1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Equipotential lines

  1. Oct 11, 2005 #1
    Is it possible for two different equipotential lines or two lines of force to cross ??
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 11, 2005 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Ha, subtle. A priori, no, you'd think and in general this is correct. However, there can be saddle points and the potential line with the value equal to the potential of the saddle point will show a "crossing".
    However, clearly, potential lines with DIFFERENT potential values cannot cross. Idem for field lines (except of course at singularities, like point charges, where they all meet).

    Interesting thought:

    If V(x,y) is the (electrostatic) potential, then you can construct an analytic complex function V_c(x+i y) such that Re( V_c(x+i y)) = V(x,y) and Im(V_c(x+i y)) = constant gives you the field lines.

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook