# Equipotential Surfaces

Why can't two equipotential surfaces intersect with each other an how is it a violation of conservation of energy ? Please explain.

Note by Lord Aejeth
4 years, 9 months ago

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The electric field is perpendicular to equipotential surface. If it's not the case then it follows that a component can be drawn parallel to the surface which would mean there exists a potential difference. This violates the bare definition of equipotential surface.

(The reason why it's a violation of conservation of energy might be due to the fact that when there is an electric field, there is a force and hence work could be done, which is as you know is not the case with equipotential surface.)

Now, if two equipotential surfaces intersect, it would mean there are two different directions of electric field line which is not possible. Hence your statement follows.

- 4 years, 9 months ago

Isn't that just circular reasoning.

- 4 years, 9 months ago

a parallel plate capacitor has a fixed charge 'q' on its plates. the plates are now pulled further apart, some work must be done during this pull. why? does the potential difference change during the process?

- 3 years, 9 months ago

equipotential surface cant intersect because then there will be two direction of electric field lines which in not possible as electric field is a vector quantity and vector are unidirectional.

- 4 years, 2 months ago