Say a conductor is grounded and its potential is $0$. Now if we bring other charges near this conductor, they may cause the conductor to have a certain net non zero charge with the potential on the conductor remaining the same.

From where does this conductor gain this charge? And how does the conductor manage to spread the charge in such a way so that the potential remains unchanged? Can anyone give an example that explains this concept?.


1 Answer 1


the charge on the ungrounded conductor produces an electrostatic field which either attracts or repels electrons in the grounded conductor. The ground can be thought of as a huge reservoir of electrons at zero potential which can furnish electrons or disperse them. So, if your conductor has a + charge, it will attract electrons in the grounded conductor, and electrons then flow up out of the ground and into the grounded conductor. If your conductor has a - charge, it will repel electrons in the grounded conductor and they will leave it and flow into the ground.

  • $\begingroup$ What's an practical example of ground? $\endgroup$
    – Kashmiri
    Commented Sep 29, 2020 at 4:07

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