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Very Annoying Problem

  1. May 14, 2008 #1
    This is killing me. I have an electrical charge in the air and below it I have a container filled with water. How do I calculate the electric field generated by the charge on the bottom of the cointainer? Bear in mind the electrostatic constant in water is different than from air.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 15, 2008 #2


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    Assuming the surface of the water is like an infinite plane, this is a standard image problem treated in most textbooks.
  4. May 15, 2008 #3
    Could you ellaborate, then?
  5. May 15, 2008 #4


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    I can't go through the whole method of images.
    You may have to look at a book.
  6. Jun 13, 2008 #5


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    smells like homework?
  7. Jun 13, 2008 #6
    Excuses me, pam (or others), but doesn't the method of images require that the boundary region be a (grounded) perfect conductor?

    Treating the problem in a brute-force manner (Gauss' Law, Cartesian coordinates), this doesn't sound TOO bad. You just need to invoke some pretty clever trigonometry to account for the surface of the water.
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