Sun April 15, 2012 By: Thomas Albin

Why is the electric field inside a charged conductor zero ?Please explain.

Expert Reply
Tue April 17, 2012
It is only zero if there is no current in the conductor. When there is a current traveling through a long copper wire, there is an electric field helping the electrons over come the resistance. Because copper is a good conductor however, the electric field does not have to be very strong. 

That being said, if you have a piece of wire or any conductor and there is no battery or anything causing current to travel through it the electric field will always be zero inside. 

The easiest way to understand why is to imagine that there was an electric field in the conductor. If there was an electric field it would cause electrons to move, and moving of the electrons would result in the cancellation of the electric field. 
Sat September 02, 2017


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