Strength of electric field in fringe region vs. central region?

• carnivalcougar
In summary, for parallel electrodes, the electric field strength is stronger in the central region and weaker in the fringe region due to the density of the equipotential lines being greater in the central region and less in the curved lines of the fringe region. This is confirmed by looking at the way the lines are curved and the pictures of equipotential lines in parallel plates.
carnivalcougar

Homework Statement

For parallel electrodes, is the average electric field in the fringe region smaller or larger than in the central region?

E = ΔV/ΔX

The Attempt at a Solution

I know that the electric field strength is proportional to the density of the equipotential lines. Looking at various pictures of equipotential lines in parallel plates it looks as though the density is greater in the central region. However, the lines are curved in the fringe region which may affect the density in a way I'm not yet sure of.

Look at the way the lines are curved ... if drawn properly, the density of the electric field lines is prportional to the density of the electric field.

http://www.physicscurriculum.com/Photos/Electro3D04_small.jpg

It looks to me like the density of the curved lines in the fringe region is less than that of the central region, which would make the electric field strength stronger in the central region, and weaker in the fringe region. Does this seem correct?

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carnivalcougar said:
http://www.physicscurriculum.com/Photos/Electro3D04_small.jpg

It looks to me like the density of the curved lines in the fringe region is less than that of the central region, which would make the electric field strength stronger in the central region, and weaker in the fringe region. Does this seem correct?

Not only does it seem correct. It is correct. Nice reasoning.

Last edited by a moderator:
1 person
Well done!

1. What is the difference between the strength of electric field in the fringe region and the central region?

The strength of electric field in the fringe region is lower than in the central region. This is because the electric field lines are more spread out in the fringe region, resulting in a weaker field compared to the concentrated field lines in the central region.

2. How does the distance from the source of the electric field affect its strength in the fringe region compared to the central region?

The strength of electric field in the fringe region decreases as the distance from the source increases. This is due to the inverse square law, where the electric field strength is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source.

3. Can the strength of electric field in the fringe region ever be greater than the central region?

No, the strength of electric field in the fringe region can never be greater than in the central region. This is because the electric field lines always originate from the source and spread out, resulting in a decrease in strength as they move away from the source.

4. How does the presence of other charges affect the strength of electric field in the fringe region compared to the central region?

The presence of other charges can affect the strength of electric field in both the fringe and central regions. If the other charges are positive, the electric field strength will increase as the positive charges will add to the existing field. If the other charges are negative, the electric field strength will decrease as the negative charges will oppose the existing field.

5. What is the significance of the strength of electric field in the fringe region compared to the central region?

The strength of electric field in the fringe region is important in determining the behavior of charged particles near the edges of an electric field. It can also affect the overall distribution of charges and the resulting electric potential in the region.

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