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Electric field in a couple of different cases

  1. Feb 6, 2013 #1
    the electric field inside a solid charged conducting sphere is always zero for obvious reasons.

    the electric field inside a solid uniformy charged nonconducting sphere is nonzero and varies at all points. since it's nonconducting, the electric field at a certain point still wont move charge.

    the electric field inside of a non uniformly charged nonconducting spherical shell is not always zero.

    the electric field inside a charged conducting spherical shell is zero at all points due to symmetry

    what about the electric field inside of a neutral conducting spherical shell that has a point charge placed inside but NOT in the center... would the electric field then still be zero inside the shell? would the shell's induced charge distribution be, then, nonuniform? i can't seem to get a straight up answer with any sort of explanation from any of my resources.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 6, 2013 #2


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    What do you mean by "inside the shell" ?

    The field inside of the inner surface of the shell (in the hollow region) is definitely not zero.

    If you mean within the conducting material of the shell itself, then yes the electrical field is zero. The induced charge on the inner surface of the shell must produce a field such the the sum of that field, plus the field produced by the isolated charge is zero at any point exterior to the3 inner surface. That hopefully will convince you that the induced charge on the inner surface is not distributed uniformly.
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