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Induced charge distribution on two different radius sphere

  1. Apr 7, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Two insulated metal spheres of equal sizes are given equal positive
    charges. The two spheres are brought very close to each other without
    touching. Draw the new charge distribution on the spheres if one sphere
    is much larger than the other.


    2. Relevant equations

    [Coulomb's law] - qualitative result only

    3. The attempt at a solution
    The two spheres have different radii. Initially the charge on both spheres will be evenly distributed over their surface. The smaller sphere has the greater charge density and the more intense electic field. When the two are brought close together please confirm the charge distribution is as shown below. Perhaps there will also be separation of charge on the larger sphere. The smaller sphere will experience some charge redistribution.

    N.B. The inside of the spheres are shown filled with "o" characters:

    .............o
    ........+.ooooo........................+
    .....+.oooooooo......................o.+
    ....+.ooooooooooo.-............+.ooo.+
    ...+.ooooooooooooo.-..........oooooo
    ....+.oooooooooo.-................ooo.+
    .....+.oooooooo......................o
    .........ooooo..........................+
    ............o
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 8, 2009 #2
    I guess it's possible the larger sphere could become a dipole if the smaller sphere was small enough and hence had a much higher charge density and hence electric field.

    Is this correct?
     
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