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Theoretical highest electric charge?

  1. May 27, 2012 #1


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    What is the theoretical highest electric charge possible for an object wihout breaking it?

    What about charging a piece of PVC to trillions of volt, or trillions times that, or even more. Is it a limit how high the charge can be?

  2. jcsd
  3. May 27, 2012 #2

    You are talking about static electrical charges, right? This is an excess of charged particles of one sign, either positive or negative. It would depend strongly on the material. If there was a great enough excess of electrons then the electrons would fly off of the object, so I think it would have to be an excess of positive charge. Once this charge gets high enough either positive ions begin to fly off into space or the object explodes.
  4. May 28, 2012 #3


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    Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington D. C.
    Received 8 October 1930; published in the issue dated November 1930
    Ordinary methods for the production of high voltages for application to vacuum-tubes are satisfactory up to several million volts, but are subject to definite limitation due to corona or spark-over from the high-voltage terminal toward ground. A system of successive concentric Faraday cages, with the outermost cage grounded, is not so limited. An impulse-method for the production of extremely high voltages using such a system of Faraday cages is described. A system of (2n+2) cages gives an impulse-voltage slightly less than nV on the innermost cage.
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