Calculating size of charge distribution with a known electric field

  • Thread starter nsatya
  • Start date
  • #1
26
0

Homework Statement



A complicated distribution of 10 protron produces a radially symmetric electric field given by,

E(r) = (10*charge_of_proton/4pi*epsilon_0)*(1/r^2 + 100/r^4)*r_hat

Give an order of magnitude estimate for the size of the charge distribution.



Homework Equations





The Attempt at a Solution



I thought that r could be expressed as sqrt(a^2 + z^2), "z" being the distance from the charges, and "a" being the size of the radius of the charge distribution. With this method, I'm having trouble finding the right values for "z" and E(r) that will help me calculate "a". Basically, we know what the electric field looks like, so we should be able to give a rough estimate on the size of the charge distribution. Could anyone point me in the right direction? Any help would be appreciated.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
gabbagabbahey
Homework Helper
Gold Member
5,002
7
You might try using Gauss' Law to calculate the total charge enclosed by a concentric spherical gaussian surface of radius [itex]r[/itex]. You know that the total charge of the distribution is 10 times the charge of the proton, so you can then calculate the minimum radius [itex]r[/itex] for which your Gaussian encloses that amount of charge.
 

Related Threads on Calculating size of charge distribution with a known electric field

Replies
3
Views
5K
Replies
5
Views
1K
Replies
3
Views
11K
Replies
1
Views
2K
Replies
5
Views
2K
Replies
5
Views
1K
Replies
1
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
3K
Top