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Why electric field line are curved at top of two plates.

  1. Aug 12, 2007 #1
    I can't understand that why electric field lines are radial between two parallal plates but curved at the end.? what is the reason.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 12, 2007 #2
    I think you mean parallel and not radial?
    This is because the parallel plates do not extend out to infinity in each direction. Because it is a conducting plate the charges will build up on the surface. Therefore there will be a charge on the front of the plate, as well as on the back of the plate. This happens on both plates for both charges. Also there are more field lines on the edges of the plate. (electric field is stronger where the radius is small).
  4. Aug 13, 2007 #3
    My question related snap in shown.please tell me why field lines are curved at the end of plates?

    Attached Files:

  5. Aug 13, 2007 #4
    Near the end of either plate, the edge of the plate looks a line charge, from which the field lines would extend radially (or you can think of it as a point charge in your 2-D picture). The edges of the two plates generate field lines similar to those from two oppositely charged parallel line charge distributions, i.e. curved field lines.
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