Gauss's Law question

Jun 2016
24
3
On the subject of solid conductors having zero electric field internally ...

I feel as though I understand how any additional charge inside a conductor would repel itself to the surface, and that the temporary existence of electric field internally would result in charge moving in a conductor. I've got some gaps in my picture though.

What if, say, we start with a neutral metal sphere. Then we drop two extra electrons into it. They chase each other to the surface, on opposite sides of the sphere. At this point in my picture, I see (temporary) electric field everywhere inside the sphere, except for the very center. Am I correct? What happens next? (I would guess we wouldn't really see these discrete steps). Would charge move around within under the influence of the field? What would the final charge distribution look like and why?

I'm wondering if we really need a blanket of surface charge to produce zero electric field internally and all excess charge at the surface.
 
Jun 2016
1,285
614
England
I think that the zero internal field only really applies to equilibrium conditions.
An image I use for myself is of people in a crowded room,
they all shuffle around so that everyone has about the same amount of space.
Two new people come in through the door and a shuffle moves across the room until everyone again has about the same (but now slightly smaller) amount of space.
But during the shuffle, there is a "comfort field" acting from the relatively crowded area near the door to the less crowded areas further out in the room.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 person