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Gauss' Law conductors

  1. Apr 30, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Three concentric hollow spherical conductors are charged as follows: the inner conductor carries charge Q, the middle conductor carries charge -2Q, and the outer conductor carries charge -Q. What is the charge on the outer surface of the middle conductor?

    2. Relevant equations
    Flux= Qenc / ε0


    3. The attempt at a solution

    Because the flux inside a conductor has to be zero, I drew a gaussian surface in the second conductor, since the first conductor is carrying Q, the inner surface of the 2nd conductor should carry -Q, and the outer surface, to neutralize that should carry Q.

    This is incorrect, and the correct answer is apparently -Q.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 30, 2016 #2

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    Good!

    The outer surface doesn't have to 'neutralize' anything. Hint: What's the total charge on the second conductor?
     
  4. Apr 30, 2016 #3
    Doen't the inside of the conductor itself have to have no electric field? and if you have uneven charges there would be a field? And if the total charge of the second conductor is -2Q, and the inner surface is -Q, then they just are additive and the outer surface becomes -Q?
     
  5. Apr 30, 2016 #4

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    That's correct: within the conducting material, the electric field is zero.
    Not sure what you mean by "uneven". Realize that the charge on the outer surface of the conductor has no effect on the field within it.
    Correct. That's all there is to it.
     
  6. Apr 30, 2016 #5
    That was what I was getting caught up in, that the charge on the outside does not effect the field inside. Thank you!!
     
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