Curl of an electric dipole field

  • Thread starter Identity
  • Start date
  • #1
152
0
Is the field of an electric dipole conservative?

Initially I thought it would be, for no particular reason but that's just what my high school intuition thought. (haha I thought everything would be conservative apart from friction)

But I was reading up on some vector calculus and discovered

[tex]\mbox{curl}(\nabla f) = \mathbf{0}[/tex]

If you put a positively charged rod in an electric dipole field, and fix it at the right orientation, it will rotate. Does that mean that the field is not conservative?


EDIT: I just realised it would also rotate in an electric monopole field lol

thanks
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Meir Achuz
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
3,529
112
It just means you have to include rotational as well as translational energy in applying conservation of energy.
 

Related Threads on Curl of an electric dipole field

Replies
13
Views
1K
Replies
2
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
2K
Replies
2
Views
37K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
9
Views
3K
Replies
3
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
3K
Replies
2
Views
742
Replies
11
Views
460
Top