Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Infinite Sheets of Charge

  1. Feb 6, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    An infinite sheet of charge, oriented perpendicular to the x-axis, passes through x = 0. It has area density = -3 micro C/m^2. A thick, infinite conducting slab, also oriented perpendicular to the x-axis, occupies the region between x=a and x=b where a = 4 cm and b=5 cm. The conducting slab has a net charge per unit area = 5 microC/m^2. Calulate the surface charge densities on the left hand and right had faces of the conducting slab. You may also find it useful to note the relationship between them.

    2. Relevant equations
    E = density / permittivity of free space (epsilon o)

    3. The attempt at a solution
    According to my physics book, since the inside of the conductor has an electric field of zero, one can assume that the charge on the surfaces are negative and positive. I reasoned that the negative charge would like closer to the y-axis whereas the positive charge would lie on the other side. I tried using the formula above, but I'm guessing it is the wrong formula since I cannot get the correct answer this way. I also tried answers such as -3 micro C and +8 micro C to balance out the total charge of 5 micro C. Where am I going wrong???
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 6, 2008 #2
    It would help if I attached the picture!!! :rolleyes:

    Attached Files:

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook