# How to reconcile the explanations for how charging by induction works?

In high school (and almost all the youtube videos), we are often taught that charging by induction (with grounding) requires us to first bring a positively-charged rod near a neutral conductor, and then touch the OPPOSITE side of the conductor with a ground wire. Removing the ground wire and then the charged rod will cause the conductor to be negatively-charged.

The explanation for why this works hinges on the fact that we need to touch the OPPOSITE side of the conductor so that electrons will be attracted from the ground up to that side of the conductor to make that side neutral.

By this explanation, it would mean that if we were to attach the ground wire on the SAME side as the charged rod, electrons will flow down to the ground. But in actual case, where exactly the ground wire touches the conductor does not matter and electrons will still flow up regardless.

I don't really need an explanation as to why this is the case because I understand that it has something to do with electric potential; instead, I hope to know if there is any way to reconcile these two seemingly contradictory explanations. If not, can I get some sort of confirmation that any reasoning that appeals to neutralizing the OPPOSITE side of the conductor is flat out wrong?

• Youtube is probably not a great place to learn physics. At least in my opinion, it is so much faster and easier just to read a textbook. Video is not always the ideal medium.
– hft
Commented Dec 16, 2022 at 18:54
• A pretty well-regarded textbook "University Physics with Modern Physics by Young & Freedman" was also alluding to this in Chapter 21.2. But either way, you are simply missing the point of my question.
– Tham
Commented Dec 16, 2022 at 19:04
• "Lacks clarity"? The question seems crystal clear to me – and an excellent conceptual question! Commented Dec 16, 2022 at 20:00
• The question seems to be: "I hope to know if there is any way to reconcile these two seemingly contradictory explanations. If not, can I get some sort of confirmation that any reasoning that appeals to neutralizing the OPPOSITE side of the conductor is flat out wrong?" If that is clear to you then vote to reopen, @PhilipWood
– hft
Commented Dec 16, 2022 at 21:16