Electrical arc's e-field

  • Thread starter mike963
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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

ok, so I've got an arc between two electrodes. What is the direction of the electrical field if there is an electrical field?
 

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  • #2
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it's probably more appropriate to put this in the homework sections. ( since this problem seems purely theoretical and i don't see how you could be dealing with this in real life)

i don't really know, but my guess it away from the arc, since it may be a bunch of electrons moving through air. however, it's probably not so simple since the air turns into plasma.
 
  • #3
vk6kro
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Electrons in an arc follow the direction of an electric field.

The electric field is between the two electrodes.
 
  • #4
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Electrons in an arc follow the direction of an electric field.

The electric field is between the two electrodes.
just out of curiosity, would the arc itself generate a field?
 
  • #5
vk6kro
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Yes, but a magnetic field in the form of a circular pattern concentric with the arc. This is no different to a current flowing in a wire.

337px-Manoderecha.svg.png
 
  • #6
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that was my guess, dvchench, but for what i'm doing i hope vk6kro is right.
 
  • #7
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thanks dvchench, that pretty much confirms what i thought.
 
  • #8
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...and vk6kro
 
  • #9
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doesn't a wire with current flowing through it have a surface charge density along its circumference that generates an e-field away from the center of the wire? can't quite remember that part of EM1 that well... I know that was the basis of most of our image theory problems -- a high-voltage, high-current "power line" above the earth-ground plane generating an E-field.
 

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