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ELECTRIC CHARGES AND FIELDS

ELCTRIC CHARGES AND FIELS


Electrostatics:
The branch of physics which deals with the study of charges at rest.

Electric Charge:
The intrinsic property of material objects that make it possible for them to exert electrical force and to respond
to electric force is known as electric charge. The SI unit of electric charge is coulomb (C) and it is a scalar
quantity.

Reason of Charging of objects:


Unbalance number of electrons and protons in a material object is the reason of charging. If numbers of
protons are more than the number of electrons then the body is said to be positively charged and if number of
protons are less than the number of electrons then the body is said to be negatively charged.

Basic properties of electric charges:


There are two types of electric charge, positive charge and negative charge. Particles with like charges
(both positive and both negative) repel each other and particles with unlike charges (one positive and the
other negative) attract each other.

Definition of point Charge:


If the size of a charged body is very small as compared to its distance from all surrounding objects of
interest then such a body can be considered as a point charge. The total charge on a point object is
considered to be accumulated on a single point in space. There are some properties of charged particles
given below

(1) Additive Nature of Electric Charge


Electric charge is additive in nature. If a system consists of n charges q1, q2 , q3 ..qn then the total
charge on the system will be q1+ q2 + q3+ ..+qn. Since the electric charge is a scalar quantity so in order
to calculate the net charge on a system, we have to add them algebraically with proper signs.

(2) Conservation of Charges


According to the law of conservation of charge the net electric charge of an isolated system remains constant
(i.e. is conserved). In simple words, charge can be neither created nor destroyed. Total charge of universe
is constant.

(3) Quantization of Charge


According to quantization of charge, charge on any object is always an integral multiple of smallest unit of
charge (e) and can be written as q= ne, n = 1, 2, 3,, Where SI unit of charge is the coulomb (C). When a
physical quantity such as charge can have only discrete values rather than any arbitrary value, we say that
the quantity is quantized. It is possible, for example, to find a free particle that has no charge at all or a charge
of +10e or -6e, but not a free particle with a charge of, say, 3.57e.

(4) Charge is transferrable


Charge can be transferred from one object to another. It is very difficult to transfer protons in comparison to
electrons so the main responsibility in charging is due to transfer of electrons. It is also possible to transfer
complete charge of a body to another.

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ELECTRIC CHARGES AND FIELDS

Methods of charging:
We can charge objects by the following methods
(1) Charging by Friction
(2) Charging by Conduction
(3) Charging by Induction

Charging by Friction:
By rubbing two bodies together, both positive and negative charges in equal amounts appear simultaneously
due to transfer of electrons from one body to the other.
(i) When a glass rod is rubbed with silk, the rod becomes positively charged while the silk becomes
negatively charged.
(ii) Ebonite on rubbing with wool becomes negatively charged making the wool positively charged.
(iii) Clouds also get charged by friction.
(iv) A comb moving through dry hair gets electrically charged. It starts attracting small bits of paper.
(v) During landing or take-off, the tiers of an aircraft get electrified therefore special material is used to
manufacture them.

Charging by Conduction:
When two conductors, one charged and another uncharged are contact with each other. Then the charge
(whether ve or + v e ) under its own repulsion will spread over both the conductors. Thus the conductors will
be charged with the same sign. This is called as charging by conduction (through contact). If two identical
metallic spheres are taken, one having charge Q and another uncharged then bringing them in contact the
charge on both the spheres will be equally divided.

Charging by induction
The process of charging a neutral body by bringing a charged body near it without making contact between
the two bodies is known as charging by induction.
Let us perform an experiment involving the following steps to understand charging by induction
Bring two metal spheres, A and B, supported on insulating stands, in contact as shown in figure below.

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ELECTRIC CHARGES AND FIELDS

ELCTRIC CHARGES AND FIELS


Bring a positively charged glass rod near one of the sphere, say A. The rod does not touch any sphere. The
free electrons in the sphere are attracted toward the rod. This bring an excess of positive charge on the rear
(or left) surface of sphere B, and an excess of negative charge to the front (or left) surface of sphere A.
(However, not all the electron in the sphere have accumulated on the left surface of A.). Both kinds of charges
are bound in the metal spheres and cannot escape. They, therefore, reside on the surfaces as shown.

Separate the spheres by a small distance while the glass rod is held near sphere A, as shown below.

Remove the rod. The charges on the spheres A and B rearrange themselves as shown in figure below.

This process is called induction of charge and it happens almost instantly.

ELECTROSCOPE

Electroscope is a simple device that can be used to test the presence of an electric charge.
Construction and working of Electroscope: A pair of thin strips (or leaves) made of gold is suspended
from a small metallic rod in an insulating enclosure; the rod is connected to a metal ball on top the enclosure.
When the metal ball is charged (by bringing the charged rod near the ball), the charge spreads out over the
metallic parts including strips, and the two strips separate due to repulsion between the like charges on them.

However, when a charged rod is brought near the ball of the electroscope, the strips separate even when
there is no contact between the charged rod and the electroscope Also, when the distance between the
charged rod and the electroscope is increased again, the strips drop back, showing that no charge has
transferred from the rod to the electroscope.

AARAV CLASSES 11 C 6, Parijat Colony, Mahaveer Nagar III, Kota (Raj.) Ph.09509469541 3
ELECTRIC CHARGES AND FIELDS

Coulombs law
The force of repulsion or attraction between two objects due to the nature or signs of their charges is called
electrostatic force. The equation giving the electrostatic force for charged particles is obtained by
Coulombs law.
According to Coulombs law the magnitude F of the electrostatic force exerted by one point charge q1 on
another point charge q2 is directly proportional to the product of magnitudes |q1| and |q2| of the two charges
and inversely proportional to the square of the distance r between them.

