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Sunday, January 29, 2017

How to calculate Electric Field from a Uniform Plane Sheet of Charge?

Assume that the sheet is infinite in extent and that the charge per unit area is 𝛔.

Considerations of symmetry lead us to believe that a field direction is every where Normal to Plane and if we have no field from any other charges in the world, the fields must be same in magnitude on each side.

Let us choose a Gaussian surface - a rectangular box that cuts thru the sheet as shown in figure below.





The field is Normal to these two faces. The two faces parallel to sheet will have equal areas say A.

As the electric field 'E' is parallel to area element dS;

∫E.dS = E∫dS = EA

The total flux from two faces is given by

∫E.dS1 + ∫E.dS2 = EA+EA

The total charge enclosed in the box is  𝛔A.

So according to Gauss Law, EA+EA = 𝛔A.

E=𝛔/2𝛆₀