Is the potential inside a charged hollow conductor zero?

  • Thread starter johne1618
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  • #1
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I presume so because the charges will reside on the surface of the hollow conductor and the conductor itself will stop any electric field lines from those charges penetrating into the interior of the conducting shell.

If there is no field getting inside then the potential inside is zero.

This is different from the case of a charged hollow insulator where electric field lines do penetrate the interior. The net electric field at every point in the interior is zero because there are opposing electric field lines at every point. This implies that the potential is a non-zero constant inside.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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yes...works like gravity inside a spherical shell of matter....

on a conductor the charges all lie outside the shell due to repulsion....it's a type of Faraday cage which can be used to help protect electronics against EMP and lightning strikes.

and your question assumes a unform charge distribution on the insulator...
 
  • #3
rcgldr
Homework Helper
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Since potential (voltage) is relative, it might be more accurate to state that all points inside a hollow conductor are at the same potential, as opposed to zero, since a point inside the hollow conductor could have a higher or lower potential than a point outside the hollow conductor. The electrical intensity inside would be zero.
 
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  • #4
K^2
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Potential inside a conductor is constant. The electric field is zero.
 

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