#
PHYS208 3/6 Class

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## Electrostatics of Conductors

### Gauss's Law and Symmetry

Generally we find that Gauss's law is useful in calculating the electric field for three situations. Those are for charge distributions having the following symmetry:

- point symmetry (spherical) -- Example 1, Example 2
- line symmetry (cylindrical) -- Example
- planar symmetry (sheet)

For the first two symmetries, we apply gaussian surfaces which are spheres and end-capped cylinders, respectively.

For planar symmetry, a cylinder is also used although it is oriented differently from the line symmetry case.
When I was a new student of physics we called this the gaussian pillbox,
a term which has fallen into disuse; we will refer to it as a gaussian can.

### Charged, Isolated Conductors

Dielectric breakdown of air

arc (or corona) discharge -- important in photocopying

Lightning rods

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Last updated March 10, 1998.

Copyright George Watson, Univ. of Delaware, 1997.