From coulombs law


F | q1 || q2 |
1
F
r2
| q1 || q2 |
F
r2

or
| q1 || q2 |
F=k
r2
or in vector form
| q || q |
F = k 1 2 2 r
r

9 2 2
Where k = 9 10 Nm /C (SI units)
r = unit vector along an axis extending through the two point charges.
The electrostatic force is directed along the line joining the charges. It is attractive if the charges have unlike
signs and repulsive if the charges have like signs.
Let q1 and q2 be two point charges separated by a distance r in vacuum , then according to Coulombs law,

magnitude of force on charge q2 due to q1 ( F21 ) is given as
kq q
| F21 |= 12 2
r

F21 is always directed from q1 to q2, that is

r
F21 =| F21 | r where r =
r
Therefore,

kq q r kq q 1 q1q2
| F21 |= 12 2 = 13 2 r = r
r r r 4 0 r 3
Where k = 1/ 40 is the proportionality constant, 0 being the permittivity of free space. If the charges are
placed in a medium other than vacuum with absolute permittivity m , then we have
1 q1q2
F= r
4m r 3
m = r 0 , where r is called the relative permittivity or dielectric constant of the medium. The numerical value
1
of 0 = 8.854 1012 C2 / Nm2 Thus = 9 109 Nm2 / C2 in SI units.
40

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ELECTRIC CHARGES AND FIELDS

ELCTRIC CHARGES AND FIELS


Force Between Two Charges in Terms of their Position Vectors
Let two point charges q1 and q2 be located at points A and B in vacuum or free space as shown in figure,

respectively. Let OA = r1,OB = r2 be position vectors of points A and B, where O is the origin of the Cartesian
coordinate system XYZ. From Fig. using the triangle law of vectors we have

OA + AB = OB or AB = OB OA = r2 r1 = r12
According to Coulombs law, Force on q2 due to q1 is
1 qq 1 qq
F21 = 1 2 3 r12 = 1 2 3 (r2 r1 )
40 | r2 r1 | 4 0 | r2 r1 |

Similarly, force on q1 due to q2 will be


1 qq
F12 = 1 2 3 (r1 r2 )
40 | r1 r2 |
we conclude that

F21 = F12
From this expression we conclude that the force exerted on charge q2 by charge q1 is equal in magnitude
but opposite in direction to the force exerted on charge is in accordance with Newtons third law.

Two equal balls having equal positive charge q coulombs are suspended by two insulating strings of
equal length. What would be the effect on the force when a plastic sheet is inserted between the two?
[1/2014]

Plot a graph showing the variation of coulomb force (F) versus 2 , where r is the distance between
1
r
the two charges of each pair of charges : (1 C, 2 C) and (2 C, -3 C).Intercept the graphs obtained.
[2/2011]

Principle of Superposition
The electrostatic force obeys the principle of superposition. According to the principle of superposition,
the total force acting on a charged particle due to n number of charged particles surrounding it, is equal to the
vector sum of the forces exerted by individual charge particles.
If we have n charged particles, they interact independently in pairs, and the force on any one of them, say
charge particle 1, is given by the vector sum

F1.net = F12 + F13 + F14 + ... + F1n

Where F12 ,F13 ,F14 ,F15 ...,F1n are the force acting on particle 1 due to the presence of the particles 2, 3, 4, 5,.n.

AARAV CLASSES 11 C 6, Parijat Colony, Mahaveer Nagar III, Kota (Raj.) Ph.09509469541 5
ELECTRIC CHARGES AND FIELDS

ELECTRIC FIELD
The electric field is a vector field around a charged object due to which another charged objects experiences
electric forces. To measure the electric field at any point we place a test charge at that place and calculate the
force on it. The force on unit positive test charge is represented as electric field at that point.
Test Charge: A test charge is a charge having magnitude so small that placing it at a point has a negligible
effect on the field around the point.

Electric field E at point P due to the charged object is defined as

F
E=
q0

F = q0E

Thus, the magnitude of the electric field E at point P is E = F/q0 and the direction of E is that of the force F
that acts on the positive test charge. The SI unit for the electric field is the Newton per coulomb (N/C) or
volt/meter.
Electric field due to a point charge
To find the electric field due to a point charge (or a charged particle) q at any point at distance r from the point
charge, we put a positive test charge q0 at that point. From Coulombs law, the electrostatic force acting on q0
is
1 qq0
F= r
40 r 2

The direction of F is directly away from the point charge if q is positive, and directly toward the point charge if
q is negative. The electric field vector is

F 1 q
E= = r
q0 40 r 2

Where q is the source charge, r is the relative position vector giving the position of the observation location

relative to the source charge, r is the unit vector in the direction of r , and | r | is the magnitude of r and is the
distance from the source location to the observation location.
Electric Field Due to system of charges
We can find the net, or resultant electric field due to more than one point charge. If we place a positive test
charge q0 near n point charges q1, q2.., qn, then the net force F0 from the n point charges acting on the test
charge is

F0 = F01 + F02 + ... + Fon.
Therefore, from Eq. , the net electric field at the position of the test charge is

F F02 F0n
E= 01
+ + ... + = E1 + E2 + ... + En.
q0 q0 q0

Here, E is the total electric filed at a point where the test charge is located, and E1,E2.....En are the individual
fields at the location of the test charge due to charges q1, q2..qn, respectively.

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ELECTRIC CHARGES AND FIELDS

ELCTRIC CHARGES AND FIELS


ELECTRIC LINES OF FORCES
Electric field lines are confined by the following physical properties:
1. For an isolated positive point charge electric lines of force starts from positive charge and end at infinity. For
isolated negative point charge electric lines of force starts from infinity and end at charge itself.

2. For a combination of positive and negative charge, electric field lines start from a positive charge and end at a
negative charge.

3. Tangent drawn at any point on the electric line of force represents the direction of electric field at that point
4. No two field lines can cross each other because it is physically impossible for an electric field to have two
directions simultaneously. If two electric field lines intersect each other a point P then it implies that at point P
we can draw two tangents to the two electric field lines, which further means that at point P we have two
different directions of the electric field vector, which is not possible. Hence, the assumption that two electric
field lines can intersect is false.

5. Electric field lines contract longitudinally (i.e. attraction between two charges of opposite sings) and expand
laterally (i.e. repulsion between like charges).
6. The density of electric field lines at any point represents the strength of the electric field at that point.

In the above figure density of electric field line is more at point a than point b so strength of electric field is
more at point a.
5. Electric field lines do not form closed loop because electric field is conservative in nature.

Why do the electrostatics field lines not form closed loops. [1/2014]
Why do the electric lines never cross each other? [1/2014]

AARAV CLASSES 11 C 6, Parijat Colony, Mahaveer Nagar III, Kota (Raj.) Ph.09509469541 7
ELECTRIC CHARGES AND FIELDS

ELECTRIC FLUX
Electric flux is a measure of the number of electric field lines crossing a given area.
The number of electric field lines crossing a surface normally is known as electric flux.

