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Method of images with infinite, earthed, conducting plane 
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#1
Dec2408, 08:49 AM

P: 9

Hello guys,
I'm having some trouble getting my head around the method of images, partly due to confusing notes and things. If I have a charge +q at a fixed point (0,0,a) above a conducting plane that is held at zero potential, it is said that the plane can be replaced with a charge of q at (0,0,a) as this solution satisfies the same boundary conditions (as per the uniqueness theorem). How is it that the potential on the surface of the plane can be 0 but the electric field be described as q/(2pi x espilon_0 x a^2)? I would have thought the potential be nonzero in the case of the mirror charge. Can the two charges not be thought of as a dipole? As in their field lines are both going in the same direction. Only if both charges were the +q or both q would the potential, in my mind at least, be zero midway between them. Any help would be greatly appreciated, watty 


#2
Dec2408, 09:32 AM

Mentor
P: 41,583

Here's a clear discussion of the method of image charges that might help you: Method of Images 


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