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Today in class i have learned that an electric field is basically a region around the charged particle which will cause a force to be exerted on a charged object. I was wondering what if an object is neutral, would it still have an electric field?

marked as duplicate by stafusa, Jon Custer, Kyle Kanos, AccidentalFourierTransform, ZeroTheHero Oct 17 at 21:51

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Seeing as you're just learning about electric fields, the answer you're probably looking for is no. If you have a neutral particle, say a neutron, it creates no electric field because its charge is zero, $q=0$, and so $$ E=kq / r^2 = 0 $$

But let's say you have a hydrogen atom (a proton surrounded by one electron). Surely the proton ($q=+e$) and the electron ($q=-e$) each have their own charge, but together they form a neutral atom ($q = e-e = 0$). So one hydrogen atom does not attract the other (ignoring the chemistry argument where bonds like $H_2$ are formed, etc.). But if you put two hydrogen atoms real close to each other, their electrons will start to feel each other (if you think about it, one atom's electron will be closer to the other atoms electron compared to its proton), thus leading to repulsion.

  • 4
    Actually, the neutron is a bad example. Although neutral, it does have a magnetic moment. – Lewis Miller Oct 11 at 13:27
  • Sorry, but the coulomn barrier is about nuclei, not neutral atoms like H. Protons, deuterons etc which have naked charge.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coulomb_barrier – anna v Oct 11 at 13:46
  • Anna, you're right. I edited out that part. Got mixed up :) – Shawn Zamperini Oct 12 at 14:15

If you mean the total electronic charge is neutral, then no.

Consider a rotation pair of chages with respect to a center in position space, it even radiates.

It's always easy to assume or find an electric dipole.

Think about electron in hydrogen atom, its spin splits in magnatic field.

Now how come a neutral particle response to magnatic field? The electric filed is even easier if you think about it.

Most of the things you see is photonic, now how comes it to be photonotic if there are no field variation?

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