# Help Needed: Understanding Gauss's Law and Electric Field

• eRa
In summary, the conversation revolves around a question about Gauss's law and the concept of flux being equal to charge divided by Eo. The original speaker is confused about why the net electric field is not zero when field lines appear to be canceling each other out. The link provided describes the field from a point charge and the other speaker clarifies that flux is through a surface, and in the diagram, all the field lines are going the same way through that surface.
eRa
Hi there,

I have a question for you guys. It might sound stupid, but I don't get the material; my teacher can't teach! and your help is very appreciated

I am reading about Gauss's law where they come to the conclusion that flux=charge/Eo

my question is why won't the net electric field be zero since we can cancel the field lines?

eRa said:
we can cancel the field lines?

With what?

eRa said:
my question is why won't the net electric field be zero since we can cancel the field lines?
Why won't the net electric field of what be zero? What field lines are canceling?

(That link describes the field from a point charge.)

hi.. sorry I didn't mean to be unclear

True ,, the link describes the field from a point charge so each field line has another field line that is in the opposite direction.. so why don't all the field lines cancel?
I am sorry I don't know how to explain it better

Welcome to PF!

Hi eRa! Welcome to PF!
eRa said:
I am reading about Gauss's law where they come to the conclusion that flux=charge/Eo

the link describes the field from a point charge so each field line has another field line that is in the opposite direction.. so why don't all the field lines cancel?

Flux is through a surface

all the field lines in the diagram are going the same way through that surface.

## 1. What is Gauss's Law and why is it important in understanding electric fields?

Gauss's Law is a fundamental law in electromagnetism that relates the electric flux through a closed surface to the charge enclosed within that surface. It is important in understanding electric fields because it allows us to calculate the strength and direction of the electric field at a given point using the charge distribution in the surrounding space.

## 2. How is Gauss's Law applied in practical situations?

Gauss's Law is applied in practical situations by using it to calculate the electric field produced by various charge distributions. This can be useful in designing electrical systems, predicting the behavior of electrically charged particles, and understanding the behavior of lightning and other electrical phenomena.

## 3. What is the relationship between electric fields and electric charges?

Electric fields are created by electric charges. Any charged particle, whether positive or negative, will create an electric field in the surrounding space. The strength of the electric field depends on the magnitude and distribution of the electric charges.

## 4. Can Gauss's Law be used to calculate the electric field for any charge distribution?

Yes, Gauss's Law can be used to calculate the electric field for any charge distribution, as long as the distribution is symmetrical and the electric field is constant on the surface of the chosen Gaussian surface. For more complex charge distributions, the law can still be used by dividing the surface into smaller, more manageable parts.

## 5. How is Gauss's Law related to Coulomb's Law?

Gauss's Law is mathematically equivalent to Coulomb's Law, which states that the electric force between two point charges is directly proportional to the product of the charges and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. Gauss's Law can be derived from Coulomb's Law, and vice versa.

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