Losing electrons

  • Thread starter astroboy17
  • Start date
The following statement I have found in a book:

Between an apple and the Earth, gravity dominates because both the apple and earth are electrically neutral, to a high precision. Matter is neutral to a better part than 1 in 10^20 in order for the electric force of repulsion between the apple and earth to be similar to the gravitational force between them, only 1 atom in 10^20 would have to lose an electron.

So to make an apply about the earth float, we need them to lose an electron each?

Does this make sense? How much energy does it take to lose an electron, and can
this be accomplished?
 
346
7
Between an apple and the Earth, gravity dominates because both the apple and earth are electrically neutral, to a high precision. Matter is neutral to a better part than 1 in 10^20 in order for the electric force of repulsion between the apple and earth to be similar to the gravitational force between them, only 1 atom in 10^20 would have to lose an electron.
As I read the quote, it doesn't have the implication you think.

If, for every 10^20 atoms in earth, 1 would need to lose an electron, then to find the number of electrons that would have to be lost by the earth, you need to know the number of atoms in the earth and divide it by 10^20. Similarly for the apple. Since there are rather a large number of atoms in the earth, and in the apple, that does mean losing a large number of electrons. I've seen the number of atoms estimated at around 10^50, so about 10^30 electrons would have to be lost by the earth alone. Fewer by the apple, of course. But still, quite a lot.
 

Want to reply to this thread?

"Losing electrons" You must log in or register to reply here.

Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving
Top