# Electric field and the charged conductor.

• rohit dutta
In summary, a neutral conductor placed in an external electric field will enclose a net zero electric field within it. However, a charged conductor placed in an external electric field will have a non-zero net electric field within it, as mentioned by a professor. This is contrary to what textbooks may say, as this would prevent the achievement of electrostatic conditions. The interior of an ideal conductor is always charge-free, and for zero current flow, the steady-state electric field inside is zero. The only electric field present within a conductor is when there is current flow, determined by the conductivity of the material.
rohit dutta
It is well known that under electrostatic conditions, a neutral conductor when placed in an external electric field encloses a net zero electric field within it. But, do you think that the electric field within a charged conductor is zero, when it is placed in an external electric field?

According to a professor, the net electric field within a charged conductor is non-zero in this case. Do textbooks also say this?

Well, if it were true, then the net electric field within would keep the free electrons in motion and electrostatic conditions will never be achieved.

rohit dutta said:
But, do you think that the electric field within a charged conductor is zero, when it is placed in an external electric field?
Yes it is.

Well, if it were true, then the net electric field within would keep the free electrons in motion and electrostatic conditions will never be achieved.
That's exactly the reason why the interior of an ideal conductor is always charge-free.

For zero current flowing, the steady-state E field inside any conductor is zero. That's so for any conductivity > 0.

The only E field existing inside a conductor is if there is current and is given by j = σ E, j = current density, σ = conductivity. (Certain crystalline and anisotropic materials do not follow this exact equation).

## 1. What is an electric field?

An electric field is a region in space surrounding a charged object where another charged object will experience a force. It is created by the presence of electric charges and can be either positive or negative.

## 2. How is the strength of an electric field measured?

The strength of an electric field is measured in units of Newtons per Coulomb (N/C). This represents the force per unit charge that a test charge would experience in that electric field.

## 3. What is a charged conductor?

A charged conductor is an object that has excess or deficit of electric charges, meaning it has an overall positive or negative charge. These charges are free to move within the conductor, making it a good conductor of electricity.

## 4. What happens to the electric field inside a charged conductor?

Inside a charged conductor, the electric field is zero. This is because the excess charges on the surface of the conductor rearrange themselves in such a way that the electric field inside cancels out.

## 5. How does a charged conductor interact with an external electric field?

A charged conductor will experience a force when placed in an external electric field. The direction of the force depends on the direction of the external electric field and the charge of the conductor. This is known as the electric force or Coulomb force.

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