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Jan14-10, 11:09 AM
P: 250
How is E field conservative

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How can you prove that the electric field is conservative? I've learnt about stuff like line integrals but I'm not sure how to prove this particular fact.

If you want to prove experimentally that some electric field is conservative, you can place a closed contour of electric wire, with an in-line ammeter, in the field. If no current flows regardless of the orientation of the wire, then you are dealing with a conservative field. If current does flow, then for selected orientations there is a non-zero emf around the contour and the field is not conservative.