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# Electrostatics There are 2 kinds of electric charge. Unlike charges will attractive one another.

(different sign) Like charges will repel one another. (same sign) Electrical Conductors and Insulators In an insulator, the charge carriers are not free to move. In a conductor, there are free charge carriers that are free to move. When atoms of a metal joins together to form a solid, some of the outermost electrons move from atoms to atoms within the solid formed. The mobile electrons are called free/conduction electron. Law of Conservation of Charges The law of conservation of charges state that the total amount of charge in a closed system is always constant. Coulombs Law The force between two point charges is directly proportional to the product of the charges and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.

(is the permittivity of free space, F m-1.) ( is the relative permittivity of a medium. It is usually given in questions.) in vacuum/air is 1. in air/vacuum. For point charges, like charges (same in sign) will repel each other while opposite charges (different in sign) attract each other.

Tips: When finding resultant force on a charge with a number of charges nearby, 1. Find the force between the charge (the one you are finding) and another charge (one pair at a time).

2. Draw a vector diagram on the forces. 3. Calculate the resultant force. 4. Find the angle of the force.

Comparison between Coulomb Force and Gravitational Force Coulomb Force Obeys inverse square law Does not require a medium for interaction Proportional to the product of the charges Maybe attractive or repulsive Strong Gravitational Force Obeys inverse square law Does not require a medium for interaction Proportional to the product of the masses Always attractive Weak

Electric Field An electric field is a region where a charged object is acted on by an electric force. The electric field strength at a point in an electric field is the electric forces per unit POSITIVE charge at that point. Electric fields are conservative fields. It does not depend on the path taken. Electric field acts in the direction of the forces. (from a positive charge).
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## Towards negative charges Away from positive charges

If the electric field path is curved, the tangent to the point is taken as the electric field line. Electric field strength is similar to the gravitational field strength in gravitation.
y y

Electric field strength is the Force acted on a unit of charge. Gravitational field strength is the Force acted on a unit mass.

## Electric field shall not be confused with electric field strength.

During calculation, an object should be assumed to be a point charge, and the radius needs to be taken into account in the distance. Note: Electric field is a vector and shall be calculated using vector methods.

Electric Flux Electric flux is the flux of the electric field. It is the amount of electric field going through an area (assuming to be a plane surface). (E is normal to A)

When the electric field is not normal to the surface, the electric field has to be resolved so that it is normal to the surface. Gauss Law Gauss law states that the electric flux through a closed surface is given by Proof: Gauss law is consistent with Coulombs law.

Electric Field due to a Charged Conducting Sphere When , it is inside the sphere. When , it is outside the sphere. When , it is on the surface of the sphere. Inside the sphere The number of charges inside the sphere is zero. Even if there are charges in the sphere, they would be repelled by like charges to the surface of the sphere. Since

In electrostatic equilibrium, all the free charges have to be at rest. There should be no electrostatic force in the sphere. Since the charge is constant, the electric field must be absent so that the electrostatic force is zero. Outside the sphere The charges in the sphere are repelled to the surface of the sphere. On the surface, the electric field is in the direction perpendicular to the plane of the surface. This is to make sure that when the electric field is resolved, there wont be any electric field in the component parallel to the surface to prevent contradiction to the electrostatic equilibrium. For the charges on the surface, (A test charge is used).

Inside a Charged Hollow Conductor As discussed, the extra charges are all repelled to the surface of any conductor. There will not be any electric field passing into the conductor. The electric field inside any hollow charged conductor is zero.

Electric Field between Two Parallel Charged Plates If is the charge density (amount of charge per unit area) on the surface of the plate, then . By using Gauss law, The electric field strength is independent on the distance between the point and either plate.

Electric Potential Electric potential at a point is the work done to bring a unit of positive charge from infinity to the point. Electric potential at infinity is considered as zero (similar to the gravitation potential). It is measured in Volts.

The negative sign shows that the electric field acts in the direction of decreasing electric potential.

For points inside the sphere, use . For points outside the sphere, use . Total electric potential = sum of electric potentials (must consider the negative sign). Note:
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When Electric Potential decreases as distance from the sphere increases, the sphere is positively charged. When Electric Potential increases as distance from the sphere increases, the sphere is negatively charged.

The potential gradient at a point is the electric field intensity at that point.

