Free Version

Upgrade subject to access all content


Connected Metal Cans


Created for Copyright 2016. All right reserved.

Two identical metal cans, $X$ and $Y$, are separated and placed on thick stacks of paper on a laboratory table. Both cans are initially uncharged. A thin copper wire connects Can $X$ to Can $Y$.

A student brings a negatively-charged plastic rod close to Can $X$, but does not touch the rod to the can.

What is the correct explanation for the resulting charge on Can $Y$?


Can $Y$ is neutral because the cans have to be touching for charge to flow between them.


Can $Y$ is negative because the Can $X$ is polarized as excess electrons try to move away from the rod.


Can $Y$ is positive because excess electrons are attracted away from Can $Y$ towards Can $X$.


Can $Y$ is positive because protons will try to balance out the excess electrons that are near Can $X$.