Suppose a conductor is charged (Total charge $Q$).

  1. Is there any method by which we can transfer the whole charge Q from the initial conductor to another uncharged isolated conductor?

  2. What another conductor being connected concentrically with a conducting wire? (I mean that both the conductors are spherical shells in Q2 and they are placed concentrically with the inner conductor having charge Q initially and outer conductor having no charge?

Also in Q2, does connecting the two concentric shells mean that they are no longer isolated right?

  • $\begingroup$ By definition you cannot transfer charge to an isolated object. You will have to make a connection. $\endgroup$
    – my2cts
    Sep 5, 2019 at 7:01
  • $\begingroup$ What does it man "in Q2"? $\endgroup$
    – nasu
    Feb 16 at 18:37

2 Answers 2


If an insulated charged conductor were placed inside of an insulated uncharged conductor, and the two were connected by a wire; then the excess charge from the inner conductor would flow to the outer surface of the outer conductor. (The charge is repelling itself and trying to move outward.)


Is there any method by which we can transfer the whole charge Q from the initial conductor to another uncharged isolated conductor?

  • We could shine a light on the charged conductor, producing photoelectric emission.

  • We could heat up the charged conductor, producing thermionic emission.

  • If the two objects are close enough together, and located in an appropriate gas medium, we might produce an arc between them. This would be very challenging to do with concentric spherical shells, though. It's much easier if the more negatively charged object has a pointy shape.

Edit: You can't apply a voltage between the conductors because to do that you'd have to move charge between them and you wouldn't be keeping them isolated.

  • $\begingroup$ Okay for the 2nd question, If we connect both the conductor with a wire (both conductor being concentric spherical shells), will the whole charge Q be transferred from the inner conductor to outer or will it be some partial charge? $\endgroup$
    – Asad Ahmad
    Sep 5, 2019 at 17:48
  • $\begingroup$ Alright! Thank you!😊 $\endgroup$
    – Asad Ahmad
    Sep 5, 2019 at 17:57
  • $\begingroup$ If one were initially positively charged, and you caused an emission from the other one, then you could probably end up with the first one neutral and the second one positively charged, reversing the original situation. $\endgroup$
    – The Photon
    Sep 5, 2019 at 18:00
  • $\begingroup$ If one were initially negatively charged, then you could get emission from it to make it neutral or positively charged. But probably not much charge would transfer to the second (initially neutral) conductor. $\endgroup$
    – The Photon
    Sep 5, 2019 at 18:01

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