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

Coulomb's vs gauss's Law?

  1. Jul 9, 2010 #1
    What is the difference between coulomb's law and gauss's law ? because both are giving same results while calculating electric fields ? what is the basic difference. are they same?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 9, 2010 #2
    They are mathematically the same, although the physical interpretation is different.

    Typically one pictures Coulomb's law as describing the force of interaction between two electric charges. But Gauss' law is a statement about the electric field around a charge. The total electric flux surrounding a charge is proportional to the charge. This implies an inverse square law for the field, which is consistent with Coulomb's law.
     
  4. Jul 10, 2010 #3
    Coulomb's law leads to Gauss law.

    From Coulomb's law, you get the force & hence the electric field of a charge distribution. You then apply some very simple vector calculus on the field to arrive at Gauss law.
     
  5. Jul 10, 2010 #4
    Coulomb's law supposes no field, electric or otherwise. There is no theory of an intervening field. The question is the difference, premised on the belief that Gauss' law and Coulomb's law obtain the same resultant force on charge.
     
  6. Jul 10, 2010 #5
    In Guass's Law, we actually suppose field around the charge, while in Coulomb's law, we talk about the force of attraction BETWEEN two point charges

    I think that is the main difference !!
     
  7. Jul 10, 2010 #6
    Coulomb's law can be derived from Gauss' law very simply. Does anyone know how to do the reverse? In doing so, do more principles, such as superposition, need to be added to the mix?
     
  8. Jul 10, 2010 #7
    thanks all ... i got the idea ...
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook