1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min 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!

Item charges confusion.

  1. Feb 3, 2007 #1
    Ok, I'm confused about items that get charged.

    If a metal object recieves a positive charge. The positive charge polarizes the metal object and sucks some electrons away from it right? (Does it suck all of the electrons away or what)? Because - and + attract and I would assume only the electrons get transfered.

    Can Positive charges get transferred from one object to the other? Are positive charges protons?

    So If you charge a metal object with a negative charge. It still polarizes the metal object and attracts the closer postive charges. Therefore does the electrons jump onto the metal object?

    I'm just confused with which one (positive or negative charges) get transferred to the other object (neutral, I would assume).
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 3, 2007 #2
    Assuming that we don't have sparking (i.e., electrons jumping from one object to another), transfer of electrons can only occur when the objects are touching or connected by a conductor. I'm not sure what you mean by "receives" a positive charge.
    Yes, "positive charge carriers" can get transferred. Because of convention, we have electrons (negative charge carriers) and their opposites, positive charge carriers. These positive carriers don't really exist, but due to an unfortunate convention we say that "positive charges" move around. So if positive charge carriers are moving one way, electrons are in reality moving the other way.

    Protons have positive charge, but when we refer to moving positive charge in general we are discussing the above positive charge carriers.
    Can you rephrase this question? I'm not sure what you're asking.
    Think of it this way - only electrons are being transferred, but convention allows us to say that positive charge is moving around too.

    If we bring a net positive sphere to touch a neutral sphere, we say that "positive charge" moves from the positive sphere to the neutral one. But what's really happening is that electrons are moving from the neutral sphere to the positive sphere, to fill the deficit.
     
  4. Feb 3, 2007 #3
    I guess I should stick with electrons moving because I do not know what positive charge carriers are yet. But in reality, the protons (positive charges) stay put in the nucleus of an atom right and never move? It is only the electrons that are able to be transferred from one object to another from everyday occurrences right?
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?