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Would two conductors of same charge touch or not touch?

  1. Feb 28, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    insulating_spheres.png

    2. Relevant equations
    I need help with part c

    for part (a) I got 18 m/s and for part (b) I said the velocity would be zero after a long time has passed, assuming that there is gravity.

    3. The attempt at a solution
    For part (c) I would assume that they would not touch because they are conductors of the same charge and same charge would not attract. I'm not sure if that is correct though.

    Thanks!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 28, 2016 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    Why does gravity make a difference? Are you thinking that q2 falls to the ground?
    When you did part (a), did you account for gravity? In fact - how did you do part (a)?

    For part (a), identical charge, you said that the sphere do touch if they go fast enough. Thus, merely being the same charge is not enough to prevent them crashing into each other.

    The main difference between a conductor and an insulator for this situation is that the charges on a conductor are free to move around the conductor. The charges do repel each other ... so sketch the two sphere's close to each other and sketch the charge distribution across the surface of both.
    Compare with the case that the charges are evenly distributed - think about the strength of the repulsion for the same separation.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2016
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