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Potential on a conductor

  1. Jul 2, 2012 #1

    I consider a connected conductor. Is it right, that:

    1)the potential at any point of the conductor is the same, but

    2)the absolute value of the potential isn't zero in general?

    I think these statements are true, but I'm not sure about it, especially with the second statement.

    Thank you a lot!

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 2, 2012 #2


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    For an ideal conductor, yes.

    This value has no meaning. You can define "zero" whereever you want. There are some conventions, depending on the setup, but they do not have a physical meaning themself.
  4. Jul 2, 2012 #3


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    in equilibrium :wink:

    (if charges are moving, ie if there is a current, then obviously there is a voltage drop along the conductor, ie an electric potential difference)
  5. Jul 2, 2012 #4
    Thank you very much!!! Now I understood.
  6. Jul 3, 2012 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    In superconductors with constant current, you have no voltage drop, even with a current flow.
    If charges are accelerating, you have an electric field and therefore a voltage drop ;).
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