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What determines the shape and spacing of equipotential lines?

  • Thread starter jamba88
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Homework Statement


What determines the shape and spacing of equipotential lines?


Homework Equations


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The Attempt at a Solution


I think the fact that equipotential lines have to be perpendicular to the surface determine the shape of the lines. I'm not sure what determines the spacing. Is it just the change in potential energy that determines the spacing?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
LowlyPion
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What determines the shape and spacing of equipotential lines?

I think the fact that equipotential lines have to be perpendicular to the surface determine the shape of the lines. I'm not sure what determines the spacing. Is it just the change in potential energy that determines the spacing?
Not the surface. They must be ⊥ to the flux lines of the E-field.

Spacing? Whatever works for the scale to visualize it I'd say. In relative terms the closer together the stronger the field gradient in that region.
 
  • #3
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Is it just the change in potential energy that determines the spacing?
That is also true, however there usually is no numerical relationship between the spacing unless otherwise denoted along the lines. The distance should decrease between the lines linearly as the electric potential is given by kQ/r.
 

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