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Homework Help: Electric Field of a Hollow Cylidrical Conductor

  1. Mar 30, 2013 #1
    Consider a hollow cylindrical conductor in vacuum with its axis aligned with
    the z-axis, and with a positive surface charge density σ. The direction of the
    electric field is radial and its magnitude E is only a function of the distance r
    from the z-axis, E = E(r).

    Use Gauss' law to obtain the magnitude of the electric field at r < R and
    at r ≥ R, where R is the radius of the conductor.

    I don't know whether I have got my brain stuck in a rut but I can't for the life of me solve this. Any and all help will be greatly appreciated :D
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 30, 2013 #2


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    Homework Helper

    hey, welcome to physicsforums!
    Try using Gauss' law, as it says. What kind of Gaussian surface should you use to take advantage of the symmetry?
  4. Mar 30, 2013 #3
    A cylindrical surface? With surface area of 2[itex]\pi[/itex]rl ?
  5. Mar 30, 2013 #4
    Or should I just use a circular one because the conductor is infinite either side?
  6. Mar 30, 2013 #5


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    Use the cylinder with surface area of 2*PI*r*l
    Do the calculation using the information they have given you, and it should all come out nicely. (Even though the conductor is infinite, it doesn't go bad).
  7. Mar 30, 2013 #6

    rude man

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    Gold Member

    Go with that one.
  8. Mar 31, 2013 #7
    Excellent I believe I have got the correct answer :D Thank you so much for your help
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