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Electric Potential and Electric fields

  1. Jul 10, 2017 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Can there be a point in space where there is an electric potential but not electric field? Can there be a point in space where there is an electric field but no electric potential? Explain you answer.

    What would the electric field lines look like if the electric field was constant? Would they be parallel instead of perpendicular? Straight?



    2. Relevant equations


    3. The attempt at a solution
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 10, 2017 #2

    cnh1995

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    Homework Helper

    Welcome to PF!
    Yes.
    Yes.
    Perpendicular to what?
     
  4. Jul 10, 2017 #3
    Can you give an example as to when there can be an electric field but no electric potential? and Vice versa
     
  5. Jul 10, 2017 #4
    I find the answers above a bit odd. I am still learning so take it with a grain of salt, but electric fields and electric charges both have the unit charge as a common denominator. I would think that makes them critically linked.

    An electric field is the space between two potentials, how can you have a field without the potentials??
     
  6. Jul 10, 2017 #5

    cnh1995

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    What can you say about the axis of an electric dipole?
    What can you say about the interior of a uniformly charged conducting hollow sphere?
     
  7. Jul 10, 2017 #6

    cnh1995

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    I find this definition of the electric field odd.
    Electric field is the "gradient" of electric potential. Just because the potential at a point is zero does not mean its gradient at that point is also zero.
     
  8. Jul 10, 2017 #7

    gneill

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    Staff: Mentor

    Keep in mind that potential is relative to some reference point, the conventional choice being the potential at some location infinitely far away from any charge ("at infinity").

    However, you are not constrained by convention; you could choose a reference point where the potential is the same as that of the location you wish to be "zero" :smile:
     
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