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Homework Help: Spherical conductor with point charge not in center

  1. Feb 23, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    How do the charges distribute when I have a spherical conductor centered cavity with a point charge not in center inside the cavity?

    See image:

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I would guess solution 1, but my tutor says it's 4, and I just can't believe him. Should I?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 23, 2013 #2
    Question: what is a conductor?

    (that may help you)
  4. Feb 23, 2013 #3
    It does not help me. I have been studying this a lot and have kind of made up my mind on 1. I guess my real problem is that I'm wondering about if my tutor should be teaching physics...

    Anyway, how would the electric field be between the charge and the conductor? My tutor says zero, but that does not obey Gauss' law, so I don't believe that either.
  5. Feb 23, 2013 #4
    The question is not what the electric field is between the charge and the conductor. You are asked how the charge is distributed in the conductor. If you read the definition of conductor, you'll see why 4. is the right answer (think about equipotential surface).
  6. Feb 23, 2013 #5


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    Gold Member

    I'd have answered 1 too. Certainly not 4.
    I wonder what the experienced guys think.
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