Physics 201- Introduction to Electricity & Magnetism
September 11- Charged Particles in Electric Fields






  There is one especially useful continuous charge distribution- an infinite sheet of charge.

Our text (in examples 23-6 and 23-7) finds that the field of an infinite sheet is:

where s is the charge density

Notice that field is independent of distance!

In other words, this charge configuration produces a uniform electric field.

Also, we don't have to have a truly infinite sheet, we can also just be close to a large sheet.

Be careful when working with sheets- for conductors we will soon see that there is charge on both sides of the sheet.  This means that we have two s/ 2eo contriutions to the total electric field.

We now see that the way to create uniform electric fields (for say, smoke precipitators) is to use large parallel plates.


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Jeff Phillips
Loyola Marymount University
Fall 2002