1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal 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!

Electric Field Due To A Ring and Disk

  1. Aug 2, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Assume a uniformly charged ring of radius R and charge Q produces an electric field Ering at a point P on its axis, at a distance x away from the center of the ring. Now the same charge Q is spread uniformly over a circular area the ring encloses, forming a flat disk of charge with the same radius. How does the Edisk produced by the disk at P compar with the field produced by the ring at the same point?

    (a) Edisk < Ering

    (b) Edisk = Ering

    (c) Edisk > Ering

    (d) Impossible to determine

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution

    My first suspicion was, that Edisk > Ering was the correct answer. This was so, because the disk can be thought of as many rings of infinitesmal size concentric. One infinitesmal ring would contribute to the electric field that is directed co-axially. This co-axial would begin to compound as you considered the remaining infinitesmal rings that constitute the entire disk.

    Here is where came to a hault:

    As you consider infinitesmal rings further from the center of disk, the angle that the infinitesmal ring makes with the x-axis becomes greater, thereby causing the co-axial component fo the electric field to dimish, as you move from the center of the disk.

    In addition, I have this conjecture that the answer would also somehow depend on the relative of magnitude of x and R.

    Could someone help me?

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 2, 2013 #2
    Consider the vectors of the electric field that each small portion of the disk generates, and compare it to the vectors that each small portion of the ring generates.
  4. Aug 2, 2013 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    I'm puzzled as to why you're puzzled. The charge on the ring is on average further from the centre than for the disk, giving the answer you have.
  5. Aug 6, 2013 #4

    Well, I wasn't sure if this idea conflicted with is one:

  6. Aug 6, 2013 #5


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Seems to me they agree.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted

Similar Discussions: Electric Field Due To A Ring and Disk