Franklin bell question

  • #1
66
15

Main Question or Discussion Point

hello all

so i have been messing about with a homemade franklin bell. It is being charged with an electric fly swatter.

I have been wondering if the neutral ball a the center should have any preference as to which side it would be attracted to FIRST. In my head i think it should not matter, and really be a question of which one is closer, even if by a very small amount. considering the forces created are related to the reciprocal of the distance squared - a small difference would change the net force on that ball quite a bit to be pointing in one direction over the other.

but i just wanted to know if there would be reason it may go towards a positive or negative side first for any other reason someone else may know about.

thanks
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
sophiecentaur
Science Advisor
Gold Member
24,275
4,306
The ball will neither be exactly neutral nor exactly central. It's the inequality that determines which way it will go initially, I think.
 
  • #3
66
15
yup - that's what i thought. good point on the assumed neutrality of the ball too.
 

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