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Charged objects and the force between them?

  1. Mar 10, 2008 #1
    I read that charge by induction precedes force of attraction between a charged body and a neutral one. That is, the nearer end of the body gets oppositely charged when a charged body is brought closer to the neutral one. Since we now have 2 oppositely charged objects (object parts) closely spaced, the force of attraction takes of place. Now my question is about a negatively charged plastic rod brought closer to a neutral plastic rod. The 2 attract each other. How is charge by induction taking place in the neutral rod. The neutral rod, being an insulator does not have free electrons - insulators do not conduct because they do not have free electrons - then, how is positve charge formed on the neutral one at the nearer end to the negatively charged plastic rod?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 10, 2008 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Charges in insulators cannot roam around freely like in conductors, but they can still shift position slightly on an atomic or molecular scale. This is enough to produce a small net imbalance of charge on a macroscopic scale.
  4. Mar 10, 2008 #3
    Thanks, I should believe it.
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