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Metals and electric fields

  1. Feb 21, 2007 #1
    it is known that in metals the electric field is zero because there are free charges inside that rearranges in such a way that it cancels the external electric field.

    If the external electric field is large enough, so large that all the free charge inside cannot rearrange itself to cancel the external electric field, the electric field inside would be different than zero?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 21, 2007 #2

    Meir Achuz

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    When all the conduction electrons were on the surface of the conduction, addiltional E might enter the conductor. But, my guess is that such a strong field would start to ionize even the inner electrons, keeping the field inside zero until...
    Of course, this is all for static fields.
     
  4. Feb 22, 2007 #3
    No matter how strong the field is the amount of positive charges on the one side of the metal = the negаtive ones on the other. This configuration will always cancel the field inside the metal. Since it is theoretically inpossible to have a electtric field inside a metal, I believe we are going to see sparks between the metal and the field source before the gets large enough so the charges can not rearange.
     
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