Does metal powder in water disperse when water is being charged?

  1. Does metal powder in water disperse when water is being electrically charged? I think that it might not disperse since water is also charged, the repulsion of water molecule will force it back making net repulsion equal to zero. Am I correct? Thanks for answering.

    Here is the diagram that I drawn in the case that it disperse.
     

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  2. jcsd
  3. Simon Bridge

    Simon Bridge 14,837
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    I don't think the picture is complete - where is the other electric pole?
    Perhaps the grey wire is attached to a Van der Graaf generator?

    What would be the electric field due to the wire?
    Is there electrical contact between the powder and the rod - so the powder becomes charged too?
    Is there electrical contact between the wire and the water?
    How does water respond to an electric field?
     
  4. The grey L shape rod is connect to high voltage where another other electric pole connect to the ground.
    The L shape is actually a metal plate which provides charge transfer to the metal powder by contact.
    The polarity of water will make water molecule align with electric field which hydrogen will be attract to negative while oxygen attract to positive, but I think that water will disperse into the air if it is charge enough.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
  5. Simon Bridge

    Simon Bridge 14,837
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    OK - so you are basically pumping charges into the metal powder ... so each grain carries the same charge.
    You know what like charges are going to try to do right?

    There is also going to be an electric field due to the L-rod/conductor that goes through the water ... what do the water molecules do in that field? What will the metal powder grains try to do in that field?

    (I have a feeling that the details of how the water acts in the field are not going to be important for your answer - depends on the context. But it is worthwhile thinking about it.)

    After that you can think about how the water affects the powder grains... then work out what the forces on the grains are and how they act.
     
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