# Does charged saltwater repel itself?

if you take a volume of saltwater, and charge it to a high voltage, will the water molecules repel each other and climb the walls of the container slightly, or does the fact that water is polar prevent that? Are there any conductive fluids that will repel themselves and climb the container walls when charged?

Edit: I guess this would be a glass container with water on the inside and a metal plating around the outside. The water would be charged to a high voltage relative to the plating.

• What do you mean "charge"? Water by itself is not a capacitor, you can't "charge" it. – ACuriousMind Sep 17 '15 at 17:10
• High voltage relative to what? The walls of the container? Voltage is always defined in a relative way, so you need to say relative to what. – NeutronStar Sep 17 '15 at 17:16
• As it is a conductor in equilibrium the surplus charges will be located close to the surface and therefore not pushing the bulk in any direction but lower the uniform pressure, if the repelling force is stronger than the cohesion forces (i.e. the negative electric surface tension stronger than the intrinsic surface tension) I guess a charged droplet would split apart, I guess you could estimate the sufficient charge for this quite easily (and from this the sufficient voltage (as a spherical droplet is a capacitor), which I guess will be ridiculously high). – Sebastian Riese Sep 17 '15 at 17:43
• In the scenario in the edit (v2) the fluid would rise along the walls, even if you only charged the plate. Do you know the experiment, where a dielectric fluid is sucked into a capacitor against gravity? (But there the reduction of the electric field energy due to the polarization of the dielectric is the driving force). – Sebastian Riese Sep 17 '15 at 18:46
• Thanks Sebastian! I'll see if I can find that experiment! – user3596565 Sep 17 '15 at 19:13