Electrostatic potential energy of a nonconducting sphere

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Homework Statement


Determine the total electrostatic potential energy of a nonconducting sphere of radius r0 carrying a total charge Q distributed uniformly throughout its volume.
Express your answer in terms of the variables Q, r0, and appropriate constants.


Homework Equations


V = kQ/r

U = qV


The Attempt at a Solution


Since the total amount of charge within the sphere is Q and the sphere has a radius of r0, we can make V = kQ/r0. Since U = qV, then U = kqQ/r0. However, I'm not sure how to express q in terms of Q.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Andrew Mason
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Homework Statement


Determine the total electrostatic potential energy of a nonconducting sphere of radius r0 carrying a total charge Q distributed uniformly throughout its volume.
Express your answer in terms of the variables Q, r0, and appropriate constants.


Homework Equations


V = kQ/r

U = qV


The Attempt at a Solution


Since the total amount of charge within the sphere is Q and the sphere has a radius of r0, we can make V = kQ/r0. Since U = qV, then U = kqQ/r0. However, I'm not sure how to express q in terms of Q.
If the charge Q is uniformly distributed over the entire volume of the sphere, v, the charge density is σ = Q/v. So the charge in a volume dv is dq = σdv

Using this charge density, work out the potential energy of a hollow sphere of inside radius r and outside radius r+dr formed around the outside of a solid charged sphere of radius r. Integrate that from r=0 to r=r0.

AM
 

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