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Unformatted text preview: 4.3 Aside: Conductors Gauss’s law can be used to prove many important properties about conductors. I will forgo the proofs here and simply state their key properties. The proofs can be found on pg. 613 of the textbook. • ~ E = 0 within a conductor. • A cavity within a conductor is shielded from external fields. • The exterior is not however shielded from interior fields. • The electric field at the surface of a conductor must point normal to the surface. • Any excess charge placed on a conductor must reside on the outside surface. The first point does not even require Gauss’s law for proof, but is simply a restatement of the defining property of conductors. By definition, a conductor allows charge to flow freely. If there were an electric field within the conductor, then there would be a force on the charges and they would move until there was no electric field. The second statement tells us that if we place a charge outside of a conducting shell, then the cavity within the conductor will not know that the charge is there. This is the idea behind Faradaycavity within the conductor will not know that the charge is there....
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This note was uploaded on 12/05/2011 for the course PHY 2049 taught by Professor Any during the Spring '08 term at University of Florida.
- Spring '08