Theoretically, a change in either electric or magnetic field will cause a current to flow , I am already familiar to Faraday's law of electromagnetic induction, so I tried to search about producing a current using a varying electric field, didn't find anything, I found an interesting apparatus though: Tesla's electrostatic induction apparatus.

My question here is about Lenz's law, will this law be applicable here? I know the law is in case of magnets , but I tried to imagine what will happen if we tried the coil magnet situation where approaching coil to the coil a resisting force will develop , but if we replaced the magnet with an electret (electrostatic equivalent of permanent magnet), as it approaches the loop the side near the electret will obtain a partial charge opposing to charge of the electret causing it to approach faster (the opposite of what happens with a magnet).

In the end of the article Tesla wrote

The output of such an apparatus is very small, but some of the effects peculiar to alternating currents of short periods may be observed. The effects, however, cannot be compared with those obtainable with an induction coil which is operated by an alternate current machine of high frequency, some of which were described by me a short while ago.

Why was the output of such an apparatus small? Does an electric field have a smaller influence on electrons than a magnetic field?

  • $\begingroup$ Well I don't agree with the premise. I don't see why a change in a magnetic field will cause a current to flow. You would have to have some electric CHARGE somewhere to get a current flow. $\endgroup$ – user26165 Oct 9 '13 at 22:14
  • $\begingroup$ I added further details but ran out of edit time, so forget my comment. $\endgroup$ – user26165 Oct 9 '13 at 22:53

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