In a Van de Graaff type generator a spherical metal shell is to be a 15 × 106 V electrode. The dielectric strength of the gas surrounding the electrode is 5 × 107 Vm−1. What is the minimum radius of the spherical shell required? (You will learn from this exercise why one cannot build an electrostatic generator using a very small shell which requires a small charge to acquire a high potential.)
A small sphere of radius r1 and charge q1 is enclosed by a spherical shell of radius r2 and charge q2. Show that if q1 is positive, charge will necessarily flow from the sphere to the shell (when the two are connected by a wire) no matter what the charge q2 on the shell is.