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Charges moving along an electric field:

  1. May 8, 2008 #1
    I'm more curious about what would it be, sort of question, like I know that

    When a positive charge is release and moves freely along an electric field line, it moves to a postion of lower potential to lower potential.

    If you have a negative charge and release it along an electric field line, it will move from a position of higher potential to lower potential.

    Now, my question is that, if I have an neutral charge and release it freely along an electric field line, what would it do?

    Would it just stay at a high potential to high potential, or would it not move at all?

    Might seem like an odd question, but I just never really hear of neutral charges that often because they really don't do anything or do they. Either way, thanks for any help.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 8, 2008 #2
    Tey dont do anything. Check some quantum mechanics maybe an electric field strong enough over a neutron can split it into more fundamental particles with charge different than zero
  4. May 8, 2008 #3
    Everything always moves from a high potential energy to a lower one, positive or negative charges -> the sign of the charge just effects what the potential is, and where.

    Anything neutral is unaffected by an electric field.
    A neutron for instance will feel no effect.

    side note: neutrons aren't stable by themselves.
  5. May 11, 2008 #4
    Also depends if you are talking about macroscopic real objects or point particles. Since this is 'Classical Physics' I'm not sure we can have neutrons ... None the less, in real objects the constituent charges within them tend to separate when immersed in a E field. This reduces the field within the object and increases the field external to it. Which is why an ideal capacitor ( two parallel plates in a vaccum) has less capacitance than two similar plates with a dielectric between them. The dielectric is neutral, but has charges inside it that can separate, making the field more intense at the plates and making more charges move in the plates ... hence more capacitance.

    I know this isn't what you asked, but I think this stuff is interesting, and I can't talk to my wife about it ............. ;(
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