The electric flux is given by



= EA = EA cos
Its unit is Nm /C and it is scalar quantity. Here, is the angle between the electric field and area vector.
2

Even though the electric flux is a scalar, it has positive as well as negative values. If the angle between
the electric field vector and the area vector is acute, the flux is positive. In other words, if the electric field lines
are emanating from the surface, the flux is considered positive. However if the electric lines are entering in to
the surface, the angle between the electric field vector and the area vector would be obtuse and the flux is
negative.
Normally, the electric field will not be constant. In such type of cases, the electric flux can be obtained by
dividing the whole surface into small parts and integrating over the area.

E = EdA

Here, the value of E is at the surface and not at any point in space. This kind of integration carried out at
different points of surface is called surface integral.

Define electric flux. Write its S.I. unit. [1/2012]

ELECTRIC DIPOLE
A system of two equal and opposite charges separated by a small distance form an electric dipole. Examples
of electric dipole are HCI, HF, and H2O.

Figure shows an electric dipole which consists of two charges +q and q separated by a very small distance
2a. Here, 2a is known as dipole length and is equal to the separation between the two charges of electric
dipole.
Electric dipole moment: It is equal to the product of the magnitude of either of the charges and the dipole
length. The electric dipole moment is a vector quantity and mathematically

p =| q | 2a

Where p is the electric dipole moment, |q| is the magnitude of the either of the charges, and 2 a is dipole
length. SI unit of dipole moment is coulomb-meter (Cm). Direction of electric dipole moment is from q to +q
point charge.
An electric dipole consists of two charges +q and q; therefore, according to the superposition principle, the
electric field due to an electric dipole at a point will be equal to the vector sum of the electric field due to the
two individual charges.

8 11 C 6, Parijat Colony, Mahaveer Nagar III, Kota (Raj.) Ph.09509469541 AARAV CLASSES
ELECTRIC CHARGES AND FIELDS

ELCTRIC CHARGES AND FIELS


Define electric dipole moment. Is it scalar or a vector? [1/2012]
Define electric dipole moment. Write its S.I. unit. [1/2011]

ELECTRIC FIELD AT AXIAL LINE OF AN ELECTRIC DIPOLE


A line joining the centers of the two charges of an electric dipole is known as the axial line of the electric
dipole.
Consider a system of charges (-q and +q) separated by a distance 2a as shows in fig.

Let P be any point at distance r from the center O of the dipole on which the electric field is to be determined.
Now, the electric field at point P due to +q charges at point A will be
1 q
EA = Along AP
4 0 ( AP ) 2

1 q
= P .
4 0 ( r a ) 2

Similarly, the electric field at point P due to q charges at point B will be


1 q
EB = Along PB
4 0 ( PB ) 2

=
1

q
4 0 ( r + a ) 2
P . ( )
The net electric field at point P due to both the charges (or dipole) according to the principle of superposition
will be

EP = EA + EB

1 q q
= P
4 0 ( r a )2 ( r + a )2

q 4 ar
= P
4 0
( )
2
r a2
2

2 qa 2r
= P .
4 0
( )
2
r a2
2


2k p r
EP =
(r )
2
2
a2

The direction of the net electric field will be along BP.

Special Cases (short dipole)


If point P lies very far away from the center O of the dipole, then r>>a, so we can have r - a r . Thus, net
2 2 2

electric field on the axial line becomes


2kp
EP =
r3

AARAV CLASSES 11 C 6, Parijat Colony, Mahaveer Nagar III, Kota (Raj.) Ph.09509469541 9
ELECTRIC CHARGES AND FIELDS

Electric field on Equatorial line of dipole


Equatorial line of the electric dipole: A line which is perpendicular to the axial line and passes through the
center of an electric dipole is known as the equatorial line of the electric dipole.
Let us consider an electric dipole consisting of -q and +q charges separated by distance 2a.

Let P be any point on the equatorial line of the electric dipole at a distance r from the center of the dipole. The
electric field at point P due to charge q at point A is
1 q
EA = ( alongPA ) .
4 0 ( AP ) 2

The magnitude of the electric field is


1 q
| E A |= .
(
4 0 r 2 + a 2
)
Similarly, the electric field at point P due to +q charge placed at pointy B will be
1 q
EB = ( alongBP ) .
4 0 ( BP )2

The magnitude of the electric field is


1 q
| E B |=
(
4 0 r 2 + a 2 ).
The net electric field at point P due to the dipole will be equal to the vector sum of EA and EB. Resolving EA
and EB info horizontal and vertical components, we conclude that the vertical component of EA and EB cancel
each other as they are equal in magnitude, but opposite in direction. On the other hand, the horizontal
components add up as they are in the same direction. So the net electric field at point P will be
E = E A cos + E B cos .
Since
1 q
E A = EB =
(
4 0 r 2 + a 2 )
E = 2 E A cos .
Therefore,
Substituting, cos = a / r 2 + a2 in above Eq., we get
2 q a
E = 2E A cos =
40 r 2 + a2 r + a2
2

kp
E=
(r )
3/2
2
+ a2
The direction of the net electric field E will be along PX as shown in Fig, and it will be opposite to dipole
moment.

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ELECTRIC CHARGES AND FIELDS

ELCTRIC CHARGES AND FIELS


Special case (short dipole)

If point P is very far as compared to the dipole length, then r >> a, so r + a r ; hence, the net electric field
2 2 2

on equatorial line will be


kp kp kp
E= = =
(r ) (r )
3/2 3/2
2
+a 2 2 r3

Derive the expression for the electric field of a dipole at a point on the equatorial plane of the dipole.
[1.5/2013]

Torque on a dipole in a uniform external field


Torque due to a force gives us the turning effect of the force about the fixed point or axis.

The behavior of a dipole in a uniform external field, we consider a dipole in a uniform external electric field E ,

as shown in fig .The dipole moment P makes an angle with field E .
Electrostatic force act on the charged ends of the dipole. Since the field is uniform, these force act in opposite
direction (as shown in fig.) and with the same magnitude F = qE. Thus, because the field is uniform, the net
force on the dipole from the field is zero, and the center of mass of the dipole dose not move. However, the
force on the charged ends does produce a net torque on the dipole about its center of mass. The magnitude
of torque on the electric dipole can be calculate by using the relation
= Magnitude of either force x perpendicular distance between the forces
= q E x AC
Now ABC is a right angle triangle, therefore
AC
sin =
AB
AC = ABsin = 2asin

Substituting the value of AC in the relation of torque, we get


= qE AC
= qE 2a sin
= (q 2a) E sin
= pE sin
We can generalize this equation to vector form as

= p E
From the above expression for torque, we conclude that it is equal to the vector product of the dipole moment
(p) and electric field (E). Therefore the torque can be found by using the screw rule and it will be perpendicular
to the plane of paper and inwards as shown in Fig.

