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Simple Electrostatic problem with conductor

  1. Sep 25, 2007 #1
    Hi Friends,

    I was thinking of having a either a point charge or some amount of charge at the center(let us say positive charge) and having a hollow concentric sphere( a conductor) around it. Now, there will be induced charge on the inside of hollow sphere and accordingly opposite charge on the outside still inside E is zero within hollow sphere. Suppose I enclose this with another concentric sphere(which is an insulator) and having the same charge(that is positive for the case discussed) as at the center. I was wondering how the electrons inside the hollow spherical conductor which is in between this two, will distribute. E should be zero. But with enclosed positive charge side on both sides, how the conductor can distribute electrons and still not show up any positive charge inside and have E zero?

    Thanks in advance.
    Bob
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 25, 2007 #2

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    Assuming electrostatic equilibrium, the field within the conducting material of the shell will be zero, regardless of the distribution of external charges.

    Also realize that the charge from the outer insulating shell, assuming it is distributed uniformly, produces no electric field within itself.
     
  4. Sep 25, 2007 #3
    the distribution of charges on the surface of shell in the middle...

    Hi Doc Al,

    My question is what will be the distribution of charges on the surface of the shell in between. Let us say a point positive charge Q1 at the center. And outside concentric insulating shell has a postive surface charge density of sigma. Now what will be charge distribution on the inside and outside surfces of concentric conducting shell in between?


    Thanks.
    Bob
     
  5. Sep 25, 2007 #4

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    Assuming no net charge on the conducting shell, its inner surface will have a charge of -Q1 uniformly distributed and its outer surface will have a charge of +Q1 uniformly distributed.
     
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