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

Homework Help: Conducting sphere in E-field

  1. Mar 22, 2006 #1
    I've solved an electrostatics problem where we have to find the surface charge density on a conducting sphere in a previously uniform E-Field, but I had to assume that V=0 on the surface of the cylinder, and I'm not sure why this is the case. I know that E=0 inside, so the potential should be constant, but I don't see why it should be zero (is this an extra assumption, or is there something else I'm missing?)
    thanks for your help

    Sachi
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 22, 2006 #2

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    The potential "V" is relative to something. You can call the baseline V=0 anywhere in a field. Probably it was specified as V=0 on the surface of the sphere for ease of computation.
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook