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Homework Help: Calculating charge on capacitor.

  1. Mar 14, 2014 #1
    The problem and solution are in the document.

    My question is in regards to the solution about calculating the charge on the capacitor.

    Would an equally correct solution for the charge be...
    Let σs be the surface charge density on the plate.
    The plate is a conductor and I would assume that the thickness throughout the plate is uniform, and there should be no divots or anything that would create the charge density in some area of the plate to be greater than another area of the plate.

    Thus σs is uniform.

    Therefore Q = ∫sσsds = σs[∫sds] =
    σs[(pi)(a2)] where a is the radius of the circular capacitor.
    (ds is obviously a differential surface area of the capacitor)

    FINAL: Charge of capacitor (Q) = σs[(pi)(a2)]

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 14, 2014 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Yes - if you know the surface charge density.

    In the attachment problem, you don't know the surface charge density.

    For a finite conducting plate, the surface charge density will not, generally, be uniform: like charges repel so there may be a higher charge density towards the outer edges of the plate. In the attachment problem, the dielectric has a radially dependent constant - so the charge distribution is certainly not uniform (as E is not uniform).
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