Charged objects and the force between them?

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?
 

jtbell

Mentor
15,193
2,788
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.
 
Thanks, I should believe it.
 

The Physics Forums Way

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving
Top