Setup-A charged sphere , connected to one plate of capacitor , other lead of capacitor is free.
Question-Will the capacitor plates go through a charge redistribution ?
Arguments/Counterarguments-I have tried to find answer to this question , even here on PSE , generally people insist that there will be NOTHING if I connect ONLY ONE plate of capacitor to some different potential because the charges on the unconnected plate HAVE NOWHERE TO GO.I conclude from this general answer that no charges will flow in plate and even after touching one lead of capacitor to charged sphere , nothing changes , the capacitor is as good as it would have been had it been kept on a table simply.
However I think these answers are not analysing the setup properly and are answering from the usual perspective that a capacitor is charged by a battery when it transports charges from one plate to other.
If I look at the capacitor as simply two conductors placed close to each other and one of them connected to charged sphere ,I see no point in having to COMPLETE THE CIRCUIT , the charged sphere and connected plate will simply try to reach an equipotential state along with necessary re distribution of charges on other plate (keeping it , the unconnected plate, neutral overall).

So is this good enough to conclude that YES there is a redistribution of charges ? This has troubled me alot, everyone seems to be hell bent on completing circuit , don't think it's necessary.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Before: A charged (conducting) sphere and an uncharged capacitor (no conductor connecting the two). It is possible in principle to solve for the static charge distribution on the conductors. After: a conductor now connects the charged sphere to one plate of the capacitor. It is possible in principle to solve for the static charge distribution on the conductors which is almost certainly different than the before charge distribution. Thus, there must have been a brief period of charge redistribution as the conductor was connected to the two objects. Is this the essence of your post? $\endgroup$ – Alfred Centauri May 24 '19 at 17:39
  • $\begingroup$ Yes , exactly , are u confirming my stand $\endgroup$ – Aditya Prakash May 24 '19 at 17:53
  • $\begingroup$ Just to mention one thing. Circuit theory assumes that there is no net charge on any component. So your problem setup here violates the assumptions of circuit theory and so you really cannot use circuit theory to answer it. This is fundamentally different from the question that you asked earlier today which did not violate that assumption and so could be answered entirely using circuit theory. The two questions are NOT equivalent. $\endgroup$ – Dale May 24 '19 at 18:09
  • $\begingroup$ By redistribution I mean just flowing , so in this question the charges will flow to connected plate along with necessary changes on other plate keeping it neutral as it was before of course ? $\endgroup$ – Aditya Prakash May 24 '19 at 19:38
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ (...), i.e., KCL doesn't hold. So, before I take the time to write an answer, I would like to know more about the specific concept that is troubling you. I wonder if it's due to applying circuit theory outside of the context in which it is valid. $\endgroup$ – Alfred Centauri May 24 '19 at 22:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.