π
* 8 * 10 −8
3

Example:
U

## A non-uniform spherical volume charge density

𝒌
distribution with 𝝆𝒗 = 𝟏 C.m-3. Find the total
𝒓𝒔
P P

## charge contained in the volume of the sphere of

Solution:
U

𝒅𝑸 = 𝝆𝒗 𝒅𝒗

𝑸 = � 𝒅𝑸 = � 𝝆𝒗 𝒅𝒗

𝒌𝟏 𝟐
= � 𝒓 𝒔𝒊𝒏𝜽 𝒅𝜽 𝒅𝝋
𝒓𝒔 𝒔
𝒂
𝒓𝟐𝒔
𝑸 = 𝒌𝟏 � � [𝝓]𝟐𝝅
𝟎 [−𝒄𝒐𝒔 𝜽 ][−𝒄𝒐𝒔 𝜽 ]𝝅
𝟎
𝟐 𝟎

𝑸 = 𝟐𝝅𝒌𝟏 𝒂𝟐 𝑪

Coloumb’s Law:
Force Between Two Point Charges:

## The force between two stationary point charges

Q1,Q2 is proportional to the product of the two
charges and inversely proportional to the square of the
distance R between them.
F21 R â12 F12
Q1 Q2

𝑸𝟏 𝑸𝟐
�𝑭⃗𝟏𝟐 = �
𝒂
𝟒𝝅𝜺𝒐 𝑹𝟐 �𝑹�⃗𝟏𝟐

𝑸𝟏 𝑸𝟐
�⃗𝟐𝟏 =
𝑭 �
𝒂
𝟒𝝅𝜺𝒐 𝑹𝟐 �𝑹�⃗𝟐𝟏

��𝑹�⃗𝟏𝟐 = −𝒂
Where: 𝒂 ��𝑹�⃗𝟐𝟏 unit vector from charge Q 1 to Q 2
R R R R

charge.
𝟏𝟎−𝟗
and, 𝜺𝒐 = = 𝟖. 𝟖𝟓𝒙𝟏𝟎−𝟏𝟐 𝑭/𝒎
𝟑𝟔𝝅

## Force on Point Charge due to n Point Charges:

�⃗𝒕 on point charge 𝑸𝒕 due to n point charges can be
Force 𝑭
determined as
R1t Qt
Q1
𝒏
𝑸𝒊 𝑸𝒕
�⃗𝒕 = �
𝑭 � �⃗𝒊𝒕 [𝑵]
R2t
𝟐 𝒂�𝑹
𝟒𝝅𝜺𝒐 𝑹𝒊𝒕
𝒊=𝟏 Rn t

Qn

Example:
U

## �⃗ in vacuum on a point Q 1 =10-4 C due to a

Find the force 𝑭 R R P P

R R P P R R

## (0,1,2)m and Q 2 at (2,4,5)

R R

Solution:
U

Q1Q2 ∧ Q1Q2
F= a 21 = R21
4πε 0 R 2 21 4πε 0 R21
3

R21 = (0 − 2) xˆ + (1 − 4) yˆ + (2 − 5) zˆ
= −2 xˆ − 3 yˆ − 3zˆ

∴ R21 = 4 + 9 + 9 = 22
R21 − 2 xˆ − 3 yˆ − 3zˆ
aˆ 21 = =
R21 22
(0 −4 ∗ 2 ∗ 10 −5 ) ⋅ (−2 xˆ − 3 yˆ − 3zˆ)
∴F = N
4π ∗ 8.85 ∗ 10 −12 ( 22 ) 2 ⋅ 22

## Electric Field Intensity at a Point due to

Point Charge Q:
It is a vector force acting on a unit (+ve) charge. The
electric field intensity due to a point located at distance R
from the charge Q is given by:

𝑸∗ 𝟏 ��⃗
𝑸𝑹
�𝑬
�⃗ = �
𝒂 = 𝒗𝒐𝒍𝒕�
𝟒𝝅𝜺𝒐 𝑹𝟐 �
�⃗
𝑹 𝟒𝝅𝜺𝒐 𝑹𝟑 𝒎𝒆𝒕𝒆𝒓 (𝑽/𝒎)

## Electric Field Intensity at a Point due to Point

Charges Q1 , Q2 ,….., Qn:
If we have a system of charges Q 1 , Q 2 …Q n . the total
electric field at a point is the vector sum of all fields
due to the different charges.

��⃗
�𝑬⃗𝒕 = ∑𝒏𝒊=𝟏 𝑸𝒊 𝑹 𝟑 𝒂
��𝑹�⃗𝒊𝒕 [𝑵/𝑪]
𝟒𝝅𝜺 𝑹 𝒐
α
R1

â1 Rn
𝒏 R2
𝑸𝒊
Q1

## �𝑬⃗𝒕 = � � �⃗𝒊 [𝑵/𝑪]

â 2
𝟐 𝒂�𝑹
â n
𝟒𝝅𝜺𝒐 𝑹𝒊 Q2 Qn
𝒊=𝟏
Example:
Find the electric field intensity at the point (2,4,5) m, due to
a point charge Q = 2*10-5 C, located at (0,1,2) m.

Solution:
QR
E =
4πε 0 R 3
R = (2 − 0) xˆ + (4 − 1) yˆ + (5 − 2) zˆ
= 2 xˆ + 3 yˆ + 3z
R = 4 + 9 + 9 = 22
2 ∗ 10 −5 (2 xˆ + 3 yˆ + 3zˆ)
E= = ... xˆ + ... yˆ + ... zˆ
4π (8.85 ∗ 10 )( 22 )
−12 3
Electric Field Intensity at a point p (rc, φ, z)
due to line charge
��𝑹�⃗
𝒅𝑸 𝒂 z
��⃗ =
𝒅𝑬
dE
b
𝟒𝝅𝜺𝒐 𝑹𝟐 R

a
dl

𝒅𝑸 �𝑹
�⃗ y
=
𝟒𝝅𝜺𝒐 𝑹𝟑 x

𝒃
𝝆𝒍 𝒅𝒍 �𝑹
�⃗
�𝑬⃗ = �
𝒂 𝟒𝝅𝜺𝒐 𝑹𝟑

## Electric Field Intensity at a Point p (rc, φ, z)

due to Uniform Line Charge Along z-Axis
z

b
dz'
R

α2 ⊕⊕
z' R
z α1 (rc,φ,z)
a
z
y rc

x
��𝑹�⃗
𝒅𝑸 𝒂
��⃗ =
𝒅𝑬
𝟒𝝅𝜺𝒐 𝑹𝟐

𝒅𝑸 = 𝝆𝒍 𝒅𝒍 = 𝝆𝒍 𝒅𝒛′

��⃗ = 𝒂
𝑹 �𝒛 (𝒛′ − 𝒛)
�𝒓𝒄 𝒓𝒄 − 𝒂

## 𝑹 = �𝒓𝟐𝒄 + (𝒛′ − 𝒛)𝟐

��⃗
𝑹 � 𝒛 (𝒛 ′ − 𝒛 )
�𝒓𝒄 𝒓𝒄 − 𝒂
𝒂
�𝑹
𝒂 ��⃗ = =
𝑹 �𝒓𝟐𝒄 + (𝒛′ − 𝒛)𝟐

## 𝝆𝒍 𝒅𝒛′ �𝒂 �𝒛 (𝒛′ − 𝒛)�

�𝒓𝒄 𝒓𝒄 − 𝒂
�⃗ =
𝒅𝑬 𝟑�
𝟐
𝟒𝝅𝜺𝒐 �𝒓𝟐𝒄 + (𝒛′ − 𝒛 )𝟐 �

𝝆𝒍 𝒃 �𝒂
� 𝒓𝒄 𝒓𝒄 − 𝒂� 𝒛 �𝒛′ − 𝒛��
��⃗ =
𝑬 � 𝒅𝒛′
𝟒𝝅𝜺𝒐 𝒂 𝟑
𝟐 �𝟐
�𝒓𝟐 ′
𝒄 + � 𝒛 − 𝒛� �
note:
𝒃
𝒅𝒙 𝒙
� 𝟑� = 𝟏�
𝒂 𝟐 𝟐
�𝒄𝟐 + 𝒙𝟐 � 𝒄𝟐 �𝒄𝟐 + 𝒙𝟐 �
𝒃
𝒙𝒅𝒙 −𝟏
� 𝟑� = 𝟏�
𝒂 𝟐 𝟐
�𝒄𝟐 + 𝒙𝟐 � �𝒄𝟐 + 𝒙𝟐 �

