1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal 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!

Electrostatics questions

  1. Oct 18, 2009 #1
    Hi all

    I'm new to this forum, and this is my first post. I have a question related to a claim by Ralph Rene, and his 'disproof' of Coulomb's law.

    Rene was a prominent moon hoax believer and called himself the 'Last Sceptic of Science'. Amongst his claims were his reduction of relativity to an absurdity, his disproof of Newton's law of Gravitation and his disproof of Archimedes principle.

    To prove Coulomb's law wrong, Rene conducted an experiment. He designed a two leaf electroscope whereby each leaf could be charged to different potentials separately. I'm not sure how he confirmed the charge or potential of each leaf, or how he ensured he had no leakage, but let's assume he accurately knew the potential and charge.

    Rene charged each leaf to an equal potential, say +V. As expected, he found the leaves repelled (these are his claims not mine). He then lowered the potential of one of the leaves to +v, i.e. the same polarity, but a lower potential. (again his claims and words). He found the plates attracted. Rene claims that in these circumstances like charges attract and Coulomb's law needs to be revised. I think I know the answer to this question, but like any good enquiring scientist, I'll ask my peers first.

    Why did the plates attract?

    It would be really great to have a discussion on this first, and the moved into the mathematics after a consensus can be agreed.

    Thanks guys...

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 18, 2009 #2

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2017 Award

    What's the point? Ralph Rene was a professional conspiracy theorist. If there is a measurement of this effect in a published, peer-reviewed journal, it's worth discussing. If it's just his say-so, it's not: it's in the same category as his claim that pi isn't equal to 3.14159...

    We don't discuss crackpottery on PF.
  4. Oct 18, 2009 #3
    Thank you for the reply, I was not aware of the forum rules. I will post within the spirit of the forum rules and guidelines in future.

    As an aside, I agree Rene is hardly worth discussing. Sadly, my own philosophical view is that the internet is a wonderful opportunity for education, but has been plagued by crackpottery. I am researching various strands of his 'work' with the view of writing a book to correct the record. I will take my question elsewhere, and confirm my understanding. I am sure I will find the answer at the IOP of which I am a member.

    Thanks again, I look forward to being a useful contributor to the forum.

    Best wishes

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook