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Introduction to Numerical Electrostatics Using MATLAB by Lawrence N. Dworsky

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1 A Review of Basic Electrostatics

Electric and magnetic phenomena, including electromagnetic wave propagation, are described by Maxwell’s equations.1 When nothing is changing with time, that is, when all derivatives with respect to time are zero, the electric and the magnetic phenomena decouple and become separate electric and magnetic phenomena. These are referred to respectively as electrostatics, which describes the properties of systems with separated static regions of positive and negative electric charge (although the entire system is charge-neutral), and magnetostatics, which describes the properties of systems with electric currents and/or magnetized materials.

In this book we shall consider only electrostatics. This subset of a subset of topics describes a vast number of real-world situations. Chapter 2 describes some practical needs and uses of electrostatic analyses, the remainder of the book will be dedicated to examining several techniques for performing these analyses.

The materials to follow are intended to be a quick review of the relationships that will be used throughout this book. The intent here is to provide a consistent set of notation using all the relationships that will be needed going forward. Many of these relationships are stated without derivation or proof. A more complete electrostatics theory text is recommended for newcomers to the subject. There are very many excellent texts available. The references list at the end of this chapter is certainly ...

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