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Why electric charge is attracted to the earth (ground) ?

  1. Jan 6, 2004 #1
    Anybody know why electric charge is attracted to the earth (ground) ?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 6, 2004 #2
    Because the charge-density of the earth is very low and charge flows from regions with a high charge-density to regions with a low one. Just compare it to air-pressure.
  4. Jan 7, 2004 #3
    Two answers:

    1. Excess charge is always attracted to any conductor. If the earth in your area was a good insulator, it would NOT attract charge.

    2. Excess charge will only flow onto an object until a potential difference builds up and halts the flow. It's vaguely like pumping air into a tank: eventually the pressure will rise and stall the pump. If the object in question is REALLY LARGE, how much charge do you have to pump onto it before the electrical potential rises significantly? Lots and lots. You can dump huge amounts of charge into the earth, yet it still behaves as if it's uncharged.
  5. Jan 12, 2004 #4
    Thanks for the explanation and clearing that up.
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