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Using Gauss (Divergence) theorem to find charge distribution on a conductor

  1. Jan 31, 2007 #1
    Hi, I hope this is advanced enough to warrant being in this section:

    I'm supposed to use the Gauss theorem (and presumably his law) to show:

    1)The charge on a conductor is on the surface.
    2)A closed hollow conductor shields its interior from fields due to charges outside, but doesn't shield its outside from fields due to charges placed inside it.
    3)The field at the surface is normal to the surface and of magnitude (charge density)/epsilon0

    I'm aware of the qualitative justifications but can't see how to do it this way. Can someone bail me out?

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 1, 2007 #2


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    Hi and welcome to the forums Alvine.

    What have you done with the problem? Do you have any thoughts/ideas on how to answer it? Homework helpers will not assist with any questions until you've shown your own effort on the problem.
  4. Feb 1, 2007 #3
    Well I can do the last bit, but the other two I have no idea how to provide a mathematical reason for, all I can come up with is some hand-waving nonsense about equilibrium.
  5. Feb 1, 2007 #4


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    The question hints about Gauss's law. Do you know what Gauss's law is? If not, read it up and understand what it says. Then, make an attempt to apply it to this question. If you're stuck somewhere, post that bit here and people will be glad to assist.
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