Tips: Calculating potential 1. Determine the position to be calculated. 2. Find all the distances from that position to each of the charges in that system. 3. Calculate the potential from each of the charges without concerning the direction. (Potential is a scalar quantity) 4. Sum up all the calculated potential to get the total potential at that point. Note: When calculating potential, the charge must be at rest without any resultant force. If there should be an attraction/repulsive force, an external force should be used to counter it to regain stationary motion.

Inside a Conductor The electric field of a point is the potential gradient of that point. The electric field inside a conductor is zero. Therefore, the potential is constant at anywhere inside the conductor. No work is required to bring a charge from any point to any point within the conductor.

Outside a Conductor The formula for electric potential is given by The electric potential is inversely proportional to the distance from the center of the conductor. As the distance increase, the electric potential decreases.

Electric Potential Energy Electric potential energy is the work done to bring a charge from infinity to the point. It is similar to gravitational potential energy. To bring a charge from B to A, the work done is Note: The sign convention for the work done is discussed in the topic of Thermodynamics. Negative sign means work is done on the system. Positive sign means work is done by the system.

Potential Difference Potential difference is the work done to bring a unit of positive charge from one point to another AGAINST the electric field. You can also think of it as the difference between the potentials of the 2 position. Note: At the surface of the charged sphere, and .

Equipotential Surfaces

Points that have the same distance to the charge is said to be on an equipotential surface. All points on an equipotential surface will have the same electric potential. The surfaces are at right angles to the electric field. No work is done when moving from point to point on the same equipotential surface.

Practical Zero of Potential Since the earth is a very large electric conductor. The change in potential of the charges is negligible. Therefore, the earths potential is assumed to be practically zero. The charges that are connected to the earth will be lost to the earth. Authors view: This is an extra knowledge, theres no need to memorize it word by word.

## Connection of Conductors When 2 or more charged conductors are connected together,

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Their final potential will be equal. The charges moves from one to another until their potential are equal. Therefore, there will be flow of charges. The total charges remain constant. (Conservation of Charges)

Motion of a Charge in a Uniform Electric Field The component of velocity of a charge across the electric field in right angles is always constant (no force is acted on the charge in that direction). There is a force from the plates with potential difference. Hence there is force acting in the direction parallel to the electric field (not necessary to be in the same direction. Electron-volt is the kinetic energy gained by an electron after being accelerated through a potential difference of .

Tips: 1. 2. 3. Assuming the length of the plates to be passed is , 4. Calculate like a projectile. 5. Calculate the resultant velocity and the direction (if needed).

Electronvolt, eV The electronvolt is a unit for measuring energy in small quantity. Authors view: This is not common to be used in this topic, but they are used often in Nuclear Physics. As an electron is accelerated through a potential difference of 1V, The work done is given by This work done is converted into kinetic energy for that electron. Therefore, one electronvolt is the kinetic energy gained by an electron when it is accelerated through a potential difference of one volt in vacuum.

Capacitor Capacitor is a device for charge storage. After being fully charged, it can act as an emf source. Capacitor consists of 2 parallel plates (one positive and one negative). No charges are to flow through a capacitor. The insulator between the plates is called Dielectric. Dielectric prevents charges from flowing across the capacitor. Capacitance Capacitance is the ratio of the charge on either of its plates to the potential difference between the plates. (The amount of charge that can be stored when a potential difference of 1V is flowed across it)
The unit for capacitance is .

Capacitance DOES NOT depend on the potential difference. The amount of charges stored is directly proportional to the potential difference.

Charging of a Capacitor When the switch is closed, the charges begin to flow. The current in the circuit shown above will flow in the direction of clockwise. Therefore, the electrons will flow in the direction of anti-clockwise. Electrons will flow from the positive plate towards the positive terminal of the battery. Since charges cannot pass through the capacitor, the remaining charges (positive charges) at the positive plate will be unable to flow through to the negative plate. The positive charges will accumulate. The positive plate will be positively charged. For the negative plate, the positive charge will flow to the negative terminal of the battery. The electrons on the negative plate will accumulate as they cannot flow to the positive plate. After some time, the negative plate will be negatively charged. Since there is a difference in charge between the plates, a potential difference is created. The potential difference (due to the charges) will increase until it is equal to the potential difference of the battery. Parallel-Plate Capacitor When the switch is close, electron flows from the battery to X plate of the capacitor. X plate is negatively charged. Y plate is then induced positively. (due to X plates negativity) Potential difference increase. When potential difference = voltage of battery, Capacitor stops charging. Charge stored in the capacitor . No current flows in that part of the circuit.

