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Non uniform charge distribution on conductor surface

  1. Jun 4, 2010 #1
    Hey everyone! I need some help.

    Can a non uniform charge distribution exist on a conductor's surface due to some external influence? Please explain bearing in mind that a conductor's surface is equipotential.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 4, 2010 #2


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    Sure, for example if you have a point particle located somewhere off the conductor's surface. The presence of the point particle changes the potential everywhere in space, and so the charge on the conductor's surface has to rearrange itself to keep the surface at the same potential.

    In fact, generally speaking, any sort of external charge distribution will cause a nonuniform charge distribution on the conductor's surface, for basically the same reason.
  4. Jun 5, 2010 #3
    Thanks diazona, I got the concept. :smile:
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