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I understand that there can be no net charge in a conductor because any moving free electrons would induce a countering electric field that would then cause the net E field inside a conductor to be zero. I also understand that net charge is distributed on the surface of a conductor in attempts for all surface charges to repel each other. But does this mean there is simply no net charge in a conductor? Or just no charge at all? Does all charge have to exist on the surface? Or only net charge?

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  • $\begingroup$ The actual thi g to show is complicated. You need Thompson theorem irrc $\endgroup$
    – Babu
    Commented Apr 28, 2022 at 5:43
  • $\begingroup$ Right. No net charge inside a conductor. Any net charge will move to the surfaces and never inside the conductor. If you consider the protons and electrons of the atoms inside it, then there is - but that is not considered net charge. $\endgroup$
    – joseph h
    Commented Apr 28, 2022 at 5:43
  • $\begingroup$ physics.stackexchange.com/q/611370/236734. Once you have the previous result you can consider about charge since any possible gauss surface would give 0 flux $\endgroup$
    – Babu
    Commented Apr 28, 2022 at 5:45

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Since conductors are made of atoms, which are made of particles with charge, there are still charges in conductors. There is no net charge within a conductor; any net charge resides on the surface(s).

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