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For more information, please see full course syllabus of AP Physics C/Electricity and Magnetism
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Application of Gauss's Law, Part 2

  • Gauss’s law may be used to determine the electric field E produced by charge distributions with high symmetry.
  • For an infinitely long line of charge with charge density lambda C/m, the electric field at a distance r from the line is E = lambda /(2*pi*epsilon_0*r), and is radial.
  • For an infinite sheet of charge with density sigma C/m^2, E = sigma / (2*epsilon_).
  • Between the plates of a parallel plate capacitor, E = sigma / epsilon_0. Outside, E = 0.
  • For a conductor in electrostatic equilibrium, the electric field is zero everywhere inside the conductor. Also, any excess charge added to the conductor will reside on the surface of the conductor. At a point on the surface of the conductor, E = sigma / epsilon_0, where sigma is the surface charge density on the conductor.

Application of Gauss's Law, Part 2

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • Infinitely Long Line of Charge 0:13
    • All Points Same Magnitude
    • E is Perpendicular to Line
    • Gauss's Law Cannot be Applied to Finite Length
  • Infinitely Long Cylinder Of Charge 16:05
    • Draw a Cylinder of Radius 'R'
    • Line of Charge Along the Center
    • R<A
    • Electric Field of Special Direction
  • Infinite Sheet of Charge 25:12
    • Electric Field Above the Sheet
    • Point is Above Height, Cylinder Intersects
    • Curved Path
  • Parallel Plate Capacitors 37:16
    • Electric Field Between Sheets
  • Conductors 41:55
    • Adding Charge to Conductors
    • In Electrostatic Equilibrium Charges Stop Moving
    • Electric Field is Perpendicular to Surface
    • Excess Charge Must Reside on Surface
  • Example 1: Cylindrical Shell
  • Example 2: Wire Surrounded by Shell
  • Example 3: Sphere Surrounded by Spherical Shell