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Measuring polarization of a neutral object near a charged sphere

  1. Aug 20, 2014 #1

    I am trying to design an experiment where I can calculate the distance at which polarization will not have a measurable effect on a neutral object, from a sphere charged by a Van Der Graaf generator. I am measuring the weight change caused by the polarization of the neutral object with a scale and measuring this effect at different distances. I have a problem in verifying my results, as i do not know an equation to measure polarization or something else which would help me verify this distances. Any help would be appreciated.

    Thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 26, 2014 #2
    I'm sorry you are not generating any responses at the moment. Is there any additional information you can share with us? Any new findings?
  4. Aug 26, 2014 #3
    Your experiment isn't totally clear... but from what I understood, you're taking a charged sphere and placing it in the vicinity of another object, and you want to calculate the induced polarization of the object due to the charged sphere?

    This in general is not an easy calculation, but it is simplified by certain geometry. If the charged sphere is homogenous (best if metallic) then you can treat it as a point charge. If your neutral object is also spherical, then it is not too difficult to calculate the polarization induced in it due to the point charge.

    However, the polarization depends on the shape... if the object has a complicated shape, you'll have to do the calculation numerically.
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