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I think understand the concept of the "method of images" to describe a conductor. The conductor has to be an equipotential or else electrons would be moving around inside it. This equipotential can be described by replacing the conductor with an image charge.

For example imagine the field lines of a positive charge at a distance +x in front of a grounded vertical conductor in the y-z plane. The conductor can be represented by a negative image charge placed at position -x. The combined system of charge and image charge has a zero volt equipotential in the y-z plane as required.

Now imagine a positive charge anywhere inside a grounded conducting sphere.

Can the grounded conducting sphere be represented by a negative image charge placed directly over the positive charge? I guess it can as in such a situation all closed surfaces around such a system of charges will be at zero volts.

John

For example imagine the field lines of a positive charge at a distance +x in front of a grounded vertical conductor in the y-z plane. The conductor can be represented by a negative image charge placed at position -x. The combined system of charge and image charge has a zero volt equipotential in the y-z plane as required.

Now imagine a positive charge anywhere inside a grounded conducting sphere.

Can the grounded conducting sphere be represented by a negative image charge placed directly over the positive charge? I guess it can as in such a situation all closed surfaces around such a system of charges will be at zero volts.

John

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