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If I negatively charge two plates and push them against each other until I can feel the repulsion do the air molecules respond to part of that force and perhaps try to leave the general vicinity?

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    $\begingroup$ I like to think $$ Q=CV , C=\epsilon A/D, V=ED, Q=\epsilon A/D ED= \epsilon A E,$$ so that means $$ Q/A= \epsilon E$$ $\endgroup$
    – ChemEng
    Oct 19, 2020 at 0:16

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There is no electric field between the plates. Also the charges are accumulated on the outer surfaces, so anything between the plates does not suffer any consequence of the charges. It is only when the field appears at the edge of the system of two plates that effects occur.

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Unless there were any ionized particles in between the plates, I do not believe that anything would happen to a noble gas, some others, may be attracted or repelled by the plates.

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