1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

E-Field Lines and Equipotential Surfaces

  1. Sep 27, 2005 #1
    Hey all,

    I'm a bit confused over an experiment in which we mapped Equipotential Surfaces to then use to draw Electric Field lines using electrodes placed into water to act as a dipole. Along with this, we also had to place a circular conductor and insulator (both uncharged) into the water as well.

    From the data, it appears that the E-Field lines do not pass through the conductor (so the E-Field lines terminate on its surface with some coming out the other side perpendicularly, as expected) while it also seems E-Field and equpotential lines were allowed to pass through the insulator in a distorted fashion (I think this is also right).

    Anywho, the analysis calls for depicting behavior of the equipotential surfaces and E-Field lines from an outside source on a "Perfect" circular and uncharged conductor and insulator. The conductor case is pretty straightforward (positive and negative charges on opposite sides of the outer surface, E-Field lines terminate on the negatives, come out from the positives, outer surface is an equipotential surface, etc). However, I'm not sure what the behavior for these lines/surfaces would be for a "Perfect" insulator. Would the lines/surfaces behave as if nothing was there (that is, E-Field lines going into and out of the surface, not necessarily perpendicularly, with circular equipotential surfaces)?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. =)
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 27, 2005 #2
    A perfect insulator would not affect the E field at all. Sounds about right.
     
  4. Sep 27, 2005 #3
    All right, thanks for the help man! :biggrin:
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?