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Question
A wrecking yard inventor wants to pick up cars by charging a 0.400 m diameter ball and inducing an equal and opposite charge on the car. If a car has a 1000 kg mass and the ball is to be able to lift it from a distance of 1.00 m: (a) What minimum charge must be used? (b) What is the electric field near the surface of the ball? (c) Why are these results unreasonable? (d) Which premise or assumption is responsible?
1. $1.25\times 10^{-3}\textrm{ C}$
2. $2.82\times 10^{8}\textrm{ N/C}$
3. This field strength is two orders of magnitude greater than that needed for dielectric breakdown of air ($\approx 3\times 10^{6}\textrm{ N/C}$). This field strength can not exist in air without causing sparks.
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