Differential Form of Gauss's Law

    • assignment Electric Field and Charge

      assignment Homework

      Electric Field and Charge
      divergence charge density Maxwell's equations electric field Static Fields 2022 (3 years) Consider the electric field \begin{equation} \vec E(r,\theta,\phi) = \begin{cases} 0&\textrm{for } r<a\\ \frac{1}{4\pi\epsilon_0} \,\frac{Q}{b^3-a^3}\, \left( r-\frac{a^3}{r^2}\right)\, \hat r & \textrm{for } a<r<b\\ 0 & \textrm{for } r>b \\ \end{cases} \end{equation}
      1. Use step and/or delta functions to write this electric field as a single expression valid everywhere in space.
      2. Find a formula for the charge density that creates this electric field.
      3. Interpret your formula for the charge density, i.e. explain briefly in words where the charge is.
    • assignment Potential vs. Potential Energy

      assignment Homework

      Potential vs. Potential Energy
      Static Fields 2022 (5 years)

      In this course, two of the primary examples we will be using are the potential due to gravity and the potential due to an electric charge. Both of these forces vary like \(\frac{1}{r}\), so they will have many, many similarities. Most of the calculations we do for the one case will be true for the other. But there are some extremely important differences:

      1. Find the value of the electrostatic potential energy of a system consisting of a hydrogen nucleus and an electron separated by the Bohr radius. Find the value of the gravitational potential energy of the same two particles at the same radius. Use the same system of units in both cases. Compare and the contrast the two answers.
      2. Find the value of the electrostatic potential due to the nucleus of a hydrogen atom at the Bohr radius. Find the gravitational potential due to the nucleus at the same radius. Use the same system of units in both cases. Compare and contrast the two answers.
      3. Briefly discuss at least one other fundamental difference between electromagnetic and gravitational systems. Hint: Why are we bound to the earth gravitationally, but not electromagnetically?

    • assignment Gauss's Law for a Rod inside a Cube

      assignment Homework

      Gauss's Law for a Rod inside a Cube
      Static Fields 2022 (3 years) Consider a thin charged rod of length \(L\) standing along the \(z\)-axis with the bottom end on the \(x,y\)-plane. The charge density \(\lambda_0\) is constant. Find the total flux of the electric field through a closed cubical surface with sides of length \(3L\) centered at the origin.
    • assignment Gravitational Field and Mass

      assignment Homework

      Gravitational Field and Mass
      Static Fields 2022 (4 years)

      The gravitational field due to a spherical shell of matter (or equivalently, the electric field due to a spherical shell of charge) is given by: \begin{equation} \vec g = \begin{cases} 0&\textrm{for } r<a\\ -G \,\frac{M}{b^3-a^3}\, \left( r-\frac{a^3}{r^2}\right)\, \hat r & \textrm{for } a<r<b\\ -G\,\frac{M}{r^2}\, \hat r & \textrm{for } r>b \\ \end{cases} \end{equation}

      This problem explores the consequences of the divergence theorem for this shell.

      1. Using the given description of the gravitational field, find the divergence of the gravitational field everywhere in space. You will need to divide this question up into three parts: \(r<a\), \(a<r<b\), and \(r>b\).
      2. Briefly discuss the physical meaning of the divergence in this particular example.
      3. For this gravitational field, verify the divergence theorem on a sphere, concentric with the shell, with radius \(Q\), where \(a<Q<b\). ("Verify" the divergence theorem means calculate the integrals from both sides of the divergence theorem and show that they give the same answer.)
      4. Briefly discuss how this example would change if you were discussing the electric field of a uniformly charged spherical shell.

    • keyboard Electric field for a waffle cone of charge

      keyboard Computational Activity

      120 min.

      Electric field for a waffle cone of charge
      Computational Physics Lab II 2022

      electric field cone

      Students integrate numerically to find the electric field due to a cone of surface charge, and then visualize the result. This integral can be done in either spherical or cylindrical coordinates, giving students a chance to reason about which coordinate system would be more convenient.
    • computer Visualizing Flux through a Cube

      computer Computer Simulation

      30 min.

      Visualizing Flux through a Cube
      Static Fields 2022 (5 years) Students explore the effects of putting a point charge at various places inside, outside, and on the surface of a cubical Gaussian surface. The Mathematica worksheet or Sage activity shows the electric field due to the charge, then plots the the flux integrand on the top surface of the box, calculates the flux through the top of the box, and the value of the flux through the whole cube.
    • keyboard Electrostatic potential of spherical shell

      keyboard Computational Activity

      120 min.

      Electrostatic potential of spherical shell
      Computational Physics Lab II 2022

      electrostatic potential spherical coordinates

      Students solve numerically for the potential due to a spherical shell of charge. Although this potential is straightforward to compute using Gauss's Law, it serves as a nice example for numerically integrating in spherical coordinates because the correct answer is easy to recognize.
    • group Grey space capsule

      group Small Group Activity

      30 min.

      Grey space capsule
      Contemporary Challenges 2022 (4 years)

      blackbody Stefan-Boltzmann Law

      In this small group activity, students work out the steady state temperature of an object absorbing and emitting blackbody radiation.
    • group Static Fields Equation Sheet

      group Small Group Activity

      5 min.

      Static Fields Equation Sheet
      Static Fields 2022 (3 years)
    • assignment Electric Field from a Rod

      assignment Homework

      Electric Field from a Rod
      Static Fields 2022 (4 years) Consider a thin charged rod of length \(L\) standing along the \(z\)-axis with the bottom end on the \(xy\)-plane. The charge density \(\lambda\) is constant. Find the electric field at the point \((0,0,2L)\).
  • Static Fields 2022 (5 years)

    For an infinitesimally thin cylindrical shell of radius \(b\) with uniform surface charge density \(\sigma\), the electric field is zero for \(s<b\) and \(\vec{E}= \frac{\sigma b}{\epsilon_0 s}\, \hat s\) for \(s > b\). Use the differential form of Gauss' Law to find the charge density everywhere in space.