𝒃
𝝆𝒍 ⎢ 𝒅𝒛′
�𝑬
�⃗ =
⎢ 𝒂
� 𝒓𝒄 𝒓𝒄 � 𝟑�
𝟒𝝅𝜺𝒐 𝒂 𝟐 𝟐
⎢ 𝟐 ′
�𝒓𝒄 + �𝒛 − 𝒛� �

𝒃 �𝒛′ − 𝒛� 𝒅𝒛′
− 𝒂 �𝒛 � 𝟑 �
𝒂 𝟐 �𝟐
�𝒓𝟐 ′
𝒄 + � 𝒛 − 𝒛� �

𝝆𝒍 (𝒛′ − 𝒛)
�⃗ =
𝑬 � 𝒓
�𝒂
𝟒𝝅𝜺𝒐 𝒓𝒄 𝒄 𝟏�
𝟐
𝒓𝟐𝒄 [𝒓𝟐𝒄 + (𝒛′ − 𝒛)𝟐 ]
𝒃
𝟏
�𝒛
+ 𝒂 𝟏� �
𝟐
[𝒓𝟐𝒄 + (𝒛′ − 𝒛)𝟐 ]
𝒂

𝝆𝒍 �𝒓
𝒂 (𝒃 − 𝒛) (𝒂 − 𝒛)
�𝑬
�⃗ = � 𝒄� − �
𝟒𝝅𝜺𝒐 𝒓𝒄 [𝒓𝟐 + (𝒃 − 𝒛)𝟐 ]𝟏�𝟐 [𝒓𝟐 + (𝒂 − 𝒛)𝟐 ]𝟏�𝟐
𝒄 𝒄
𝒃
�𝒛
𝒂 𝒓𝒄 𝒓𝒄
+ � − ��
𝒓𝒄 [𝒓𝟐 + (𝒃 − 𝒛)𝟐 ] �𝟐 [𝒓𝟐 + (𝒂 − 𝒛)𝟐 ]𝟏�𝟐
𝟏
𝒄 𝒄
𝒂
𝒃
𝝆𝒍 �𝒓
𝒂 �𝒛
𝒂
��⃗ =
𝑬 � 𝒄 [𝒔𝒊𝒏 𝜶𝟐 + 𝒔𝒊𝒏 𝜶𝟏 ] + [𝒄𝒐𝒔 𝜶𝟐 − 𝒄𝒐𝒔𝜶𝟏 ]�
𝟒𝝅𝜺𝒐 𝒓𝒄 𝒓𝒄
𝒂

𝝆𝒍
�𝑬⃗ = �𝒓𝒄 [𝒔𝒊𝒏 𝜶𝟐 + 𝒔𝒊𝒏 𝜶𝟏 ] + 𝒂
�𝒂 �𝒛 [𝒄𝒐𝒔 𝜶𝟐 − 𝒄𝒐𝒔𝜶𝟏 ]�
𝟒𝝅𝜺𝒐 𝒓𝒄

Note:
- For infinite line 𝜶𝟐 = 𝜶𝟏 = 𝟗𝟎𝒐

So,
𝝆𝒍
�𝑬⃗ = 𝒂
�𝒓𝒄
𝟐𝝅𝜺𝒐 𝒓𝒄

Projection point

�𝒓𝒄 𝒓𝒄
𝒂
Intersection point
Electric Field Intensity at a point p (0,0,z) on the
axis of a ring charged with uniform ρL of radius a
centered at the origin and positioned in (x-y) plane

dE

(0,0, z )

a

dQ = ρ l dl = ρ l adφ

��𝑹�⃗
𝒅𝑸 𝒂
��⃗ =
𝒅𝑬
𝟒𝝅𝜺𝒐 𝑹𝟐

## 𝒅𝑸 = 𝝆𝒍 𝒅𝒍 = 𝝆𝒍 𝒓′𝒄 𝒅𝝋′ = 𝝆𝒍 𝒂𝒅𝝋′

��⃗ = −𝒂
𝑹 �𝒓𝒄 𝒓′𝒄 + 𝒂
�𝒛 𝒛 = −𝒂
�𝒓𝒄 𝒂 + 𝒂
�𝒛 𝒛

𝑹 = �𝒓′𝟐
𝒄 + 𝒛 = �𝒂 + 𝒛
𝟐 𝟐 𝟐
��⃗
𝑹 �𝒓𝒄 𝒂 + 𝒂
−𝒂 �𝒛 𝒛
��𝑹�⃗ = =
𝒂
𝑹 �𝒂𝟐 + 𝒛𝟐

�𝒓𝒄 𝒂 +
𝝆𝒍 𝒂𝒅𝝋′ �−𝒂 �𝒛 𝒛�
𝒂
�⃗ =
𝒅𝑬 𝟑�
𝟐
𝟒𝝅𝜺𝒐 [𝒂𝟐 + 𝒛𝟐 ]

