Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Charge Distribution
Name: Omar G.
Status: student
Age: 16
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2001-2002


Question:
Why do the electrons in a charged body (take the metal for example) that has an edged (I mean a special shape like ...
        _____                         ___
       |____/    or similar to this  |___>  )

goes around (mostly) the edge of that shape (which is in the left side of the figure drawn).


Replies:
Omar,

Electrons in a negatively charged body go near the edges because they push away from each other. The electrons "try to get" as far from other electrons as is possible. Consider a cube. By grouping together at the eight corners of a cube, electrons can be near one-eighth of the other electrons but far away from seven-eighths of them. It works out as better than being evenly spaced.

Dr. Ken Mellendorf
Physics Instructor
Illinois Central College



Click here to return to the Physics Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory