4. Gauss's Law and Application to Conductors and Insulators

For more information about Professor Shankar’s book based on the lectures from this course, Fundamentals of Physics: Mechanics, Relativity, and Thermodynamics, visit 

Fundamentals of Physics, II (PHYS 201)

Lecture begins with a recap of Gauss’s Law, its derivation, its limitation and its applications in deriving the electric field of several symmetric geometries—like the infinitely long wire. The electrical properties of conductors and insulators are discussed. Multiple integrals are briefly reviewed.

00:00 – Chapter 1. Derivation of Gauss’ Law
21:12 – Chapter 2. The Electric Field due to a Spherical Distribution of Charge
44:47 – Chapter 3. Electric Field due to an Infinitely Long Wire
51:39 – Chapter 4. Electric Conductors and Insulators

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website:

This course was recorded in Spring 2010.