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Would Electric Field on the surface of a conductor point inwardly?

  1. Nov 3, 2014 #1
    Would Electric Field on the surface of a conductor point inwardly due to the excess of negative charges on the surface?

    Lastly, I cannot seem to conceptualize why the E field inside the conductor is zero?
    Is it due to the protons that are in opposition to the electron's efields?

    Thanks physicsforums!
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 3, 2014 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    It could also point outward if the conductor too few electrons.

    The e field is only zero for the electrostatic case. If it were not zero the charge would move (ohms law) and it would not be electrostatic.
  4. Nov 4, 2014 #3
    Thanks Dalespam!!
  5. Nov 4, 2014 #4
    The total E field is zero. I believe fields can exist in superposition of each other and matter.
    Yes, I believe that is correct.

    If you have 3 electrons in a straight line, equally spaced apart, the middle electron will experience both repelling forces from the outside electrons at the same time. But since the electrons are equally spaced apart, the net force on the middle electron is 0. The electron in the middle will not move towards either of the electrons.

    Also, I believe the E field inside any matter is not constant. There are areas of non zero E field in between atoms. If there wasn't, the atoms would touch each other.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2014
  6. Nov 5, 2014 #5
    Thank you k9!!!
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