# Homework Help: Shape of an Electric Potential?

1. Apr 25, 2013

### TitaniumX

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
Hi. I'm doing some practice problems to prepare for an upcoming exam, and I encountered this question:

What is the shape of the electric potential around an isolated electric charge?
a. Circular
b. Square
c. Oval
d. No specific shape
e. Triangle

This is an odd question. I know it's not square, oval, or triangle. Would it be circular or spherical shape? So would (a) or (d) be a more appropriate answer? Thanks

2. Apr 25, 2013

### Staff: Mentor

Spherical, but if you restrict the analysis to 2 dimensions, "circular" would fit. The other answers are 2D-objects, too.
It is an odd question, I agree.

3. Apr 25, 2013

### haruspex

It's not even entirely clear what would be meant by the 'shape' of a potential. Given the offered answers, I suppose they must mean the shape of the equipotential surfaces, but if you were to think of the potential as a scalar plotted against distance from the charge the answer would be quite different.

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