Take the 2-minute tour ×
Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Excess charge placed on a conductor distributes itself on the surface of a conductor. But why isn't the force which confines the charge to remain there, modelled in some way?

share|improve this question
1  
It is modelled in some way: by Maxwell's equations in fact! Have a look at farside.ph.utexas.edu/teaching/em/lectures/node58.html for a good discussion of this. –  John Rennie May 15 '12 at 18:32

1 Answer 1

It is an electrostatic force, and it is actually the force by which atom cores of the materials drag electrons back to the material. In terms of potential, one could think as if atom cores make a potential well, which is so deep that electrons cannot escape it without huge energy provided from the outside.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.