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I think that electrons do escape. For example, Electrostatic Ion Thruster: Electrons are emitted from a separate cathode placed near the ion beam, called the neutralizer, towards the ion beam to ensure that equal amounts of positive and negative charge are ejected. Neutralizing is needed to prevent the spacecraft from gaining a net negative charge. I ...


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What keeps electrons on a negatively-charged conductor from leaving? It is a quantum mechanical phenomenon. Wherever there exists an electric field potential there exist energy levels , i.e. stable orbital locations which can be occupied by an electron. How does this happen? Even the simple Hydrogen atom has a negative ion state, an anion. This is ...


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"Vacuum" actually means the ground state of space. When there are real particles in space, "it" is in an excited state, and no longer the vacuum. But we usually think of a small region of empty space as approximating a vacuum, for reasons of locality, etc. If you have two real particles in space, and talk about their mutual interaction, then you necessarily ...


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Your boundaries are at $r=a$ and $r=b$. Notice that the potentials at these two surfaces are independent of $\theta$ (they are spherically symmetric). Look at a list of the first few Legendre Polynomials $P_{l}(\cos{\theta})$. For what value of $l$ does $P_{l}(\cos{\theta})$ not depend on $\theta$? Further, notice that $V(a) = V(r=a,\theta) = V_{0}$, and ...


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The original system as described in inherently unstable (or at best metastable). According to Earnshaw's Theorem, "a collection of point charges cannot be maintained in a stable stationary equilibrium configuration solely by the electrostatic interaction of the charges" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earnshaw's_theorem So the introduction of the slightest ...


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Electrons are able to accelerate more freely then protons within a conductor. Therefore when a leaf electroscope is negatively induced the charged will move outwards while in a positively charged electroscope the leafs will stay hanging.


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Electrons do leave surfaces either due to electrical potentials pulling them as you describe or as a result of a combination of heat plus electrical potentials. THe electrons are held in because the Fermi level is lower than the vacuum level. Furthermore, the difference in potential between the Fermi level and the vacuum level is 'felt' by the electrons ...



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