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Homework Help: 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:
     
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