AARAV CLASSES 11 C 6, Parijat Colony, Mahaveer Nagar III, Kota (Raj.) Ph.09509469541 11
ELECTRIC CHARGES AND FIELDS

(i) Torque will be maximum when = 90


max = pE sin 90
max = pE
(ii) Torque will be minimum when = 0
min = pE sin 0
min = 0

Deduce the expression for the torque acting on a dipole of dipole moment p in the presence of a uniform

electric field E . [3/2014]
An electric dipole is held in a uniform electric field.
(i) Show that the net force acting on it is zero.
(ii) The dipole is aligned parallel to the electric field. Find the work done in rotating it through the angle of
o
180 . [2/2012]

Continuous charge distribution


A system which consists of a large number of uniformly distributed charge along its length, area or volume is
known as a continuous charge distribution. For example, a charge silk cloth or a charged glass rod is a
continuous charge distribution.
There are three main types of continuous charge distribution:
1. Linear charge distribution
2. Surface charge distribution
3. Volume charge distribution

Linear charge distribution


When charge is distributed uniformly along a straight line or along a circumference of a circle, it is called a
linear charge distribution. The linear charge density () is defined as the charge per unit length for such
type of distribution. Mathematically, linear charge density is expressed as
q
=

-1
The SI unit of linear charge density () is Cm . Let dl be an infinitesimally small length of the line L. then the
charge dq on d is given as
dq
=
d
dq = d
Suppose a test charge q0 is placed in the vicinity of a linear charge distribution. Then the force on the test
charge q0 due to dq is expressed as
q dq q d
dF = 0 2 r = 0 2 r
40 r 40 r
Therefore, total force on q0 due to the entire linear distribution of charge is
q
F = 0 2 r d
40 r

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ELECTRIC CHARGES AND FIELDS

ELCTRIC CHARGES AND FIELS


Surface charge distribution
When charges are distributed uniformly over a particular area, say, over a membrane S then such a charge
distribution is known as surface charge distribution. The surface charge density () is defined as the charge
per unit area of surface charge distribution. Mathematically, surface charge density is represented by
q
=
S

-2
The SI unit of surface charge density () is Cm . Let dS be a small surface on surface S as shown in Fig. The
charge dq on surface dS is dq = dS. Let a test charge q0 be placed in the vicinity of the surface charge
distribution such that the distance between the test charge and the surface dS is r. The force on q0 due to dq
expressed as
q dq q dS
dF = 0 r = 0 r
40 r 2
40 r 2
Therefore that total force on qo due to the entire surface distribution of charge can be calculated by integrating
the above expression as
q
F = 0 2 rdS
4 0
Sr

Volume Charge Distribution


The volume charge density is defined as the charge per unit volume of the volume charge distribution. It is
represented by . Mathematically, volume charge density is represented as
q
=
V

The SI unit of volume charge density ( ) is Cm . Let dV be a small volume on the given volume distribution.
-3

The charge dq on the small volume dV is dq = dV. Let a test charge qo be placed in the vicinity of the volume
charge distribution. The force on q0 due to dq is expressed as
q dq q0 dv
dF = 0 r= r
4 0 r 2 4 0 r 2
Therefore, the total force on q0 due to the entire volume distribution of charge can be calculated by integrating
the above expression
q

F = 0 3 r dv
40 v r

AARAV CLASSES 11 C 6, Parijat Colony, Mahaveer Nagar III, Kota (Raj.) Ph.09509469541 13
ELECTRIC CHARGES AND FIELDS

GAUSSS LAW:
Gausss law establishes a relationship between the net flux of an electric field through a closed surface (a
Gaussian surface) to the net charge qenc that is enclosed by that surface. This relationship is
qenc
=
0
We know that the electric flux is given by the expression


= E ds

Substituting the value of flux in above equation, we get the following simplified expression for Gausss law :
q

EdS = enc
0
According to Gausss law the total electric flux enclosed inside a closed surface is 1/0 times the charge
enclosed within the surface. Mathematically, Gausss law is expressed as
q
(ElectricFlux) =
E.ds = enc
0
Above equations hold only when the net charge is located in vacuum or in air. In Equations the net charge q is
the algebraic sum of all the enclosed positive and negative charges, and it can be positive, negative, or zero.
In calculations, we include both the sign and the magnitude of the enclosed charge because the sign tells us
about the net flux through the Gaussian surface.
Charge outside the Gaussian surface, no matter how large or how close it may be, is not included in the term
q in Gausss law. The electric field due to a charge outside the Gaussian surface charge enters and leaves
the Gaussian surface.
Proof of Gausss Law:
Let us consider a sphere of radius a enclosing charge q. Let P be any point on the surface of the sphere as
shown in Fig. Charge q is located at the center of sphere.

Suppose O is the center of the sphere. Let us take a small area dS enclosing point P. Then, both the area
vector and the electric field vector at point P point toward the same direction as shown in Fig. The electric field
at point P is given by
1 q
E= 2 a
40 a

Where a is the unit normal vector or the vector or the vector along O P . The electric flux through area

element dS is given by
1 q 1 q 1 q
d = EdS = adS = ( dS ) cos0 = dS
40 a2 40 a2 40 a2
Therefore, electric flux through the closed surface of the sphere is given as
1 q 1 q 1 q
= dS = dS = 4 4a2
40 a 2
40 a2 0 a2
This implies
q
=
0
Hence, Gausss law is verified.

14 11 C 6, Parijat Colony, Mahaveer Nagar III, Kota (Raj.) Ph.09509469541 AARAV CLASSES
ELECTRIC CHARGES AND FIELDS

ELCTRIC CHARGES AND FIELS


Consider two hollow concentric spheres, S1 and S2, enclosing charges 2Q and 4Q respectively as
shown in the figure. (i) Find out the ratio of the electric flux through them. (ii) How will be the electric flux
through the sphere S1 change if a medium of dielectric constant r is introduced in the space inside S1
in place of air ? Deduce the necessary expression. [2/2014]

Two charges of magnitudes + 4Q and Q are located at points (a, 0) and (-3a, 0) respectively. What is
the electric flux due to these charges through a sphere of radius 2a with its center at the origins?
[1/2013]
A charge q is placed at the center of a cube of side . What is the electric flux passing through each
face of the cube? [1/2012]
2
A hollow cylindrical box of length 1 m and area of cross-section 25 cm is placed in a three dimensional

coordinate system as shown in the figure. The electric field in the region is given by E 50 xi , where E
-1
is in NC and x is in meters. Find [5/2012]
(i) Net flux through the cylinder.
(ii) Charge enclosed by the cylinder.

APPLICATIONS OF GUASSS LAW


Gausss law is used for the calculating the electric field in some symmetric charge distribution. Some
examples of symmetric charge distribution are:
(1) Cylindrical symmetry for such a distribution, we use a co-axial cylinder as Gaussian surface;
(2) Plane symmetry for such a distribution, we use a Gaussian pillbox which straddles the surface;
(3) Spherical symmetry for such a distribution, we make Gaussian surface a concentric sphere.

Electric Field Due to Infinitely Long, Uniformly Charged Straight Wire

(a) (b)
Figure (a) shows a section of an infinitely long wire with a uniform positive linear charge density . Let us find

an expression for the magnitude of the electric field E at a distance r from the axis of the wire.
Consider a circular cylinder of radius r and length h, coaxial with the wire as Gaussian surface.

AARAV CLASSES 11 C 6, Parijat Colony, Mahaveer Nagar III, Kota (Raj.) Ph.09509469541 15
ELECTRIC CHARGES AND FIELDS


At every point on the cylindrical part of the Gaussian surface, E must have the same magnitude E, and (for a
positively charged wire) it must be directed radially outward. Since 2r is the cylinders circumference and h is

its height, the curved area A of the cylindrical surface is 2rh. The flux of E through this cylindrical surface is
then
= EA cos = E (2rh) cos00 = E (2rh)

There is no flux through the end caps because E , being radially directed, is parallel to the end caps at every
point. The charge enclosed by the surface is h, which means that the Gausss law
q
=
0
Reduces to
h
E ( 2rh ) =
0
Yielding

E=
20r
2K
E=
r

This is the electric field due to an infinitely long, straight line of linear charge density , at a point that is at

radial distance r from the line. The direction of E is radially outward from the line of charge if the charge
is positive, and radially inward if it is negative. Equation also approximates the field of a finite line of
charge at points that are not too near the ends (compared with the distance from the line). The variation of
electric field with radial distance r is shown in figure (b).

A thin straight infinitely long conduction wire having charge density is enclosed by a cylindrical
surface of radius r and length , its axis coinciding with the length of the wire. Find the expression for
flux through the surface of the cylinder. [2/2011]

Electric Field Due to a Uniformly Charged Infinite Plane Sheet


Figure shows a portion of a thin, infinite, non-conducting sheet with a uniform (positive) surface charge density

. To find the electric field E at a distance r in front of the sheet considering Gaussian surface a closed

cylinder with end caps of area A, arranged to pierce the sheet perpendicularly as shown. From symmetry, E
must be perpendicular to the sheet .


Further, since the charge is positive, E is directed away from the sheet, and thus the electric field lines pierce
the two Gausss end caps in an outward direction. Because the field liens do not pierce the curved surface,

there is no flux through this portion of the Gaussian surface. Thus, EdA is simply E dA because electric field
and area vector are in same direction; and Gausss law

16 11 C 6, Parijat Colony, Mahaveer Nagar III, Kota (Raj.) Ph.09509469541 AARAV CLASSES
ELECTRIC CHARGES AND FIELDS

ELCTRIC CHARGES AND FIELS


q
EdA = 0

Becomes
A
(EA + EA ) =
0
Where A is the charge enclosed by the Gaussian surface. This gives

E=
20
Since we are considering an infinite sheet with uniform charge density, this result holds for any point at a finite

distance from the sheet and its vector form E = n where n is unit vector and perpendicular to sheet.
2 0

(A) Using Gausss law, prove that the electric field at a point due to a uniformly charged infinite plane
sheet is independent of the distance from is
(B) How is the field directed if (i) the sheet is positively charged, (ii) negatively charged? [4/2012]

Electric field due to a uniformly charged thin spherical shell


If a uniformly charged spherical shell is considered to find electric field then electric field

At a point P outside the shell


Let positive charge q be distributed uniformly on the surface of a thin spherical shell of radius R. From

symmetry, we can say that E is directed radially outward.
A sphere of radius r > R with the same center O of the shell is chosen as the Gaussian surface.

Let the charge enclosed by this sphere be q. then, from Gausss law, we have
q q
EdS = 0 or Edscos0 = 0
That is,
q
Eds = 0

q
E 4r 2 =
0

1 q
E=
4 0 r 2

AARAV CLASSES 11 C 6, Parijat Colony, Mahaveer Nagar III, Kota (Raj.) Ph.09509469541 17
ELECTRIC CHARGES AND FIELDS

At a point on the surface of shell (r =R)


Therefore the electric field at surface of shell will be
1 q 1 4R2
E= 2 = [ since q = 4R2 ]
40 R 0 4R2

Or E= .
0
Where = surface charge density
At a point Q inside the shell
Let the Gaussian surface be a sphere with radius r such that r < R and concentric with the charged shell.

Since, no charge is enclosed by the Gaussian surface,





EdS = 0
Which implies that E = 0. Therefore, no electric field exists inside a charged spherical shell.
Variation of the electric field intensity with distance from the center of a uniformly charged shell is shown
graphically below.

R
O

E 1
E out
2
Ein=0 r

At r < R, the electric field is zero O r



At r = R, the electric field is maximum, that is,
0
When r > R, the electric field varies inversely as the distance from the center of shell.

