Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Charge and Electric Field Intensity

  1. Jan 23, 2007 #1
    If there are two bodies, such as a sphere and a thin rod (each with exactly the same charge), why does the sphere have a greater electric field intensity? Are there any other variables that influence the electric field intensity if the charge is not an ultimate dependent factor?

    If the charges are the same, would the intensity difference have anything to do with the force, work, or distance involved?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 23, 2007 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Well the answer to your question has to do with the surface. Particularly the curvature of the surface. Conductors at electrostatic equilibrium have stronger electric field where the surface is most curved.

    Consider a flat surface, there are n charges (electrons). Being that they have a negative charge, they will repel each other. The repulsive force is directly parallel to the surface.

    Now if we have n charges along a curved surface, the repulsive force is no longer parallel to the surface, but at an angle.

    Do you get the idea whats happening here?
  4. Jan 24, 2007 #3
    Yes, I think I have a clearer idea now.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook