1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Charge distribution over a solid conductor

  1. Jan 3, 2013 #1


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I was watching a video on the internet about charge distributions over solid conductors. The solid conductor was heart shaped which was positively charged. The lecturer in the video said that when you touched this conductor, the charge would distribute itself non-uniformly over the surface of the conductor. I understand why non-uniformly, however, why would the distribution be on the surface?

    I know why there is no charge inside (explained via Gauss) but wouldn't when I touch it, because humans are conductors, the charge would simply flow through my body and down to earth?

    Why is this not the case? When you are discharging an object, you just touch it with a conductor to transfer the charge.

    Many thanks.

    EDIT: Would it help if I provided the link to the video?
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 3, 2013 #2
    You are making the assumption that you are grounded. Pretty much the only way you can have the charge flow through your body to the earth is if your body was in contact with a grounded conductor.
  4. Jan 3, 2013 #3


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I see. So if I was standing on some conducting object then charge would flow to earth. If I am not, then the charge would distribute itself on the surface if we are concerned with conductors.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: Charge distribution over a solid conductor