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Basic electrostatic induction

  1. Jun 23, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    When a positively charged ball is brought near a neutral conductor(a light metal ball), will the metal ball be attracted towards the charged ball?

    2. Relevant equations

    This is electrostatic induction.

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Like a charged rod can attract the paper(insulation) by the polarization of atoms.
    So similarly, I think the lots of electrons will move to one side of metal ball and the whole metal ball will be attracted to the +ve charged ball. The attractive force is even greater than the insulator like plastic ball.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 23, 2010 #2


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    Your reasoning is correct.
  4. Jun 23, 2010 #3
    However, in my text there's only description of polarization but no description of the attraction of conductors. Same thing happens on the web. Also, people always show attraction of water flow, paper, hair;but not conductor.
    So why's that? Is it because the attraction of insulator is much larger and observable?????
  5. Jun 23, 2010 #4


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    Yes, it is easier to see flowing water being deflected electrostatically than a metal conductor. For conductor attraction on the web, see for example

    http://www.physicsdemos.com/demo.php?demo_id=400&path_id=69 [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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