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Livethefire

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I am helping out with a class and the students were given a question about an electroscope that is being charged by induction, and they have to label the charge distribution on a diagram. The diagram is drawn such that the conductive elements are seperated - indicating a force between them. The answer that is given is here:

Electroscope Induction

I have been getting the students thinking about the "sea" of electrons in the conducting rod and so some of them want to put positive charges on the top half and negative charges on the bottom half so that there is still a repulsion with net charge zero (no transfer/conduction). The more I think about it, the more I think they are not really wrong. I think the real answer lies inbetween that shown in the diagram, and that which I have described. Clearly if you bring a HIGHLY negative plate to the top, the students would be pretty much correct.

Does any one wish to clarify this point(whether this is right or wrong), or add to the discussion?

Thanks.