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Homework Help: Electric field and the charged conductor.

  1. Mar 1, 2014 #1
    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.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 1, 2014 #2


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    Yes it is.

    That's exactly the reason why the interior of an ideal conductor is always charge-free.
  4. Mar 3, 2014 #3

    rude man

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    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).
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