# Is conducting shell =uniformly charged thin spherical shell?

1. Sep 20, 2015

### gracy

I want to ask Is conducting shell same as uniformly charged thin spherical shell?
Because while finding Electric field due to uniformly charged thin spherical shell surface charge density is taken the same happens in case of conducting/metallic shell all the charges reside on surface similarly The electric field due to a uniformly charged thin spherical shell is zero at all points inside the shell same is true for conducting shell.

2. Sep 20, 2015

### jbriggs444

If you assume that there is no other electric field from an external source and if you assume that the shell is spherical then how will the charge on the "conducting shell" distribute itself?

Those two assumptions need not be the case.

3. Sep 20, 2015

### gracy

Did not understand.

4. Sep 20, 2015

### jbriggs444

If you have a conducting sphere, how will the charge on the sphere (if any) distribute itself?

5. Sep 20, 2015

### gracy

All charges will reside on the surface.

6. Sep 20, 2015

### jbriggs444

And will they be uniformly distributed?

7. Sep 20, 2015

### gracy

yes.

8. Sep 20, 2015

### jbriggs444

So back to your original question -- can you see the similarity between the charge distribution on a "conductive shell" and that on a "uniformly charged thin spherical shell"?

9. Sep 20, 2015

### gracy

Yes.

10. Sep 20, 2015

### gracy

conductive shell & "uniformly charged thin spherical shell"?
Are the two terms interchangeable ?

11. Sep 20, 2015

### jbriggs444

What do you think?

12. Sep 20, 2015

### gracy

I think ,Yes.
What do you think?

13. Sep 20, 2015

### jbriggs444

That it depends on the situation and on how much one can trust the writer.

If the writer is a tricky sort, a "conductive shell" might not be spherical. If there are other electrical fields or charged bodies in the area then the charge distribution on a "conductive shell" may not be uniform.

If the writer is a very tricky sort, a uniformly charged thin spherical shell might or might not be conductive and accordingly, might or might not remain uniformly charged in the presence of an external electric field.

In a physics exercise, one of the challenges is to determine whether the author is contemplating such complications or is assuming them away for simplicity.

14. Sep 20, 2015

### gracy

Actually I asked this because I was only given that there is uniformly charged thin spherical shell then my teacher took charges on the surface,that's where I got confused.Why charges on surface if it is not given that the shell is metallic or conductive.