Electrostatic induction, also known as "electrostatic influence" or simply "influence" in Europe and Latin America, is a redistribution of electric charge in an object, caused by the influence of nearby charges.In the presence of a charged body, an insulated conductor develops a positive charge on one end and a negative charge on the other end. Induction was discovered by British scientist John Canton in 1753 and Swedish professor Johan Carl Wilcke in 1762. Electrostatic generators, such as the Wimshurst machine, the Van de Graaff generator and the electrophorus, use this principle. Due to induction, the electrostatic potential (voltage) is constant at any point throughout a conductor. Electrostatic Induction is also responsible for the attraction of light nonconductive objects, such as balloons, paper or styrofoam scraps, to static electric charges. Electrostatic induction laws apply in dynamic situations as far as the quasistatic approximation is valid. Electrostatic induction should not be confused with Electromagnetic induction.
A normal uncharged piece of matter has equal numbers of positive and negative electric charges in each part of it, located close together, so no part of it has a net electric charge. The positive charges are the atoms' nuclei which are bound into the structure of matter and are not free to move. The negative charges are the atoms' electrons. In electrically conductive objects such as metals, some of the electrons are able to move freely about in the object.
When a charged object is brought near an uncharged, electrically conducting object, such as a piece of metal, the force of the nearby charge due to Coulomb's law causes a separation of these internal charges. For example, if a positive charge is brought near the object (see picture of cylindrical electrode near electrostatic machine), the electrons in the metal will be attracted toward it and move to the side of the object facing it. When the electrons move out of an area, they leave an unbalanced positive charge due to the nuclei. This results in a region of negative charge on the object nearest to the external charge, and a region of positive charge on the part away from it. These are called induced charges. If the external charge is negative, the polarity of the charged regions will be reversed.
Since this process is just a redistribution of the charges that were already in the object, it doesn't change the total charge on the object; it still has no net charge. This induction effect is reversible; if the nearby charge is removed, the attraction between the positive and negative internal charges causes them to intermingle again.
However, the induction effect can also be used to put a net charge on an object. If, while it is close to the positive charge, the above object is momentarily connected through a conductive path to electrical ground, which is a large reservoir of both positive and negative charges, some of the negative charges in the ground will flow into the object, under the attraction of the nearby positive charge. When the contact with ground is broken, the object is left with a net negative charge.
This method can be demonstrated using a gold-leaf electroscope, which is an instrument for detecting electric charge. The electroscope is first discharged, and a charged object is then brought close to the instrument's top terminal. Induction causes a separation of the charges inside the electroscope's metal rod, so that the top terminal gains a net charge of opposite polarity to that of the object, while the gold leaves gain a charge of the same polarity. Since both leaves have the same charge, they repel each other and spread apart. The electroscope has not acquired a net charge: the charge within it has merely been redistributed, so if the charged object were to be moved away from the electroscope the leaves will come together again.
But if an electrical contact is now briefly made between the electroscope terminal and ground, for example by touching the terminal with a finger, this causes charge to flow from ground to the terminal, attracted by the charge on the object close to the terminal. This charge neutralizes the charge in the gold leaves, so the leaves come together again. The electroscope now contains a net charge opposite in polarity to that of the charged object. When the electrical contact to earth is broken, e.g. by lifting the finger, the extra charge that has just flowed into the electroscope cannot escape, and the instrument retains a net charge. The charge is held in the top of the electroscope terminal by the attraction of the inducing charge. But when the inducing charge is moved away, the charge is released and spreads throughout the electroscope terminal to the leaves, so the gold leaves move apart again.
The sign of the charge left on the electroscope after grounding is always opposite in sign to the external inducing charge.The two rules of induction are:
A remaining question is how large the induced charges are. The movement of charges is caused by the force exerted on them by the electric field of the external charged object, by Coulomb's law. As the charges in the metal object continue to separate, the resulting positive and negative regions create their own electric field, which opposes the field of the external charge.This process continues until very quickly (within a fraction of a second) an equilibrium is reached in which the induced charges are exactly the right size to cancel the external electric field throughout the interior of the metal object. Then the remaining mobile charges (electrons) in the interior of the metal no longer feel a force and the net motion of the charges stops.
