# 8. Gauss's Law and Configuration Energy

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## Learning Objectives

• To be able calculate the electric potential given the electric field and to calculate the electric field given the electric potential.
• To be able to use Gauss's Law to find electric fields and then to find electric potentials in situations with a high degree of symmetry.
• To be able to describe what is meant by the configuration energy of a given set of charges, and to be able to calculate it in particular situations.

## Preparation

### Course Notes

Read through the course notes. The course note files may also contain links to associated animations or interactive simulations.

Electric Potential (PDF)

## Learning Activities

### Guided Activities

Read through the class slides. They explain all of the concepts from the module.

Slides (PDF)

### Self-Assessment

Do the Concept Questions first to make sure you understand the main concepts from this module. Then, when you are ready, try the Challenge Problems.

### Concept Questions

Concept Questions (PDF)

Solutions (PDF)

### Challenge Problems

Challenge Problems (PDF)

Solutions (PDF)

## Problem Solving Help

Watch the Problem Solving Help video for insights on how to approach and solve problems related to the concepts in this module.

### Problem: The Electric Field and Potential of Conducting Cylindrical Shells Carrying Charge

A long metal cylindrical rod of radius a is surrounded by a thin cylindrical metal shell of radius b. The inner cylinder carries positive charge per unit length λ and the outer shell carries a negative charge per unit length –λ. Calculate the potential everywhere.

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