Homework Help: Force Lines and Equipotential lines

1. Jan 18, 2005

figs

Field Lines and Equipotential lines

Why can't 2 field lines cross, and why can't 2 equipotential lines cross?

I understand that equipotential lines are perpendicular to field lines. And I see that it'd be impossible to find an equipotential line if two field lines have crossed, since there cannot be two places on field lines where an equipotential line can be found. But I don't know the reasoning of why 2 field lines cannot cross. nor 2 equipotential lines.

Am I correct in saying that field lines don't cross because a magnetic object placed at a point in the field moves only in 1 direction due to attraction or repulsion. If 2 lines crossed, it means the object can move in 2 directions, which is not the case.

Last edited: Jan 18, 2005
2. Jan 18, 2005

MathStudent

Electric field lines? Magnetic field lines?
Assuming magnetic,, Remember the magnetic field is tangent to the mag. field lines at every point. Thus if two field lines intersected, than that would mean that the magnetic field pointed in two different directions at that point in space, but how can that be?
The same argument goes for Electric field lines?

So yes you are correct( should have read the rest of your post )

Last edited: Jan 18, 2005