Using Gauss law deduces the expression for the electric field due to a uniformly charged spherical
conducting shell of radius R at a point (i) outside and (ii) inside the shell.
Plot a graph showing variation of electric field as a function of r > R and r< R. (r being the distance
from the center of the shell). [5/2013]
While travelling back to his residence in the car, Dr. Pathak was caught up in a thunderstorm. It
became very dark. He stopped driving the car and waited for thunderstorm to stop. Suddenly he
noticed a child walking alone on the road. He asked the boy to come inside the car till the thunderstorm
stopped. Dr. Pathak dropped the boy at his residence. The boy insisted that Dr. Pathak should meet
his parents. The parents expressed their gratitude to Dr. Pathak for his concern for safety of the child.
[5/2012]
Answer the following questions based on the above information.
(A) Why is it safer to sit inside a car during a thunderstorm?
(B) Which two values are displayed by Dr. Pathak in his actions?
(C) Which values are reflected in parents response to Dr. Pathak?
(D) Give an example of a similar action on your part in the past from everyday life.
Why should electrostatic field be zero inside the conductor? [1/2012]

18 11 C 6, Parijat Colony, Mahaveer Nagar III, Kota (Raj.) Ph.09509469541 AARAV CLASSES
ELECTRIC CHARGES AND FIELDS

ELCTRIC CHARGES AND FIELS


Exercise # 1
VSAT QUESTIONS

Electric charge and its Properties

1. Define charge. What is the SI unit of electric charge?


2. Name the methods by which you can charge a neutral object.
3. When we rub a glass rod with silk cloth, it acquires positive charge. What does this signify?
4. Name a simple device used to detect whether the body is charged or neutral.
5. What are the fundamental properties of electric charge?
6. What do you mean by a point charge?
7. What do you mean by a conservation of charge?
8. Explain quantization of charge.
9. Does a plastic bag get heavier when electrons are transferred to it?
-12
10. A glass rod rubbed with silk acquires a charge + 1.6 x 10 C. What is charge on the silk?
11. Give the value of electric permittivity of free space along with its units.

Coulombs law and superposition of forces

1. In a medium, the force of attraction between two point charges, distance d apart, is F. W hat distance
apart should these kept in the same medium so that the force between then becomes (a) 3F and (b)
F/3?
2. Define Coulombs law of electrostatics.
3. Define dielectric constant of a medium.
4. Do you think Coulombs law is in accordance with Newtons third law of motion?
5. How is the force between two charges affected when the dielectric constant of the medium, in which
the charges are held, increases?
6. What is the dimensional formula for 0 ?
7. What do you mean by electric field lines?
8. Draw electric field lines due to a dipole.
9.
10. Four charges of same magnitude and same sign are placed at the corners of a square, each of side 0.1 m.
What is electric field intensity at the center of square?
11. Why is electric field intensity a charge conductor zero?
12. What is the nature of symmetry of field due to a point charge?
13. When an electric line of force is straight?
14. When an electric line of force is curved?
15. An electrostatic line cannot be discontinuous. Why?
16. The electric lines of force do not pass through a closed conductor. Why?
17. Why should a test charge, which is used to measure electric field, be very small?
18. Does a charge experience any force in its own field?

Electric dipole
1. Define electric dipole and electric dipole moment.
2. Is dipole length a scalar or a vector quantity?
3. What is axial line of electrical dipole?
4. What do you mean by equatorial line of electric dipole?
5. What happens to an electric dipole placed in a uniform electric field?
6. When is an electric dipole in stable equilibrium in an electric field?

AARAV CLASSES 11 C 6, Parijat Colony, Mahaveer Nagar III, Kota (Raj.) Ph.09509469541 19
ELECTRIC CHARGES AND FIELDS

7. When is the torque minimum on an electric dipole in uniform electric field?


8. Which rule gives you the direction of torque on an electric dipole in an electric field?
9. What is debye.
10. At what points, dipole field intensity parallel to dipole moment vector?

Gausss law and its application

1. Name the different types of charge distributions.


2. Define linear charge density.
3. Define surface charge density.
4. Define volume charge density.
5. State gausss law of electrostatics.
6. Does the strength of an electric filed due to an infinite plane sheet of charge depend upon the
distance of the point from the sheet?
7. Name the physical quantity which represents the surface integral of electric field.
8. What is the strength of an electric field inside a charge spherical shell?
9. What do you mean by the statement, The electric flux through a closed surface is zero?
10. Dose the charge outside the Gaussian surface contributes to total electric flux?
11. What is the importance of Gausss theorem?
12. Calculate the number of electric lines of force originating from a charge of 2C. Given that 0 = 8.86 x
-12 2 2
10 C /Nm .
3 2
13. An electric flux of magnitude -6 x 10 Nm passes normally through a spherical Gaussian surface of
radius 10 cm, due to point charge placed at the center. (a) What is the charge enclosed by a
Gaussian surface? (b) If the radius of the Gaussian surface is doubled, how much flux would pass
through the surface?
14. On a labeled graph, show the variation of electric field intensity from the center of uniformly charged
spherical shell.
15. On a labeled graph, show the variation of electric field intensity from the center of uniformly charged
non-conducting solid sphere.

SAT QUESTIONS
Electric charge and its properties
1. Can a charged body attract another uncharged body? Explain.
2. List any two differences between charge and mass.
3. Distinguish between conductors and insulators. Give examples.
4. How many electrons must be given to a body so that it could acquire a charge of 4.0 pC?
5. ***Two identical metallic spheres, having unequal opposite charges are plac ed at a distance 0.9 m
apart in air. After bringing them in contact with each other, they are again placed at the same
distance apart. Now the force of repulsion between them is 0.025 N. Calculate the final charge on
each of them.

Coulombs law and superposition of forces


1. Explain what is meant by dielectric constant? Give some examples.
2. State Coulombs law of electrostatic force in vector form.
3. Show that Coulombs law is in accordance with the Newtons third law of motion.
4. Two point charges +2 C are +6C repel each other with a force of 12 N. If each is given an
additional charge of -4C, what will be the new force between them?
-16
5. Two equal charges of +2 x 10 C are kept 20 cm apart in air. At a point midway between them, find
-16
force acting on a charge of +2 x 10 C.

20 11 C 6, Parijat Colony, Mahaveer Nagar III, Kota (Raj.) Ph.09509469541 AARAV CLASSES
ELECTRIC CHARGES AND FIELDS

ELCTRIC CHARGES AND FIELS


6. Two identical point charges of charge Q are kept at a distance r from each other. A third point
charge is placed on the line joining the above charges such that all the three charges are in
equilibrium. Calculate the magnitude and location of the third charge.
7. What equal charges would have to be placed on earth and moon to neutralize their gravitational
25 23
attraction? Given, mass of earth = 10 kg, mass of moon = 10 kg.
-6 -6
8. Two point charges q 2 = 3 x 10 C and q 1 = 5 x10 C are located at (3, 5, 1) and (1, 3, 2) m. Find F 12
and F 21 using vector form of Coulombs law. Also, find their magnitude.
-31
9. In hydrogen atom, an electron of mass 9.1 x 10 kg revolves around a proton in a circular orbit of
radius 0.53 . Calculate the radial acceleration and angular velocity of electron.
10. Equal charges each of 20 C are placed at x = 0, 2, 4, 8, and 16 cm on x-axis. Find the force
experienced by the charge at x= 2 cm.

Electric field and field lines


1. Why can no two electric lines of force intersect each other?
2. Why do we get a neutral point in the space between two like charges?
3. Explain what is meant by an electric line of force. Give its two important properties.
4. Define the term electric field intensity. Electric field inside a conductor is zero, explain.
5. Derive an expression for the electric field intensity at a distance r from a point charge q.
6. Two point electric charges of unknown magnitude and sign are placed at a distance d apart. The
electric field intensity is zero at a point, not between the char ges but on the line joining them. W rite
two essential conditions for this to happen.
-19 -19
7. Two point charges of +5 x 10 C and +20 x 10 C are separated by a distance of 2 m. Find the
point on the line joining them at which electric field is zero.
8. Two charges 20 C and -20 C are placed 20 cm apart at points A and B, respectively. Compute the
electric field at C, which is located 20 cm away from both A and B.
-4
9. When a test charge q 0 = 2 nC is placed at the origin, it experience a force of 8.0 x 10 N in the
positive y direction. What is the electric field at the origin? W hat would be the force on a charge
-4 nC placed at the origin?
-17
10. Calculate the electric field strength required to support a water drop of mass 10 kg and having a
-19
charge 1.6 x 10 C.
-3
11. A particle if mass 10 kg and charge 5 C is thrown at a speed of 20 m/s against a uniform electric
5
field of strength 2 x 10 N/C. How much distance will it travel before coming to the rest momentarily?
-7 -8
12. Two point charges of magnitude 22 x10 C and 8.5 x 10 C are 0.1 m apart. Calculate electric field
intensity that each charge produces at the site of the other.
-9
13. A charge of 4 x10 C is distributed uniformly over the circumference of conducting ring of radius 0.3
m. Calculate the field intensity at a point on the axis of the ring at 0.4 m from its center, and also at
the center.

Electric flux and electric dipole


1. An electric dipole is placed at rest in a uniform electric field, and released. How will it move?
2. Define the term electric dipole moment using a diagram. Is it scalar or vector?
3. An electric dipole is formed by +4 C and -4 C charges separated by a 5mm distance. Calculate the
dipole moment and give its direction.
-6
4. Two charges of +0.2 C and -0.2 C are placed 10 cm apart. Calculate the electric field at an axial
point at a distance of 10 cm from their middle point. Use the standard value of 0 .
-29
5. Calculate the magnitude of the force, due to an electric dipole of moment 3.6 x 10 Cm, on electron
25 nm from the center of the dipole, along the dipole axis. Assume that the distance is large relative
to the dipoles charge separation.

AARAV CLASSES 11 C 6, Parijat Colony, Mahaveer Nagar III, Kota (Raj.) Ph.09509469541 21
ELECTRIC CHARGES AND FIELDS

6. Calculate the electric field intensity at a point on the axial line of a dipole at 20 cm from the center.
The dipole is made of 10 C charges separated by 1 cm.
7. Charge q 1 = +6.0 nC is on y-axis at y = +3 cm and charge q 2 = -6.0 nC is on y-axis at y = -3 cm.
Calculate force on a test charge q 0 = 2 nC placed on x-axis at = 4 cm.
8. Two unlike charges, each of 1000 C, are separated by 2 m in air. Calculate the electric field at the
center of the line joining them, and at a point at equal distances of 4 m from each charge.
4
9. An electric dipole when held at 30 with respect to a uniform electric field of 10 N/C experiences a
-26
torque of 9 x 10 Nm. Calculate dipole moment of the dipole.
-3
10. An electric dipole of length 10 cm having charge 6x10 C, placed at 30with respect to a uniform
electric field experiences a torque of magnitude 6 3 Nm. Calculate (a) magnitude of electric field and
(b)the potential energy of dipole.
6
11. An electric dipole is placed at an angle of 60 with an electric field of intensity 10 N/C. It
experiences a torque equal to 83 Nm. Calculate the charges on the dipole, if dipole length is 2 cm.
12. Two point charges q 1 = +0.2 C and q 2 = +0.4 C are placed 0.1 m apart. Calculate the electric field at
(a) midpoint between the charges and (b) a point the line joining q 1 and q 2 such that it is 0.05 m
away from q 2 and 0.15 m away from q 1 .
-11
13. A dipole consisting of an electron and a proton separated by a distance of 5 x 10 m is situated in a
5
uniform electric field of intensity 4 x 10 N/C at an angle of 30 with the field. Calculate the dipole
moment and the torque acting on it.
Gausss law and its application
1. State and prove Gausss law, of electrostatics.
2. Using Gausss law, derive an expression for the electric field intensity at any point near a uniformly
charged thin wire of charge/length = C/m.
3. Apply Gausss theorem to find an expression for the electric intensity at any po int charge.
4. Derive coulombs law from gausss law.
5. Use gausss law to derive expression for electric field at point due to a uniformly charged spherical
shell.
6. Using gausss law, derive an expression for infinite plane sheet of charge.
-6
7. A large plane sheet of charge having a surface charge density of 5 x 10 lies in xy plane. Find the
electric flux through a circular area of radius 0.1 m if the normal to the circular area makes an angle
of 60 with the z-axis.
8. Two large thin metal plates are parallel and close to each other. On their inner faces the plates have
-12 2
surface charge density of opposite sign and of magnitude 17.0x10 C/m . W hat is the electric field
E (a) to the left of the plates, (b) to the right of the plate, and (c) in b etween the plates?
-6
9. A spherical conductor of radius 0.1 m has a charge of 3.2 x 10 C distributed uniformly on its
surface. (a) Find the electric field intensity at a point 0.2 m from the center of sphere. (b) Calculate
electric flux per unite surface area of the sphere.

