8.8 Equipotential lines

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• Explain equipotential lines and equipotential surfaces.
• Describe the action of grounding an electrical appliance.
• Compare electric field and equipotential lines.

We can represent electric potentials (voltages) pictorially, just as we drew pictures to illustrate electric fields. Of course, the two are related. Consider [link] , which shows an isolated positive point charge and its electric field lines. Electric field lines radiate out from a positive charge and terminate on negative charges. While we use blue arrows to represent the magnitude and direction of the electric field, we use green lines to represent places where the electric potential is constant. These are called equipotential lines in two dimensions, or equipotential surfaces in three dimensions. The term equipotential is also used as a noun, referring to an equipotential line or surface. The potential for a point charge is the same anywhere on an imaginary sphere of radius $r$ surrounding the charge. This is true since the potential for a point charge is given by $V=\text{kQ}/r$ and, thus, has the same value at any point that is a given distance $r$ from the charge. An equipotential sphere is a circle in the two-dimensional view of [link] . Since the electric field lines point radially away from the charge, they are perpendicular to the equipotential lines.

It is important to note that equipotential lines are always perpendicular to electric field lines . No work is required to move a charge along an equipotential, since $\Delta V=0$ . Thus the work is

$W=\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}–\Delta \text{PE}=\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}–q\Delta V=0.$

One of the rules for static electric fields and conductors is that the electric field must be perpendicular to the surface of any conductor. This implies that a conductor is an equipotential surface in static situations . There can be no voltage difference across the surface of a conductor, or charges will flow. One of the uses of this fact is that a conductor can be fixed at zero volts by connecting it to the earth with a good conductor—a process called grounding    . Grounding can be a useful safety tool. For example, grounding the metal case of an electrical appliance ensures that it is at zero volts relative to the earth.

Grounding

A conductor can be fixed at zero volts by connecting it to the earth with a good conductor—a process called grounding.

Because a conductor is an equipotential, it can replace any equipotential surface. For example, in [link] a charged spherical conductor can replace the point charge, and the electric field and potential surfaces outside of it will be unchanged, confirming the contention that a spherical charge distribution is equivalent to a point charge at its center.

[link] shows the electric field and equipotential lines for two equal and opposite charges. Given the electric field lines, the equipotential lines can be drawn simply by making them perpendicular to the electric field lines. Conversely, given the equipotential lines, as in [link] (a), the electric field lines can be drawn by making them perpendicular to the equipotentials, as in [link] (b).

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nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
Ali
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
learn
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da
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Bhagvanji
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Giriraj
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
revolt
da
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
Bhagvanji
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
what about nanotechnology for water purification
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
Damian
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Professor
I think
Professor
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
Alexandre
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Alexandre
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Rafiq
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Damian
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LITNING
scanning tunneling microscope
Sahil
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Santosh
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
Mahi
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
Rafiq
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Anam
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Anam
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
Hafiz
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write examples of Nano molecule?
Bob
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
brayan
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Damian
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
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Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
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what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
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