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Homework Help: Two conducting spheres connected by conducting wire.

  1. Oct 24, 2011 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Two spherical conductors of radii r1 and r2 are separated by a distance much greater than the radius of either sphere. The spheres are connected by a conducting wire. The charges on the sphere are in equilibrium are q1 and q2 respectively, they are uniformly charged. Find the ratios of the electric fields at the surfaces of the spheres.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Since the distance they are separated is much greater than the radius of the two spheres, the whole system is essentially a a straight line. I want to make use of the eqn in 2 but can't seem to apply it. I know that for a straight line the gaussian surface is a cylinder but i dunno how to proceed.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 24, 2011 #2
    I don't think you really need to apply Gauss' Law here specifically. The equation for electric field is E = kq/r^2

    So essentially you're looking at the electric field at the surface of one sphere due to the charge on the other.
  4. Oct 24, 2011 #3
    The answer is r2/r1. No matter what I'm doing i always have the variables q1 q2 and r1^2 and r2^2 inside my ratio...
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