# Grounded parallel plate capacitor

What will be the charge distribution if a parallel plate capacitor, which is not connected to any battery, is given charge on one plate(say Q on the left plate) and is grounded on the outer side of the other plate(the right face of the right plate of the capacitor)?

Note that by making field inside one of the plates of the conductors zero, a value will be obtained, but will further create complications, as the potential of the same plate, when approached from the left and the right side will come out different.

## 1 Answer

It will be Q on the left plate and -Q on the right. Due to the electrostatic attraction the charge will be concentrated on the inner surfaces

• Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
– rob
Dec 12, 2018 at 16:55
• I went through the chat above and I have the same question as the OP. The explanation you gave at the end of the above chat helped: assuming infinite plates, and that the right one is grounded, taking the potential of the ground to be zero, the right plate and hence positive infinity (towards right) is at zero potential, while the left plate and negative infinity will be V, and the potential gradually changes between the plates from one end to the other, am I correct? It makes complete sense to me, but I’m not sure what you took as zero potential, so I’d like to confirm my interpretation Apr 26, 2021 at 14:29
• Whatever end plate is grounded is 0, as is the infinity on that side. The opposite infinity will be V.
– Dale
Apr 26, 2021 at 15:21