Uniform Field between Parallel Plates The electric field strength between plates . Using Gauss Law, If dielectric is vacuum, F m-1. Additional notes: When it is not in air/vacuum, Therefore, Capacitance of an Isolated Conductor (Single) When there is only one isolated conductor, it still can act as a capacitor. Remember: The earth is a powerful conductor that has a potential of zero. The potential difference between then would be the electric potential of the conductor itself.

Capacitance of an Isolated Spherical Conductor From the chapter of electrostatics, we know that the electric potential of an isolated spherical conductor is given by Dielectrics Dielectric is inserted into a capacitor to increase the capacitance, insulate the plates and to increase the working voltage so that sparking does not occur. Effects of dielectric:
Molecules of the dielectric are polarized by the plates. Positive end of the dielectric points towards the negative plate. Negative end of the dielectric points towards the positive plate.

## A reversed electric field is set up.

The resultant electric field strength decreases. Decrease of resultant electric field causes the potential difference to drop. Capacitance will increase. More charges flow into the capacitor until the potential difference equals the voltage (e.m.f.) of the battery.

Dielectric strength Dielectric strength is the maximum potential difference per unit length for a body to remain as an insulator (non-conductor).

## Capacitors in Series and in Parallel Series

Method: Note: In series, Note: In series, . After the battery is disconnected, remains constant while . Parallel

Method: Note: The potential difference across each parallel component (pathway) is the same but the total charged stored across each parallel component is not necessarily equal. Authors view: I wonder if that is called parallel component. Anyone who is sure about the term that should be used please contact me. 

## Energy Stored in a Charged Capacitor

Work done to charge the capacitor = Energy stored in the capacitor = Energy lost (as heat) =

Charging of Capacitor

Time Constant,

At the capacitor, At the resistor, After the switch is closed for seconds,
  

Discharging of Capacitor

## (- sign means decrease with time)

Conduction of Electricity The flow of current is caused by the flow of electron in the opposite direction. The direction of current is always opposite to the direction of the flow of electron. Electric Current Electric current is the rate of flow of charges with time. It is the total charges carried by a number of electrons flow in 1 second.

SI unit for electric current is Ampere, . Definition for Ampere: When a constant current of 1 Ampere passes through a conductor, the total charge that is passing through the conductor in 1 second is 1 Coulomb. Authors view: This definition is quite important. Mechanism of Electric Conduction in Metals Electrons in any metals are always in a random motion. They moves randomly in the metal, collide with each other and the ions of the metal that are vibrating about their fixed position. At room temperature, the speed of the free electrons is in the order of . However, the resultant velocity of the motion of the electrons is zero. There is no resultant transfer of electron from either end. When a potential difference is applied across the metal, an electric field is set up. The electrostatic force due to the electric field will cause the electron flow to show a resultant velocity. This resultant velocity is called the drift velocity. This flow of electron causes an electric current. Note: The drift velocity shall not be confused with the velocity of free electrons in random motion. Drift velocity: The average velocity of free electrons in the direction opposite to the electric field in the metal. Velocity of free electrons in random motion: The velocity of electron due to temperature. (Thermal energy converts into kinetic energy) Drift Velocity Drift velocity is the mean velocity of the free electron in the direction opposite to the electric field. The drift velocity is very small, it is in the order of . In a conductor where potential difference is absent, the mean velocity of free electron is zero. However, the mean speed of free electron is not zero.

Proof:

Note: The current can be large even though the drift velocity of the free electrons is very small. This is because the number of free electron per unit volume (n) is large. Therefore it is possible to obtain a larger current even though the drift velocity of the free electron is small.

Current Density Current density is the amount of current passing through 1 unit of cross-sectional area of the conductor. In terms of electrical conductivity,

Mechanism of Electric Conduction in Semiconductors When an electron jumps out from the covalent bond, a hole is created. The lack of negative charge at the hole causes it to behave positively. In pure semiconductors, the number of hole and electrons are equal. The number of positive and negative charge carrier are the same. Doping n-type Created by doping a semiconductor with an element with 5 valence electrons. There are more free electrons than holes. Majority of the charged carriers are the negatively charged electrons. Author's view: You can assume that there are houses (hole) and peoples (electron) where one house can only contain 1 person. For n-type semiconductors, there are extra people. All the houses are filled with people, and there are still some people left on the street without a house. They will walk here and there. These kind of people are called free electron. Since there is no more houses (hole), there is no positive charge carrier. There is only negative charged carrier which is the free electron. The current is caused by the moving of the homeless people (free electron). p-type Created by doping a semiconductor with an element with 3 valence electrons.

