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Homework Help: Electric field inside a charged conductor placed in free space.

  1. Feb 24, 2014 #1
    It is true that under ELECTROSTATIC CONDITIONS, excess charge on a conductor always resides on the surface of the conductor because if they were inside it, there would be an electric field inside the conductor which would set the free electrons into motion. They distribute uniformly over the surface thereby making the electric field inside the conductor zero( Consistent with Gauss's Law ).

    Now, I take a spherical metal shell, which has a hole( considerable size ) on the surface and I spray some charge on it. Do you think the electric field inside the conductor will be zero?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 24, 2014 #2


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    The charge is not necessarily distributed uniformly on the surface. If the conductor is not spherical, there's more charge density near sharp edges and corners of the surface. If you have a charged spherical cap (a sphere with a hole in it), there is a higher charge density around the hole than on other areas.

    I don't think the electric field inside a charged spherical cap is exactly zero, but if the hole is small it would be very close to zero.
  4. Feb 24, 2014 #3
    If I consider a star shaped hollow conductor( closed ) and I place some charge on it, the electric field inside the conductor would be zero( under electrostatic conditions ).
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