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Move or attract large/heavy materials using polarisation

  1. May 28, 2012 #1
    I was just wondering if it was possible theoretically to move or attract large/heavy materials using polarisation.

    For example ive heard examples that if you have a charged rod ,and you bring it
    close enough to pieces of paper the charge on the rod will polarise the paper and then if that
    force between the rod and the polarised paper is large enough you can pick up the piece of paper. So is this possible with basically any material eg. like a rock or something if you have a "big" enough charged rod ?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 29, 2012 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
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    Re: polarisation

    I don't think so. The problem with large objects is that they would require so much charge on the rod that it would exceed the breakdown voltage of the air or whatever was holding the rod and it would arc, neutralizing the charge on the rod. I'm not sure if the size of the rod or something else would make a difference or not, so I can't say for sure.
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