There are more holes than free electron. This causes the majority of the charged carriers to be the positively charged holes The number of charged carrier in semiconductors is always less than the number of charged carrier in metals. When a potential difference is applied, the electron drifts in 1 direction. The holes will migrate in the opposite direction to the electron. Author's view: Similarly to the imagination above, you assume that there are houses (holes) and peoples (electron) where one house can only contain 1 person. In a p-type conductor, there are less people than the houses. This means that all the people (electron) have a house and there are some empty houses (hole). The people can move from houses to houses, but they are still in a house, which means that they are not homeless (like a free electron). When the people moves, the house that is empty changed. It is like the empty house moved. These houses are actually positive charged carrier which will induce a current when they move. Heating Effect of Current When an electric field is set up in a metal, the free electrons will flow in the opposite direction to the electric field. Collisions will occur between the free electrons and the metal ions. Some of the kinetic energy of the free electrons are transferred to the metal ions. The positive metal ions will vibrate with a greater amplitude thus causing the temperature to rise. Conductance The conductance of a circuit is the ability of the circuit or the object to conduct electricity. Authors view: Warning This is not the real definition. Note: It shall not be confused with conductivity (the ability of a certain material to conduct electricity.) It is inversely proportional to the resistance of the metal. The SI unit for conductance is siemens, .

Resistance The resistance of a conductor is the ratio of the potential difference of the conductor to the current that flows across it. The SI unit for resistance is ohm, .

Resistivity

## Resistance of an object depends on: 1. Material (resistivity) 2. Length 3. Cross-sectional area

Resistivity is the resistance of a certain material (or element) to conduct electricity. The unit for resistivity is ohm metre

Electrical Conductivity Electrical conductivity is the ability of a certain material (or element) to conduct electricity. It is inversely proportional to the resistivity of the material. Ohms Law The steady current in a metallic conductor that is not site of e.m.f. is directly proportional to the potential difference across the conductor.

(k is a constant) A conductor that obeys the Ohms law is called an ohmic or linear conductor. The resistance of an ohmic conductor is always constant. Authors view: The resistance will not change according to potential difference or current. It is a constant. Note: there are some cases where the conductor does not follow ohms law (non-ohmic conductor). Examples of such conductors are the junction diode and filament lamp. In these conductors, ohms law is not obeyed.

The Formula for Conductivity Authors view: This is the title I think of, I cannot think of any other appropriate name. LOL. Note: These velocities are all average value.

Authors view: I also dont know what is needed to be written here. It seems to me that only the prove and the formula is important, but the importance will be shown in the next part.

Dependence of Resistance on Temperature As the temperature increase, the kinetic energy of the electrons increase, causing the mean velocity to increase. The time required to collide decreases as the mean velocity increases. From the equation , the conductivity of the metal conductor decreases as decreases. Thus, it can be concluded that the conductivity decreases as the temperature increases. However, the resistivity, which is inversely proportional to conductivity will increase.
Author s view: Now you see that the importance of that formula. It can assist you in determining whether the resistance increases or decreases.

For metal, as the temperature increases, amplitude of vibration increases, the frequency of collision increases, time interval between collision decreases, conductivity decreases, resistivity increases. For semiconductor, as temperature increases, the number of covalent bonds broken increases, the number of free electron-hole pairs increase, the density of charged carrier, increases, conductivity increases, resistivity decreases. Therefore, for semiconductor, the conductivity increases as the temperature increases. Authors view: For metal, you care about the time interval between collisions, which is becoming less as temperature increases. For semiconductor, you care about the number of charged carrier, the number of charged carrier increases when temperature increases. The time interval will also become less, but the rate of decreasing is less than the rate of increasing of the number of charged carrier. Thats why you have to care about the number of charged carrier only. The relationship between resistance and temperature can be determined by using the equation: The resistance increases as the temperature increases.

Superconductivity The resistivity of a material will drop as the temperature decreases. When the temperature decreases to a certain point, the resistivity becomes zero. That point is called critical temperature. Below that temperature: 1. Resistivity is zero. 2. Resistance is zero. 3. No power is lost as heat. Current will still flow even after the applied e.m.f. is removed. Variation of Resistivity with Temperature