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Consider we have very precise equipment (s) needed for this question. There's a finitely big uncharged conducting sphere. Suppose we had an extra electron from an external source and we plan to keep it on the sphere. Then how would that one electron arrange itself on the sphere? Where would it be placed?

I'm aware of the fact that the net electric field inside a conductor is zero. Considering it to be very basic I don't need a proof for that. If there would be 2 or more electron it's very easy to think about how would they align themselves in order to cancel the net electric field at any point inside the conductor. But when there's only one electron it's hard to imagine.

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An uncharged conducting sphere contains many, many electrons, some bound and some unbound (free).

It is not the added electron which “rearranges” itself, rather it is the rest of the electrons which rearrange themselves to an equilibrium (minimum energy) state.

You seem to imply that adding two electrons is simpler by putting the electrons diametrically opposite to one another?
If this is done then there would still be a rearrangement of the rest of the electrons.

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  • $\begingroup$ I got what tried to explain here, but can you just add something more to it so that it becomes clearer. Thanks $\endgroup$ – Gourav Mahunta Aug 2 at 11:31
  • $\begingroup$ @GouravMahunta What is it that you need clarification on? $\endgroup$ – Farcher Aug 2 at 11:32
  • $\begingroup$ I mean on what exactly is going to happen when we add that 1 electron. $\endgroup$ – Gourav Mahunta Aug 2 at 11:34
  • $\begingroup$ @GouravMahunta The charges within the conductor rearrange themselves. $\endgroup$ – Farcher Aug 2 at 11:35

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