Consider a point negatively charged metal ball $A$ having charge $-q$ and another identical metal ball $B$ having charge $-2q$. Now if both these balls are placed in a dielectric medium and separated by some distance, then will both the balls attract each other (because of the positive potential at $A$ relative to $B$) or will the balls repel (because both of them are negatively charged)?

  • $\begingroup$ You do not even need the dielectric; there are distances such that if you are close enough, they will attract in a vacuum. $\endgroup$ Oct 2, 2023 at 11:49
  • $\begingroup$ @naturallyInconsistent So basically they'll attract, despite both being negatively charged. Right? $\endgroup$
    – ArijitKD
    Oct 2, 2023 at 12:06
  • $\begingroup$ No, they repel each other. Rule of signs $\endgroup$
    – Pizzaguy07
    Oct 2, 2023 at 13:50
  • $\begingroup$ This question presents an interesting point of view. $\endgroup$
    – garyp
    Oct 2, 2023 at 14:08
  • $\begingroup$ It is possible for them to attract, but your question is not specified clearly enough for us to know what it is going to do. $\endgroup$ Oct 2, 2023 at 14:40

2 Answers 2


The potential difference only plays a role when the two spheres are electrically connected. Then a potential balancing takes place between the different numbers of charge carriers (electrons). A current flows for a short time.

The insulated and negatively charged spheres, however, always repel each other.


Like charges repel each other. No matter the distance, the force will be repelling, although the magnitude of the force depends on the individual magnitude of charges and their distance.

  • $\begingroup$ As it’s currently written, your answer is unclear. Please edit to add additional details that will help others understand how this addresses the question asked. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center. $\endgroup$
    – Community Bot
    Oct 3, 2023 at 5:42

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