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Measurement of electrical forces using a modified torsion balance and capacitance transducer

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2 Author(s)
Kwon, M.H. ; Department of Physics and Engineering Physics, Texas Tech University, P. O. Box 4180, Lubbock, Texas 79409 ; Peters, R.D.

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The attractive force between two conducting electrodes, one charged and the other at nominally zero potential, has been measured using a modified torsion balance whose deflection is monitored by a linear rotary differential capacitance (LRDC) transducer. This device has a resolution of 10-7 rad and is simple to operate. The results for different electrode geometries as a function of separation distance and voltage on the charged conductor agree to ±20% or better with theoretical results, in most cases. In the case of aluminum electrodes, the attractive force is not stable; rather, it varies periodically as the result of an unknown discharge process.

Published in:

Review of Scientific Instruments  (Volume:62 ,  Issue: 3 )