Equipotential Lines - Physics LibreTexts
I understand the concept of electric field lines but don't understand the interaction with the equipotential lines. I understand that along each. What are equipotentials,and how are they experimentally determined? What is their relationship to the electric field lines? Move charge along line equipotential . Reading Quiz #2 What characterizes the electric field? Two of the above The electric field lines associated with a negative charge. 3 Reading Quiz #3 2) Gauss's Law is a relation between 5 Reading Quiz #5 Equipotential lines .
The electric field lines and equipotential lines for two equal but opposite charges. The equipotential lines can be drawn by making them perpendicular to the electric field lines, if those are known.
Note that the potential is greatest most positive near the positive charge and least most negative near the negative charge. Given the electric field lines, the equipotential lines can be drawn simply by making them perpendicular to the electric field lines.
Note that these fields are consistent with two equal negative charges. Between the plates, the equipotentials are evenly spaced and parallel.
The same field could be maintained by placing conducting plates at the equipotential lines at the potentials shown.
The electric field and equipotential lines between two metal plates. An important application of electric fields and equipotential lines involves the heart.
The heart relies on electrical signals to maintain its rhythm. The movement of electrical signals causes the chambers of the heart to contract and relax.
Understanding Equipotential Lines and their relationship with Electric Field Lines | Physics Forums
When a person has a heart attack, the movement of these electrical signals may be disturbed. An artificial pacemaker and a defibrillator can be used to initiate the rhythm of electrical signals. The equipotential lines around the heart, the thoracic region, and the axis of the heart are useful ways of monitoring the structure and functions of the heart.
An electrocardiogram ECG measures the small electric signals being generated during the activity of the heart.
9.3 Electric Field And Potential
More about the relationship between electric fields and the heart is discussed in Energy Stored in Capacitors. Summary An equipotential line is a line along which the electric potential is constant. An equipotential surface is a three-dimensional version of equipotential lines.
Equipotential lines are always perpendicular to electric field lines. The direction of a field line in the electric field is the direction of the force on a small positive charge. Thus if a positive charge is placed at a point in a field, it will feel a force in the direction of the field line at that point, but if a negative charge is placed there, it will feel a force in the opposite direction to the direction of the field line at that point.
Reading Quiz #1 What is true about electric charges? - ppt download
We can see the field lines for certain geometries of charge using a simple demonstration with semolina powder in oil, between two electrodes connected to a high voltage supply.
This allows us to visualise the following fields: Again, there are some basic rules and observations about field lines: They never cross — if they did, a small positive charge placed there would feel forces in different directions, which could be resolved into the one true direction of the field line there.
The density of field lines on a diagram is indicative of the strength of the field. The second diagram above also shows a point exactly between two like charges where no field exists since the forces on a charge placed there would be exactly equal and opposite in direction.
Such a point is called a neutral point. Discussion and student experiment: Equipotentials Exactly as with the gravitational field, we define an equipotential surface as one that joins points of equal potential in the field; in other words, no work is done in moving a charge on an equipotential surface.
Although our discussion and definition of potential will be almost exactly the same as in the gravitational case, we will leave that to a later episode. For now, we just need to know that: Equipotential surfaces are perpendicular to field lines.
- Understanding Equipotential Lines and their relationship with Electric Field Lines
- Episode 406: Fields field lines and equipotentials
- Reading Quiz #1 What is true about electric charges?
Any electrical conductor is an equipotential surface. As a result of 1 and 2 above, field lines always meet conductors at right angles see the fourth field diagram in the last section.
Unlike with gravitational equipotentials there is quite a simple practical that the students can do to discover the shapes of electrical equipotentials in 2 dimensions. Note that where the field is uniform, the equipotentials are evenly spaced, but in a non-uniform field equipotentials get further apart as the field decreases in strength see episode