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If you have a sphere covered in electrons, and you connected a copper wire to it, what would happen?

The copper wire's other end is not connected to anything and assume that the copper wire is neutral.

Normally, if the copper is connected to a positive terminal, a wave would be created and it would pushed towards the positive terminal where it would neutralize the positive ions. But since there's no positive terminal does the wave just kelp moving from end to end?

I'm guessing that the electrons spread out over the wire, but how does this happen? Why doesn't the wave just keep moving from end to end searching for a positive terminal?

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  • $\begingroup$ What kind of wave are you talking about? the electrons oscillating like particles in a longitudinal wave? $\endgroup$ – udiboy1209 Aug 12 '13 at 17:19
  • $\begingroup$ @udiboy Yes, exactly. $\endgroup$ – dfg Aug 12 '13 at 17:31
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Some of the electrons on the sphere will move into the wire. As the electrons accelerate and decelerate they emit photons (electromagnetic radiation) and lose kinetic energy. Eventually they will come to a static equilibrium which allows them to be as far apart from each other as possible.

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