I have been attempting to deduce the arrangement of electrons within a solid spherical conductor in different states of charge. I'd like to know which, if any, of my conclusions are correct; and of the incorrect, I'd like to understand where I went wrong. A cool conductive (metal) sphere is placed in vacuum. The sphere is initially neutrally charged and is then given a net-positive charge followed by a net-negative charge. Between these changes in charge, time is allowed to allow the system to come to equilibrium. I have modelled the free electrons as free-moving particles whose movement is uninhibited by the temperature or structure of the metal lattice. Rather than explain my reasoning, which would be tiresome for people to read, I will just list my conclusions for the different states of charge. 1. Neutrally Charged Electrons are arranged homogeneously about the whole volume of the sphere. 2. Positively Charged The sphere is divided into two distinct regions. All free electrons locate themselves in a central “core” of radius [tex]R_C[/tex]. The electrons in this core are arranged homogeneously. The remainder of the sphere (between radii [tex]R_C[/tex] and [tex]R[/tex]) contains zero free electrons and is therefore composed of positively charged metal lattice. There is a sharp boundary between the two regions. (http://img182.imageshack.us/img182/9082/positivelychargedconduchy1.png" [Broken].) 3. Negatively Charged The whole sphere carries a homogeneous neutral charge with the exception of a thin spherical shell at radius [tex]R[/tex]. In this thin surface-shell, all free electrons are located. It is point 3 that I find most difficult to accept, partly because I could only be vague (how thin is "thin"?) and partly because I don't know how electrons behave in close proximity. Are any of my conclusions correct? - m.e.t.a.