I'm reading about electroreception in fish

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Im reading about electroreception in fish, so I wanted to check something. If you look at the http://img94.imageshack.us/i/capturesrt.jpg/" [Broken] you see this fish has some kind of electric organ in its tail which produces an electric field. That field is then detected on the front part of the body.
As far as I know, if I place a conductor in el. field Ill get something like http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a5/VFPt_superconductor_ball_E-field.svg/120px-VFPt_superconductor_ball_E-field.svg.png" [Broken] that depends on the permittivity but the field inside wont be zero.

So, what kind of distorsion would you expect to happen to E field while passing through plants or stones in the sea?

thanks
 
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Andrew Mason

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Re: Electroreception

Im reading about electroreception in fish, so I wanted to check something. If you look at the http://img94.imageshack.us/i/capturesrt.jpg/" [Broken] you see this fish has some kind of electric organ in its tail which produces an electric field. That field is then detected on the front part of the body.
As far as I know, if I place a conductor in el. field Ill get something like http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a5/VFPt_superconductor_ball_E-field.svg/120px-VFPt_superconductor_ball_E-field.svg.png" [Broken] that depends on the permittivity but the field inside wont be zero.

So, what kind of distorsion would you expect to happen to E field while passing through plants or stones in the sea?
Welcome to PF.

You have shown us a diagram of electric field lines when a spherical conductor is placed in a uniform electric field, such as one produced by two large parallel charged plates. This is quite different than the electric field produced by an electric eel.

The eel does not feel the electric field directly. If feels changes in current. It creates a potential difference between its tail and its nose and detects the amount of current in its nose. That will vary depending on the conductivity of its immediate surroundings.

I would expect that plants and stones would have lower conductivity (increase resistance) so the current would decrease when passing close to such objects.

AM
 
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