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ERIC Number: EJ1142779
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Feb
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Beyond the Point Charge: Equipotential Surfaces and Electric Fields of Various Charge Configurations
Phillips, Jeffrey A.; Sanny, Jeff; Berube, David; Hoemke, Anatol
Physics Teacher, v55 n2 p71-73 Feb 2017
A laboratory experiment often performed in an introductory electricity and magnetism course involves the mapping of equipotential lines on a conductive sheet between two objects at different potentials. In this article, we describe how we have expanded this experiment so that it can be used to illustrate the electrostatic properties of conductors. Different configurations of electrodes can be used to show that the electric field is zero inside a conductor as well as within a cavity, the electric field is perpendicular to conducting surfaces, and the charge distribution on conducting surfaces can vary.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A