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Theory behind electrostatics?

  1. Mar 15, 2008 #1
    So, I believe I've got the math part down but, I'm having trouble understanding the theory. Can someone briefly explain how conductors work? Grounding? Insulators? Direction of electron flow. Induction? Conduction? Anything else would be great, thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 15, 2008 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    You've basically asked for someone to write the equivalent of a significant portion of a chapter in an introductory physics textbook. You'll be more likely to get responses if you ask more focused questions. Try taking a specific example or situation from electrostatics and describing what you don't understand about it.
  4. Mar 19, 2008 #3
    Conductors work because metals have some electrons that are so loosely bound to atoms that they hop from one atom to another, wandering around randomly. As soon as someone applies the positive and negative poles that we call a voltage, the electrons will begin moving systematically in one direction instead of randomly. The electrons will be repelled by the negative pole and attracted by the positive pole.

    Insulators work because they happen to be materials don't have any free charges that would be available to begin moving as soon as someone applies a voltage.
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