𝝆𝒍 𝒂 𝟐𝝅 �−𝒂� 𝒓𝒄 𝒂 + 𝒂� 𝒛 𝒛�
�𝑬
�⃗ = � 𝒅𝝋′
𝟒𝝅𝜺𝒐 𝟎 𝟑�
𝟐
𝟐
�𝒂 + 𝒛 � 𝟐

𝟐𝝅 𝟐𝝅
𝝆𝒍 𝒂
�𝑬⃗ = ′ �𝒛 𝒛 𝒅𝝋′ �
�𝒓𝒄 𝒂 𝒅𝝋 + � 𝒂
�� −𝒂
𝟑
𝟒𝝅𝜺𝒐 [𝒂𝟐 + 𝒛𝟐 ] �𝟐 𝟎 𝟎

Since, the unit vector 𝒂 �𝒓𝒄 is not a constant unit vector and
it is a function of 𝝋′ , and since

� 𝒓𝒄 = 𝒂
𝒂 � 𝒙 𝒄𝒐𝒔𝝋′ + 𝒂
� 𝒚 𝒔𝒊𝒏𝝋′

So,
𝟐𝝅 𝟐𝝅
⎡− � 𝒂 ′
�𝒙 𝒄𝒐𝒔𝝋 𝒂 𝒅𝝋 − � 𝒂 ′ �𝒚 𝒔𝒊𝒏𝝋′ 𝒂 𝒅𝝋′ ⎤
𝝆𝒍 𝒂 ⎢ 𝟎 ⎥
�𝑬⃗ = 𝟎
𝟑 ⎢ 𝟐𝝅 ⎥
𝟒𝝅𝜺𝒐 [𝒂𝟐 + 𝒛𝟐 ] �𝟐 ⎢ +� 𝒂 �𝒛 𝒛 𝒅𝝋 ′ ⎥
⎣ 𝟎 ⎦
𝟐𝝅
𝝆𝒍 𝒂
��⃗ =
𝑬 �𝒛 𝒛 𝒅𝝋′
� 𝒂
𝟑�
𝟐 𝟎
𝟒𝝅𝜺𝒐 [𝒂𝟐 + 𝒛𝟐 ]
𝝆𝒍 𝒂 𝒛
��⃗ = 𝒂
𝑬 �𝒛 𝟑�
𝟐
𝟐𝜺𝒐 [𝒂𝟐 + 𝒛𝟐 ]

Example:
A uniform line charge of infinite extent with 𝝆𝒍 = 𝟐𝟎 𝒏𝑪/𝒎
��⃗ at (6,8,3) m.
lies on z-axis. Find 𝑬

Solution:
ρl
E= rˆc
2πε 0 rc

rc = x 2 + y 2 = 62 + 82 = 10
20 ∗ 10 −9 rˆc
∴E = = 36rˆc V / m
2π (8.85 * 10 −2 )10 10
Electric field intensity of a surface charge:
z
dE

(0,0,z0)

R ρ S

y
rc
ds

x
��𝑹�⃗
𝒅𝑸 𝒂
��⃗ =
𝒅𝑬
𝟒𝝅𝜺𝒐 𝑹𝟐

## 𝒅𝑸 = 𝝆𝒔 𝒅𝒔′ = 𝝆𝒔 𝒓′𝒄 𝒅𝒓′𝒄 𝒅𝝋′

��⃗ = −𝒂
𝑹 �𝒓𝒄 𝒓′𝒄 + 𝒂
�𝒛 𝒛

𝑹 = �𝒓′𝟐
𝒄 +𝒛
𝟐
��⃗
𝑹 �𝒓𝒄 𝒓′𝒄 + 𝒂
−𝒂 �𝒛 𝒛
��𝑹�⃗ = =
𝒂
𝑹 �𝒓′𝟐𝒄 +𝒛
𝟐

�𝒓𝒄 𝒓′𝒄
𝝆𝒔 𝒓′𝒄 𝒅𝒓′𝒄 𝒅𝝋′ �−𝒂 �𝒛 𝒛�
+ 𝒂
�⃗ =
𝒅𝑬 𝟑�
′𝟐 𝟐
𝟒𝝅𝜺𝒐 �𝒓𝒄 + 𝒛𝟐 �

′𝟐 ′
𝝆𝒔 𝒂 �𝒓𝒄 �𝒅𝒓𝒄 𝟐𝝅 𝒂 �𝒓′𝒄 �𝒅𝒓′𝒄 𝟐𝝅
�⃗ =
𝑬 �∫𝟎 𝟑 ∫ �𝒓𝒄 �𝒅𝝋′
�−𝒂 + ∫𝟎 𝟑� �𝒛 𝒛 𝒅𝝋′ �
∫𝟎 𝒂
𝟒𝝅𝜺𝒐 𝟐 �𝟐 𝟎 𝟐 𝟐
�𝒓′𝒄 +𝒛𝟐 � ′ 𝟐
�𝒓𝒄 +𝒛 �

