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As far as I know, static electricity occurs when we have one object becoming positively charged, and another negatively charged, due to contact between them (usually rubbing). Those objects will than be attracted to each other due to their opposite charges.

Seemingly, a positively charged object will also attract a conducting material, such as a can, because when placed in the field of the positively charged object, the positive charges will be pushed away in the direction of the field, leaving the side closer to the positive charge negatively charged, hence an attraction.

So, with a Van de Graff generator, when the upper sphere becomes positively charged, will all conducting materials be attracted to it?

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Yes, indeed neutral conductors are attracted by the Van de Graff generator as the charged generator repels the same type of charges to itself from the surface of the objects, leaving only the opposite charge at the surface, and therefore inducing a temporary attraction. but here is a catch when the neural object is touched by the generator once, then it will start repelling the object as the negative charge induced in the body of the object will be taken down by the generator belt.

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