Conducting and Insulating Conductors: why uniform and 'surface' charge distribution?

  • Thread starter Kuhan
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Why is it that when you have an insulator, the charges are uniformly distributed but in a conductor, the charges are only at the surface?
 

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  • #2
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Insulators can have their charge everywhere, and in many real setups you will find them on the surface only, too.

Conductors cannot have net charges inside in equilibrium - those charges would induce a field in the conductor, which would lead to a current flow, and that violates the equilibrium condition.
 

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