Is the electrostatic force between a point charge and a neutral metallic object always attractive?

Michael Levin, Steven G. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

We give an example of a geometry in which the electrostatic force between a point charge and a neutral metallic object is repulsive. The example consists of a point charge centered above a thin metallic hemisphere, positioned concave up. We show that this geometry has a repulsive regime using both a simple analytical argument and an exact calculation for an analogous two-dimensional geometry. Analogues of this geometry-induced repulsion appear in many other contexts, including Casimir systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)843-849
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Physics
Volume79
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 26 Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (all)

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