1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Electric field question

  1. Oct 27, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A grounded metal sphere is placed inside an original uniform electric field. Complete the electric field lines and determine the total net charge on the metal sphere (zero/pos or neg).
    Untitled.jpg


    3. The attempt at a solution
    Untitled2.jpg

    I was thinking the electric field lines would enter then exit the sphere perpendicular to the sphere's surface. So i thought the total net charge would then be zero.

    Any help, thoughts, or guidence?
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data



    2. Relevant equations



    3. The attempt at a solution
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 27, 2009 #2
    You got the field lines being perpendicular right --- if the sphere is grounded from the left, then the charges that lean towards the left (in this, positive charges) will promote a voltage difference with the ground; so there is a good chance the sphere will be left with some charge.
     
  4. Oct 27, 2009 #3

    Andrew Mason

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Is this a hollow or a solid metal sphere?

    AM
     
  5. Oct 27, 2009 #4
    My understanding is that this is a hollow sphere.


    I pretty sure that when an uncharged conductor is placed in an electric field, the electric field lines will look like i drew above, making the charges move left, thus making the object polarized. I just dont know/understand what effect grounding the object does to the object or the electric field lines.

    Thanks!
     
  6. Oct 27, 2009 #5

    So, with the charges moving left making the object's right side positive, would the ground give the object more charges to offset the positives on the right?
     
  7. Oct 27, 2009 #6
    Yup...the potential difference with the ground would allow electrons to move into the sphere and offset the positive charge distribution. This would leave the sphere with a negative charge distribution.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook