University of California, San Diego
Physics 1b - Thermal Physics & Electromagnetism

H. E. Smith   Spring 2000

Physics 1B - Tutorial #5

  1. Half Dome in Yosemite National Park has a vertical north face which rises about 1450 m from the floor of Yosemite Valley.

  2. Does a bird sitting on an uninsulated high voltage line get a shock? Explain.

    No, and Jennie didn't die at 20,000V. Although the potential of the wire and the bird is high with respect to the ground, the potential difference across the bird is negligible and does no harm. Similarly, it does no harm to raise someone to 30,000 ft. - high gravitational potential. The only harm comes when someone at high potential is connected via a steep path to a region of low potential - someone at 0V touches the bird or you fall from 30,000 ft.

  3. Figure (a) below shows measurements of the electrical potential on a grid. Figure (b) shows equipotential contours.

  4. A very large conducting plate is charged with 1 C/m2.

    A second plate, charged with -1 C/m is placed 1cm below the positively charged plate, parallel to it.

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Gene Smith

Last modified: Thurs., 4 May 2000