# Please explain equipotential surfaces/ contour maps

1. Nov 8, 2007

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
Can someone please define contour map for equipotential surfaces in really simple terms.
I understand that the potential diff is from the neg side
I dont understand what it means when the lines are closer together?
I thought the lines are just divisions of the voltage, and an equipotential surface means that the potential anywhere along each individual line is uniform, but it is different from line to line (cuz your moving further or closer to the negative)

2. Relevant equations

an example:

// / / / / / / /

if this is contour map, what do the close-together lines mean??

3. The attempt at a solution

2. Nov 8, 2007

### Ouabache

An analogy is a contour map for elevation (topographical). The closer spaced lines indicate the elevation changing more rapidly (example: hill or ravine). With equipotential surfaces, closer spaced lines indicate that potential (voltage), is changing more rapidly over distance. Here is an http://www.britannica.com/eb/art-1327/Equipotential-surfaces [Broken]

Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
3. Nov 8, 2007