My instructor presented the following problem on capacitors:
4form two parallel plate capacitors as shown. Plates
2are charged, plates
4are not. Both pairs of plates are separated by distance
Describe what you think would happen if you connected plate
2with a wire. How many positive charges will plate
3have on its right side? What does that mean about the electric field between plates
4(bigger, smaller, or the same as the electric field between
I was unsure so I performed a quick experiment with two capacitors.
I charged one capacitor (representing plates
2) with a battery and measured it with a multimeter to confirm it was holding a charge. Then, I touched one lead of that capacitor to another, uncharged capacitor (representing plates
4). Afterwards, I measured the voltage of each capacitor with a multimeter and found that the originally charged capacitor was still charged but the uncharged one was not. None of the charge transferred to the second capacitor by touching a single lead to the charged capacitor.
So I answered that plates
4 would not become charged at all.
Unfortunately, that was incorrect. The instructor says that plate
3 will have the same amount of positive charges as plate
2 has negative charges and since plates
4 have a smaller area, the electric field between them will be bigger.
I don't see how the second set of plates can become charged without forming a circuit. This question looks similar, and in that case one capacitor would not charge the other until the switch is flipped completing the circuit.
What am I missing here? Is my experiment with the capacitors not representative of the problem?