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Conductor vs Insulator Effects

  1. Feb 17, 2016 #1
    If a negatively charged Styrofoam plate is brought towards pieces of paper placed on an insulator (ex. a piece of paper), attraction occurs. Repulsion occurs if pieces of aluminum foil, which is a conductor, are placed on an insulator. What would occur if the pieces of paper and aluminum foil were placed on a conductor, such as a sheet of aluminum foil? Would the pieces of paper still be attracted to the plate while aluminum pieces repelled? Would the strength of attraction or repulsion differ?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 17, 2016 #2


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    You have a great set of questions there and the first thing you should be doing is some basic
    experiments of your own :smile:
    This would be very easy to do at home and you would learn a whole lot more than if some one just handed you the answers :wink:

    so give it a try and come back and tell us your results

  4. Feb 17, 2016 #3
    Thanks for the reply. I have tried the experiments but yield the exact same results for both. However, it is to my understanding that there should be an observable difference. I have done lots of research regarding the topic but still cannot come up with a valid answer.
  5. Feb 18, 2016 #4
    Would anyone be able to clarify? I am still confused as to why placing a conductor or insulator below the pieces of paper or aluminum foil would make a difference. I can't get it to work.
  6. Feb 18, 2016 #5
    Am I on the right track in saying that both the paper and aluminum foil would attract because the the conductive material underneath would take in the electrons resulting in positive charges to both the paper and the foil?
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