# Capacitors, net charge and the Coulomb force

So, my understanding is that the Coulomb force, k(Q1*Q2)/r^2, produces a very large result for force (about 9*10^9 Newtons for two Coulombs of charge at a distance of a meter from each other), but this force is generally not present in any significant amount because negative and positive charges almost always are balanced out (a wire, a battery or a capacitor will, for the most part, have negative charge alongside positive, so there is little net charge). The situation where this force is experienced would be where there are large quantities of net charge.

So this is the hypothetical scenario: what if you take two reasonably large capacitors, say with 1 Farad charged to 1 volt each (so both capacitors would have a charge of 1 Coulomb), and discharge one side of each of them (like by connecting the positively charged side of one and the negatively charged side of the other to the negative and positive of another large capacitor). Wouldn't that be able to satisfy the condition of having large amounts of net charge and produce a massive amount of force between the two capacitors? The other way of doing this I imagine is to mechanically separate a parallel plate capacitor, so you can use one of the plates with a net charge.

The thing that I'm imagining could happen is that the electric potential between an object with net negative and an object with net positive charge separated by a distance of a meter would be so strong that the electricity from one would be able to arc through the air to the other. At a meter distance (in standard conditions), this would be at around 3 megavolts, so that would be when Q1*Q2 is approximately 1/3000th of a Coulomb. Or if they were oppositely net charged, would they force electrons out of the capacitor before physically smashing into the walls? Is this kind of force experimentally feasible, and if not, what part of it? Is it because it's almost impossible to make a net charged capacitor? Has anyone ever attempted to produce or experienced a significant electrostatic force like this, or a smaller but still significant force? I apologize if I conceptually messed up in multiple ways, but I wanted to put what I thought made sense from my speculation.

• That's a formidable wall of text. Would you consider adding some line breaks and white space for the sake of readability? Also, I see a lot of questions within the wall. Generally, it's not considered good form here to ask lots of questions, even if related, in one post. – Alfred Centauri Oct 16 '17 at 22:29
• I suppose that I could've shortened it. I will at least put some spacing. – Tom Oct 16 '17 at 23:10