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accessibility_new Kinesthetic

10 min.

Acting Out Charge Densities

density charge density mass density linear density uniform idealization

Ring Cycle Sequence

Integration Sequence

Students, pretending they are point charges, move around the room acting out various prompts from the instructor regarding charge densities, including linear \(\lambda\), surface \(\sigma\), and volume \(\rho\) charge densities, both uniform and non-uniform. The instructor demonstrates what it means to measure these quantities. In a remote setting, we have students manipulate 10 coins to model the prompts in this activity and the we demonstrate the answers with coins under a doc cam.

accessibility_new Kinesthetic

10 min.

Acting Out Current Density

Steady current current density magnetic field idealization

Ring Cycle Sequence

Integration Sequence

Students, pretending they are point charges, move around the room so as to make an imaginary magnetic field meter register a constant magnetic field, introducing the concept of steady current. Students act out linear \(\vec{I}\), surface \(\vec{K}\), and volume \(\vec{J}\) current densities. The instructor demonstrates what it means to measure these quantities by counting how many students pass through a gate.

assignment Homework

Total Current, Square Cross-Section
  1. Current \(I\) flows down a wire (length \(L\)) with square cross-section (side \(a\)). If it is uniformly distributed over the entire area, what is the magnitude of the volume current density \(\vec{J}\)?
  2. If the current is uniformly distributed over the outer surface only, what is the magnitude of the surface current density \(\vec{K}\)?

assignment Homework

Total Current, Circular Cross Section

A current \(I\) flows down a cylindrical wire of radius \(R\).

  1. If it is uniformly distributed over the surface, give a formula for the surface current density \(\vec K\).
  2. If it is distributed in such a way that the volume current density, \(|\vec J|\), is inversely proportional to the distance from the axis, give a formula for \(\vec J\).

assignment Homework

Mass of a Slab

Determine the total mass of each of the slabs below.

  1. A square slab of side length \(L\) with thickness \(h\), resting on a table top at \(z=0\), whose mass density is given by \begin{equation} \rho=A\pi\sin(\pi z/h). \end{equation}
  2. A square slab of side length \(L\) with thickness \(h\), resting on a table top at \(z=0\), whose mass density is given by \begin{equation} \rho = 2A \Big( \Theta(z)-\Theta(z-h) \Big) \end{equation}
  3. An infinitesimally thin square sheet of side length \(L\), resting on a table top at \(z=0\), whose surface density is given by \(\sigma=2Ah\).
  4. An infinitesimally thin square sheet of side length \(L\), resting on a table top at \(z=0\), whose mass density is given by \(\rho=2Ah\,\delta(z)\).
  5. What are the dimensions of \(A\)?
  6. Write several sentences comparing your answers to the different cases above.

assignment Homework

Magnetic Field and Current
Consider the magnetic field \[ \vec{B}(s,\phi,z)= \begin{cases} 0&0\le s<a\\ \alpha \frac{1}{s}(s^4-a^4)\, \hat{\phi}&a<s<b\\ 0&s>b \end{cases} \]
  1. Use step and/or delta functions to write this magnetic field as a single expression valid everywhere in space.
  2. Find a formula for the current density that creates this magnetic field.
  3. Interpret your formula for the current density, i.e. explain briefly in words where the current is.

assignment Homework

Total Charge

For each case below, find the total charge.

  1. A positively charged (dielectric) spherical shell of inner radius \(a\) and outer radius \(b\) with a spherically symmetric internal charge density \begin{equation} \rho(\vec{r})=3\alpha\, e^{(kr)^3} \end{equation}
  2. A positively charged (dielectric) cylindrical shell of inner radius \(a\) and outer radius \(b\) with a cylindrically symmetric internal charge density \begin{equation} \rho(\vec{r})=\alpha\, \frac{1}{s}\, e^{ks} \end{equation}

assignment Homework

Spherical Shell Step Functions
Step Function

One way to write volume charge densities without using piecewise functions is to use step \((\Theta)\) or \(\delta\) functions. If you need to review this, see the following link in the math-physics book: https://books.physics.oregonstate.edu/GMM/step.html

Consider a spherical shell with charge density \(\rho (\vec{r})=\alpha3e^{(k r)^3}\) between the inner radius \(a\) and the outer radius \(b\). The charge density is zero everywhere else. Use step functions to write this charge density as a single function valid everywhere in space.

group Small Group Activity

30 min.

Total Charge

charge volume charge density multiple integral scalar field coordinate systems differential elements curvilinear coordinates

Integration Sequence

In this small group activity, students integrate over non-uniform charge densities in cylindrical and spherical coordinates to calculate total charge.

assignment Homework

Mass Density
Consider a rod of length \(L\) lying on the \(z\)-axis. Find an algebraic expression for the mass density of the rod if the mass density at \(z=0\) is \(\lambda_0\) and at \(z=L\) is \(7\lambda_0\) and you know that the mass density increases
  • linearly;
  • like the square of the distance along the rod;
  • exponentially.
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