Since the mobile charges (electrons) in the interior of a metal object are free to move in any direction, there can never be a static concentration of charge inside the metal; if there was, it would disperse due to its mutual repulsion.Therefore in induction, the mobile charges move through the metal under the influence of the external charge in such a way that they maintain local electrostatic neutrality; in any interior region the negative charge of the electrons balances the positive charge of the nuclei. The electrons move until they reach the surface of the metal and collect there, where they are constrained from moving by the boundary. The surface is the only location where a net electric charge can exist.
This establishes the principle that electrostatic charges on conductive objects reside on the surface of the object.External electric fields induce surface charges on metal objects that exactly cancel the field within.
The electrostatic potential or voltage between two points is defined as the energy (work) required to move a small charge through an electric field between the two points, divided by the size of the charge. If there is an electric field directed from point to point then it will exert a force on a charge moving from to . Work will have to be done on the charge by a force to make it move to against the opposing force of the electric field. Thus the electrostatic potential energy of the charge will increase. So the potential at point is higher than at point . The electric field at any point is the gradient (rate of change) of the electrostatic potential :
Since there can be no electric field inside a conductive object to exert force on charges , within a conductive object the gradient of the potential is zero
Another way of saying this is that in electrostatics, electrostatic induction ensures that the potential (voltage) throughout a conductive object is constant.
A similar induction effect occurs in nonconductive (dielectric) objects, and is responsible for the attraction of small light nonconductive objects, like balloons, scraps of paper or Styrofoam, to static electric charges(see cat, above), as well as static cling in clothes.
In nonconductors, the electrons are bound to atoms or molecules and are not free to move about the object as in conductors; however they can move a little within the molecules. If a positive charge is brought near a nonconductive object, the electrons in each molecule are attracted toward it, and move to the side of the molecule facing the charge, while the positive nuclei are repelled and move slightly to the opposite side of the molecule. Since the negative charges are now closer to the external charge than the positive charges, their attraction is greater than the repulsion of the positive charges, resulting in a small net attraction of the molecule toward the charge. This effect is microscopic, but since there are so many molecules, it adds up to enough force to move a light object like Styrofoam.
This change in the distribution of charge in a molecule due to an external electric field is called induced polarization,and the polarized molecules are called dipoles. This should not be confused with a polar molecule, which has a positive and negative end due to its structure, even in the absence of external charge. This is the principle of operation of a pith-ball electroscope.
An electric current is a stream of charged particles, such as electrons or ions, moving through an electrical conductor or space. It is measured as the net rate of flow of electric charge through a surface or into a control volume. The moving particles are called charge carriers, which may be one of several types of particles, depending on the conductor. In electric circuits the charge carriers are often electrons moving through a wire. In semiconductors they can be electrons or holes. In a electrolyte the charge carriers are ions, while in plasma, an ionized gas, they are ions and electrons.
In electromagnetism, there are two kinds of dipoles:
Electric charge is the physical property of matter that causes it to experience a force when placed in an electromagnetic field. There are two types of electric charge: positive and negative. Like charges repel each other and unlike charges attract each other. An object with an absence of net charge is referred to as neutral. Early knowledge of how charged substances interact is now called classical electrodynamics, and is still accurate for problems that do not require consideration of quantum effects.
A Van de Graaff generator is an electrostatic generator which uses a moving belt to accumulate electric charge on a hollow metal globe on the top of an insulated column, creating very high electric potentials. It produces very high voltage direct current (DC) electricity at low current levels. It was invented by American physicist Robert J. Van de Graaff in 1929. The potential difference achieved by modern Van de Graaff generators can be as much as 5 megavolts. A tabletop version can produce on the order of 100,000 volts and can store enough energy to produce visible electric sparks. Small Van de Graaff machines are produced for entertainment, and for physics education to teach electrostatics; larger ones are displayed in some science museums.
Electrical phenomena are commonplace and unusual events that can be observed and that illuminate the principles of the physics of electricity and are explained by them. Electrical phenomena are a somewhat arbitrary division of electromagnetic phenomena.
The triboelectric effect is a type of contact electrification on which certain materials become electrically charged after they are separated from a different material with which they were in contact. Rubbing the two materials with each other increases the contact between their surfaces, and hence the triboelectric effect. Rubbing glass with fur for example, or a plastic comb through the hair, can build up triboelectricity. Most everyday static electricity is triboelectric. The polarity and strength of the charges produced differ according to the materials, surface roughness, temperature, strain, and other properties.