Since, the unit vector 𝒂 �𝒓𝒄 is not a constant unit vector and
it is a function of 𝝋′ , and since

� 𝒓𝒄 = 𝒂
𝒂 � 𝒙 𝒄𝒐𝒔𝝋′ + 𝒂
� 𝒚 𝒔𝒊𝒏𝝋′
So,

𝒂 𝟐 𝟐𝝅
𝝆𝒔 �𝒓′𝒄 �𝒅𝒓′𝒄
�𝑬⃗ = �� � �−𝒂 �𝒙 𝒄𝒐𝒔𝝋′ − 𝒂
�𝒚 𝒔𝒊𝒏𝝋′ �𝒅𝝋′
𝟒𝝅𝜺𝒐 𝟎 ′ 𝟐 𝟑 �
�𝒓𝒄 + 𝒛𝟐 � 𝟐 𝟎
𝒂 [𝒓′𝒄 ]𝒅𝒓′𝒄 𝟐𝝅
+� 𝟑�
� 𝒂 �𝒛 𝒛 𝒅𝝋′ �
𝟎 �𝒓′ 𝟐 + 𝒛𝟐 � 𝟐 𝟎
𝒄

Then,
𝒂 [𝒓′𝒄 ]𝒅𝒓′𝒄 𝟐𝝅
𝝆𝒔
�𝑬⃗ = �� �𝒛 𝒛 𝒅𝝋′ �
� 𝒂
𝟒𝝅𝜺𝒐 𝟎 𝟑�
𝟐 𝟎
�𝒓′𝒄 𝟐 + 𝒛𝟐 �
and since,
𝒂
𝒂 𝒓′𝒄 𝒅𝒓′𝒄 −𝟏 −𝟏 𝟏
∫𝟎 𝟑� = � 𝟏� � = � 𝟏 + 𝟏 �
′ 𝟐 𝟐 𝟐 ′ 𝟐 𝟐 𝟐 [𝒂𝟐 +𝒛𝟐 ] �𝟐 [𝒛𝟐 ] �𝟐
�𝒓𝒄 +𝒛 � �𝒓𝒄 +𝒛 �
𝟎

So,

𝝆𝒔 −𝒛 𝒛
�𝑬⃗ = 𝒂
�𝒛 � + �
𝟐𝜺𝒐 𝟏� 𝒛
𝟐
[𝒂 + 𝒛 ]
𝟐 𝟐

𝝆𝒔 𝒛
�𝑬
�⃗ = 𝒂
�𝒛 �𝟏 −
𝟐𝜺𝒐 𝟏� �
𝟐
�𝒂𝟐 + 𝒛𝟐 �

## For infinite surface 𝒂 → ∞

𝝆𝒔
�𝑬⃗ = 𝒂
�𝒛
𝟐𝜺𝒐
Note:
𝝆
For infinite surface the electric field �𝑬
�⃗ = 𝒂
�𝒛 𝒔
𝟐𝜺 𝒐
and in direction normal to the surface and out of it.
Example:

## Two infinite uniform sheets of charge 𝝆𝒔𝟏 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝝆𝒔𝟐 located

at 𝒙 = ±𝟏 as shown in figure. Find the electric field in all
regions.

Solution:
y

-1 x=1
x

ρ
ρ s2
S1

Region 1 :
ρs ρs
E1 = 1
xˆ , E2 = 2

2ε 0 2ε 0

∴ Et = E1 + E2 =
1
[
ρ + ρ s2 xˆ
2 ε 0 s1
]
Region 2 :
ρs ρs
E1 = 1
( − xˆ ) , E2 = 2
( xˆ )
2ε0 2ε0

∴ Et =
1
2ε0
−ρ +ρ
s 1 s 2
[
xˆ ]
Region 3 :
ρs ρs
E1 = − 1
xˆ , E2 = − 2

2ε0 2ε0

∴ Et = −
1
2ε0 1
[
ρ s + ρ s xˆ
2
]