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# Chapter 22: Gausss Law

Physics 72
Rafael B. Jaculbia

## 22.1: Charge and Electric Flux

Chapter 21:
We can solve the electric field at a point P
produced by a charge distribution

Chapter 22:
If the electric field pattern is known in a given
region, what can we determine in its charge
distribution?

## Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law

Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

Imaginary surface

## May or may not enclose charges

Has no effect on the electric field
Closed surface
How do we determine the amount of
charge inside?

## Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law

Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

## Measure the charge

Charge distribution Electric field
exerts force on a test charge

q0
Test charge q0

## Measure the force experienced by q0 at

different positions around the box and use:
E = F/q0
Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law
Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

E
E

+q

+q

Test charge q0

E
E

## Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law

Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

## Measure the charge

We only need to measure the electric field
on the surface of the box
E
E
+q

## Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law

Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

-q

Electric Flux
The flow of the electric field through the
surface of the box
Either inward or outward
Inward (outward) electric flux for negative
(positive) charges
What if there is zero net charge inside the
box?
Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law
Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

## Electric Flux and charge enclosed

No charge inside
No electric flux inward or outward
No electric field

## Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law

Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

E
+q

-q

## net charge inside = 0

electric flux is inward at half and outward
at the other half of the box
Net electric field = 0
Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law
Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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## Electric flux and charge enclosed

+

No charge inside
Charge is present outside the box
Electric field points into the box on one
end and out of the box in the other end
Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law
Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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E

E
+q

+2q

## If we double the magnitude of the charge, the

net electric field is also doubled
The net electric flux through the surface of the
box is proportional to the magnitude of the net
charge enclosed
Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law
Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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+q

+q

## If linear dimension of the box is doubled

for each face, the average magnitude of E is the
average magnitude of smaller box (inverse square
law).
But the area of each face for the large box is 4x the
area of the corresponding face for the small box.
Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law
Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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## Electric Flux and Charge enclosed

The outward electric flux is the same for
the two boxes if:
We define Electric flux as the product of the
average perpendicular component of E and
the area of that face and add the results for all
faces of that box

## For an enclosed point charge, the net flux

Depends on the net charge enclosed
Independent of the size of the box.
Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law
Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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## Fluid Flow analogy

Use the analogy: Fluid flow and electric
field
Electric field is NOT a flow, this is just an
analogy
Electric field E and velocity vectors in a

flowing liquid

## Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law

Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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## Fluid Flow analogy

Volume flow rate
(dV/dt) through the wire
Wire is perpendicular to
the flow velocity:

dV
= vA
dt

## Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law

Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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## Fluid Flow analogy

Wire is tilted by and
angle

through A is:
dV
= vA cos
dt

## Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law

Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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## Fluid Flow analogy

If = 90o, dV/dt = 0
v cos() is the component of the velocity vector
perpendicular to the area A. Call this v:

dV
= v A
dt

## Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law

Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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## Fluid Flow analogy

Introduce the concept of vector area A
Has both magnitude and direction
perpendicular to the area we are
describing.
In terms of the vector area, dV/dt
becomes:
dV r r
=vA
dt
Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law
Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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## Fluid flow analogy

Electric field flow through an area
Replace v E

E = EA

## Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law

Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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Electric Flux

## If area is tilted, the area that counts is

A = A cos()
E = EA cos()
Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law
Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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Electric Flux
E cos() is the component of the electric
field perpendicular to the area
E = E A
In terms of the vector area, which is
perpendicular to the area of interest
E = EA
Electric flux for uniform electric field, flat
surface
Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law
Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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Electric Flux
SI unit of electric flux: 1 Nm2/C
Define the unit vector n which points
perpendicular tor the area, then ,

A = An
A surface has two sides, so we choose the
direction of n to be outward of the closed
surface.
Outward Electric flux positive E
Inward Electric flux negative E
Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law
Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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Electric Flux
If the electric field varies from point to
point or the area is curved
Divide the area A into small elements dA
each has unit vector n and vector area

r
dA = ndA

## So the electric flux is:

r r
E = E cos dA = E dA = E dA
Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law
Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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## Example: Electric flux through a

disk
r
E = 2.0 x103 N / C

a)
b)
c)

## What is the electric flux through the disk?

What is the electric flux if the disk is turned so that it is
perpendicular to E?
What is the flux though the disk if its normal is parallel to
E?

## Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law

Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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## Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law

Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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## Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law

Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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sphere

## Point charge with q = 3.0C surrounded by a

sphere of radius 0.20m. Find the electric flux
through a the sphere due to the charge.
Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law
Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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## 22.3 Gausss Law

Gausss Law
Formulated by Carl Friedrich Gauss
(1777-1855)
An alternative to Coulombs law
Relationship between the charge and the
electric field

## Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law

Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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r r
E = E A

r
dA
r
E

r
E = E 4R 2
q
2

E =
4

R
2

4
R

E =

## Flux is independent of the size of the sphere!

Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law
Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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## Inside a nonspherical surface

Flux through dA
Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law
Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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## Inside a nonspherical surface

Total flux is the sum of the flux from all the
surface element dA
Each of dA projects to a corresponding
area element of the sphere, hence the
total flux through the irregular surface is
the same as that of the sphere:

r r q
E = E dA =

## Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law

Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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r r q
E = E dA =

## Holds true for any closed surface

enclosing q
dA and the corresponding unit vectors
point out of the surface
Outward Electric field (+) E and E
Inward Electric field (-) E and E
If more than one charge is inside?
Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law
Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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No Charge enclosed
r r
E = E dA = 0

## Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law

Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

When there is no
enclosed charge,
electric flux is zero
Charges outside the
surface has no net
effect on the flux
through that surface

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Gausss Law
Now we have the general statement of
Gausss Law:

r r Qencl
E = E dA =

## We can also write Gausss law as:

r r Qencl
E = E cos dA = E dA = E dA =

## Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law

Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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Gausss Law
The closed surface is imaginary
There need not be any material object at the
position of the surface

surface

## Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law

Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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Gausss Law
Electric field
points out of the
Gaussian surface
At every point at
the surface, E is
in the same
direction as dA,
=0

## Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law

Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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Gausss Law
Electric field
points into the
Gaussian surface
At every point at
the surface, E is
in the opposite
direction as dA,
=180o

## Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law

Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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## Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law

Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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## 22.4 Applications of Gausss

Law

Gausss Law
Valid for any charged distributions and any
closed surface.
Charge distribution Electric field or vice
versa
Symmetry is important!!!

## Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law

Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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## Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law

Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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charge

## Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law

Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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## Field of an infinite plane sheet of

charge
Planar symmetry
Charge distribution does not change if we
slide it in any direction parallel to the sheet
Electric field is always perpendicular to the
sheet
Field must have the same magnitude on the
same distance on both sides of the sheets
We use as surface a cylinder with its axis
perpendicular to charge, with ends of area A
Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law
Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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## Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law

Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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## Field of a line charge

Cylindrical symmetry
we can rotate the system through any
angle about its axis, and we can shift it by
any amount along the axis
E is radial and lie in planes perpendicular
to the wire, field magnitude depend only
on the distance from the wire
Gaussian surface a cylinder with arbitrary
radius r and arbitrary length I, with its ends
perpendicular to the wire.
Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law
Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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Quiz
An infinitely long cylindrical conductor has
radius R and uniform surface charge
density .
a. In terms of and R, what is the charge per
unit length for the cylinder?
b. In terms of , what is the magnitude of the
electric field produced by the charged
cylinder at a distance r > R from its axis?
c. Express the result of part (b) in terms of .
Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law
Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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## 22.5. Charges on Conductors

Charges on Conductors
Conductor in a uniform field
Eo
Charges will rearrange
Induced charges produces
an electric field E1 which
cancels out the original field

## Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law

Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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Charges on Conductors
In electrostatics,
the electric field at
the center of the
conductor is zero.
Any excess
charges placed on
the conductor lies
on the surface

## Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law

Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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sphere

## Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law

Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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Charges on conductors
What if there is a cavity
inside the conductor?
Use arbitrary Gaussian
surface A
Since the electric field
inside the conductor = 0,
the electric field at
Gaussian surface is 0 so,
the net charge on the
surface of the cavity is 0
Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law
Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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Charges on conductors
Place a charge q inside
the cavity
Conductor is insulated
from the charge q.
From Gausss Law, total
charge enclosed must be
zero, so there must be
negative charges
attracted to q.
So there will charges with
total charge q on the
surface of the cavity
Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law
Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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## Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law

Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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Summary
Gauss law relates the flux through a
closed surface to the enclosed charge
Gauss law is always valid but not always
useful
Charge distribution must have symmetry
(planar, spherical, cylindrical)

## Excess charges placed on a conductor lie

entirely on its surface
Probset Due tomorrow: 10-17
Physics 72 Chapter 22: Gauss's Law
Lecturer: Rafael Jaculbia

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