QS Study

Characteristics and Properties of equipotential surface

Any surface over which the potential is constant is called an equipotential surface. In other words, the potential difference between any two points on an equipotential surface is zero.

Characteristics of equipotential surface:

(i) The surface of a charged conductor is always equipotential surface. Electric charges on this surface remain stationary.

(ii) Electric lines of force penetrate the equipotential surface at the right angle.

(iii) No work is done in transferring a charge from a point to another point in the equipotential surface.

(iv) Surface or volume of a body can be of the equipotential surface; again surface and volume in space can be of equipotential surface.

Some important properties of equipotential surfaces:

  • Work done in moving a charge over an equipotential surface is zero.
  • The electric field is always perpendicular to an equipotential surface.
  • The spacing between equipotential surfaces enables us to identify regions of strong and weak fields.
  • Two equipotential surfaces can never intersect. If two equipotential surfaces could intersect, then at the point of intersection there would be two values of electric potential which is not possible.
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