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## Homework Statement

Find the electric field near a large nonconducting plane of charge density sigma.

## Homework Equations

## The Attempt at a Solution

I am working through chapter 24 of Giancoli and am having trouble understanding the concepts. This is example 24-4, and the magnitude of the electric field is found to be

sigma / (2*epsilon_0). But shouldn't the total electric field be zero?

The Gaussian surface would be a cylinder with tops parallel to the plane. The field points normally outward from the tops, but in opposite directions. Wouldn't this mean the total field is 0?