Charged objects attracted to neutral objects

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Why are charged objects attracted to neutral objects? If I'm correct, electrons and protons aren't attracted to neutrons.
 

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  • #2
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Charge objects can induce a dipole moment on neutral objects, and thereby have a weak attraction. Is that what you're referring too?
 
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I think so. Can you explain what that means as simply as possible?
 
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Imagine bringing a negatively charged particle close to a neutral one. The electrons in the neutral particle will be repulsed by the negative particle and try to move away leaving the protons on the near side of the neutral particle and the electrons on the far side of the neutral particle. This creates a neutral particle with a net positive charge on one side and a net negative charge on the other.
 
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Okay that makes sense, but when you take a charged object like a balloon and touch it to a wall it sticks. Why doesn't some of that charge on the ballon move to the wall causing the balloon to fall off?
 
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I don't think the charge can move from the balloon to the wall.
 
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Philip Wood
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I don't think the charge can move from the balloon to the wall.
Agreed. Ballon skin is an insulator and so charge can't flow to/from wall from/to parts of balloon skin not actually in contact with wall. In fact, balloon skin isn't a perfect insulator, and balloon falls off sooner or later. [Also the air isn't a perfect insulator.]
 

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