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Capacitors: How to determine the charge density at each surface?

  1. Feb 13, 2012 #1
    Suppose we have two metal plates, one with a charge density of 3 C/m^2, the other -3C/m^2

    We are told that the charge density on surfaces 1 and 4 are zero and the charge density on surface 2 is 3C/m^2, on surface 3 is -3C/m^2

    Any reason for that? Is it possible that the charge density on surface 1 is 1 C/m^2, on surface 2 is 2 C/m^2, on surface 3 is -2 C/m^2, on surface 4 is -1 C/m^2? I don't see it violating Gauss law..

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 14, 2012 #2
    The E field inside the conductor needs to be zero, do you see any problems.
  4. Feb 14, 2012 #3
    So what is the charge density on the surfaces 1, 2, 3, 4 if the upper plate has a total charge density of 3C/m^2 and the lower plate has charge density of 0?
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