LAT QUESTIONS
1. Explain what is meant by quantization of charge and conservation of charge.
2. Two insulated charged metallic spheres A and B have their centers separated by a distance of 50 cm
-8
in air. Calculate the force of electrostatic repulsion between them if the charge on each is +5.0 x 10
C. the radii of A and B are negligible compared to the distance of separation. W hat is the force of
repulsion if (a) the charge on each is doubled and the distance between them halved and (b) the two
spheres are placed in water? (Dielectric constant of water is 81.)

22 11 C 6, Parijat Colony, Mahaveer Nagar III, Kota (Raj.) Ph.09509469541 AARAV CLASSES
ELECTRIC CHARGES AND FIELDS

ELCTRIC CHARGES AND FIELS


3. Explain the meaning of superposition principle.
4. Explain the concept of electric field. Deduce a relation between electric field strength and force.
5. Derive an expression for electric field intensity at a point due to (a) a point charge and (b) a group of
charges.
6. Derive a general expression for electric field intensity due to point charge in space.
7. What is meant by electric lines of force? Give their important properties.
8. Four point charges are placed at the corners of a square of side 5.0 cm. find the electric field at the
-8
point of intersection P of the diagonals. Given, q = 10 C.
9. Derive an expression for electric field at the axial line of electric dipole.
10. Derive an expression for electric field at the equatorial line of electric dipole.
11. Derive an expression for electric field at the torque acting on an electric dipole placed in a uniform
electric field what is the value of (a) maximum torque and (b) minimum torque?
12. Briefly explain the meaning of electric dipole and dipole moment. Give some examples of electric
dipole.
13. Briefly explain the concept of electric flux. What is the physical significance of Gaussian surface?
14. State Gausss law and using this law derive an expression for electric field due to a charged
spherical shell for a point (a) outside (b) on the surface, and (c) inside the spherical shell? Plot the
variation of electric field with the distance from the center of the shell.
15. State and prove Gausss law. Using this law derive an expression of electric field for an infinite wire
carrying linear charge density .
16. Using the result of electric field intensity due to a thin infinite plane sheet of charge, obtain an
expression for the electric field intensity due to two parallel plane sheets of charges in the region (a)
outside the sheets and (b) in between the sheets. Also discuss these cases when (a) the two sheets
have equal surface charge density and (b) the two sheets have equal and opposite surface charge
densities.
17. Derive an expression for electric field at a point due to a uniformly c harged non-conducting solid
sphere using Gausss law.

AARAV CLASSES 11 C 6, Parijat Colony, Mahaveer Nagar III, Kota (Raj.) Ph.09509469541 23
ELECTRIC CHARGES AND FIELDS

Exercise # 2
1. What is the net force on a dipole in a uniform electric field? [2002]
2. Define the term electric dipole moment. Give its unit.
Derive an expression for the torque acting on an electric dipole, when held in a uniform electric field.
[2002]
3. Mention any two properties of electric lines of force. Sketch them for an isolated positive point charge.
[2003]
4. State Gausss theorem. Using Gauss theorem, derive an expression of electric field intensity at any point
inside a hollow charged conducting sphere. [2003]
5. State Gauss theorem in electrostatics. Using this theorem, derive the expression for the electric field intensity
at any point outside a uniformly charged thin spherical shell. [2004]
6. An electric dipole of dipole moment 20 106 cm is enclosed by a closed surface. What is the net flux coming
out of the surface? [2005]
7. Define electric line of force and give its two important properties. [2005]
8. There point charges of + 2 C, 3 C and 3C are kept at the vertices, A, B and C respectively of an
equilateral triangle of side 20 cm as shown in the figure. What should be the sign and magnitude of the charge
to be placed at the mid-point (M) of side BC so that the charge at A remains in equilibrium? [2005]

9. An electric dipole is held in a uniform electric field. (i) Using suitable diagram, show that it does not undergo
any translatory motion, and (ii) derive an expression for the torque acting on it and specify its direction.
[2005]
10. Name the physical quantity, whose SI unit is Newton coulomb . 1
[2006]
11. What is electric flux? Write its SI units.
Using Gausss theorem, deduce an expression for the electric field at a point due to a uniformly charged
infinite plane sheet. [2006]
12. The electric field E due to a point charge at any point near it is defined as E = F/q , where q is the test charge
and F is the force acting on it. What is the physical significance of this expression? Draw the electric field lines
of a point charge Q when (i) Q > 0 and (ii) Q < 0. [2007]
13. Define electric flux. Write its SI units. A spherical rubber balloon carries a charge that is uniformly distributed
over its surface. As the balloon is blown up and increases in size, how does the total electric flux coming out if
the surface change? Give reason. [2007]
14. (a) Using Gauss law, derive an expression for the electric field intensity at any point outside a uniformly
charged thin spherical shell of radius R and charge density C/m2. Draw the field lines when the charge
density of the sphere is (i) positive, (ii) negative.
(b) A uniformly charged conducting sphere of 2.5 m in diameter has a surface charge density of 100 C/m2.
Calculate the
(i) Charge on the sphere
(ii) Total electric flux passing through the sphere [2008]
15. (a) Derive an expression for the torque experienced by an electric dipole kept in a uniform electric field.
(b) Calculate the work done to dissociate the system of three charges placed on the vertices of a triangle as
shown. Here q = 1.6 1010C [2008]

24 11 C 6, Parijat Colony, Mahaveer Nagar III, Kota (Raj.) Ph.09509469541 AARAV CLASSES
ELECTRIC CHARGES AND FIELDS

ELCTRIC CHARGES AND FIELS

16. A thin conducting spherical shell of radius R has charge Q spread uniformly over its surface. Using Gausss
law, derive an expression for an electric field at a point outside the shell.
Draw a graph of electric field E(r) with distance r from the centre of the shell for 0 r . [2009]
17. In which orientation, a dipole placed in a uniform electric field is in (i) stable, (ii) unstable equilibrium?
[2010]
18. Figure shows three point charges, +2q, q and +3q. Two charges +2 q and q are enclosed within a surface
S. What is the electric flux due to this configuration through the surface S? [2010]

19. A thin conducting spherical shell of radius R has charge Q spread uniformly over its surface. Using Gausss
law, derive an expression for an electric field at a point outside the shell. [2010]

AARAV CLASSES 11 C 6, Parijat Colony, Mahaveer Nagar III, Kota (Raj.) Ph.09509469541 25