In electromagnetism and electronics, electromotive force is the electrical action produced by a non-electrical source. Devices provide an emf by converting other forms of energy into electrical energy, such as batteries or generators. Sometimes an analogy to water pressure is used to describe electromotive force..
Electrostatic discharge (ESD) is the sudden flow of electricity between two electrically charged objects caused by contact, an electrical short or dielectric breakdown. A buildup of static electricity can be caused by tribocharging or by electrostatic induction. The ESD occurs when differently-charged objects are brought close together or when the dielectric between them breaks down, often creating a visible spark.
Lenz's law, named after the physicist Emil Lenz who formulated it in 1834, states that the direction of the electric current which is induced in a conductor by a changing magnetic field is such that the magnetic field created by the induced current opposes changes in the initial magnetic field.
Static electricity is an imbalance of electric charges within or on the surface of a material. The charge remains until it is able to move away by means of an electric current or electrical discharge. Static electricity is named in contrast with current electricity, which flows through wires or other conductors and transmits energy.
A corona discharge is an electrical discharge caused by the ionization of a fluid such as air surrounding a conductor carrying a high voltage. It represents a local region where the air has undergone electrical breakdown and become conductive, allowing charge to continuously leak off the conductor into the air. A corona occurs at locations where the strength of the electric field around a conductor exceeds the dielectric strength of the air. It is often seen as a bluish glow in the air adjacent to pointed metal conductors carrying high voltages, and emits light by the same property as a gas discharge lamp.
Electrostatics is a branch of physics that studies electric charges at rest.
A p–n junction is a boundary or interface between two types of semiconductor materials, p-type and n-type, inside a single crystal of semiconductor. The "p" (positive) side contains an excess of holes, while the "n" (negative) side contains an excess of electrons in the outer shells of the electrically neutral atoms there. This allows electrical current to pass through the junction only in one direction. The p-n junction is created by doping, for example by ion implantation, diffusion of dopants, or by epitaxy. If two separate pieces of material were used, this would introduce a grain boundary between the semiconductors that would severely inhibit its utility by scattering the electrons and holes.
The electroscope is an early scientific instrument used to detect the presence of electric charge on a body. It detects charge by the movement of a test object due to the Coulomb electrostatic force on it. The amount of charge on an object is proportional to its voltage. The accumulation of enough charge to detect with an electroscope requires hundreds or thousands of volts, so electroscopes are used with high voltage sources such as static electricity and electrostatic machines. An electroscope can only give a rough indication of the quantity of charge; an instrument that measures electric charge quantitatively is called an electrometer.
Contact electrification was an erroneous scientific theory from the Enlightenment that attempted to account for all the sources of electric charge known at the time. It has since been superseded by more modern notions. In the late 18th century, scientists developed sensitive instruments for detecting 'electrification', otherwise known as electrostatic charge imbalance. The phenomenon of electrification by contact, or contact tension, was quickly discovered.
Ion wind, ionic wind, coronal wind or electric wind is the airflow induced by electrostatic forces linked to corona discharge arising at the tips of some sharp conductors subjected to high voltage relative to ground. Ion wind is an electrohydrodynamic phenomenon. Ion wind generators can also be considered electrohydrodynamic thrusters.
The versorium was the first electroscope, the first instrument that could detect the presence of static electric charge. It was invented in 1600 by William Gilbert, physician to Queen Elizabeth I.
Coulomb's law, or Coulomb's inverse-square law, is an experimental law of physics that quantifies the amount of force between two stationary, electrically charged particles. The electric force between charged bodies at rest is conventionally called electrostatic force or Coulomb force. The law was first discovered in 1785 by French physicist Charles-Augustin de Coulomb, hence the name. Coulomb's law was essential to the development of the theory of electromagnetism, maybe even its starting point, as it made it possible to discuss the quantity of electric charge in a meaningful way.
Faraday's ice pail experiment is a simple electrostatics experiment performed in 1843 by British scientist Michael Faraday that demonstrates the effect of electrostatic induction on a conducting container. For a container, Faraday used a metal pail made to hold ice, which gave the experiment its name. The experiment shows that an electric charge enclosed inside a conducting shell induces an equal charge on the shell, and that in an electrically conducting body, the charge resides entirely on the surface. It also demonstrates the principles behind electromagnetic shielding such as employed in the Faraday cage. The ice pail experiment was the first precise quantitative experiment on electrostatic charge. It is still used today in lecture demonstrations and physics laboratory courses to teach the principles of electrostatics.