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Electric Field Strength Inside Concentric Uniformly Charged Spheres

  1. May 10, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    The graph in the figure shows the electric field strength (not the field lines) as a function of distance from the center for a pair of concentric uniformly charged spheres. Which of the following situations could the graph plausibly represent? (There may be more than one correct choice.)

    A positively charged nonconducting thin-walled spherical shell inside of a positively charged conducting sphere.
    A positively charged conducting sphere within another positively charged conducting sphere.

    [​IMG]

    2. Relevant equations



    3. The attempt at a solution

    Alright, so I know that the above two are the only plausible situations, but I'm just trying to understand exactly why.

    For the second one, I think I understand. The electric field inside a conductor is 0, and outside, it falls off as 1/r^2. The start of the curve along 0 depicts the inside of the conductor, where the negative slope is depicting the space outside of the sphere before it reaches the walls of the sphere containing it? I'm a little confused there...(I hope I'm making some sense at least!)

    For the first instance, I'm really confused. I honestly don't know how to conceptualize that one at all.

    Any help would be great! Thanks!
     
  2. jcsd
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