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Charged objects attracted to neutral objects

  1. Feb 27, 2015 #1
    Why are charged objects attracted to neutral objects? If I'm correct, electrons and protons aren't attracted to neutrons.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 27, 2015 #2
    Charge objects can induce a dipole moment on neutral objects, and thereby have a weak attraction. Is that what you're referring too?
  4. Feb 27, 2015 #3
    I think so. Can you explain what that means as simply as possible?
  5. Feb 27, 2015 #4
    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.
  6. Feb 27, 2015 #5
    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?
  7. Feb 27, 2015 #6
    I don't think the charge can move from the balloon to the wall.
  8. Feb 28, 2015 #7

    Philip Wood

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    Gold Member

    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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