# Solution - Show that If Q1 Is Positive, Charge Will Necessarily Flow from the Sphere to the Shell No Matter What the Charge Q2 On the Shell Is. - Van De Graaff Generator

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#### Question

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.

#### Solution

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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.)

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