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Electricity - Dry Air

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Dry air will break down and generate a spark if the electric field exceeds about 2.95 x 10^6 N/C. How much charge could be packed onto a green pea (diameter 0.830cm) before the pea spontaneously discharges?

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Hi there, and thanks for using BrainMass.

Think of the pea as an insulating sphere. Lets use Gauss law to find what is the electric field at any point in space outside the pea.

The charge on the sphere is Q and the sphere's radius is R.

Our Gauss surface will be a sphere as well (from symmetry you can conclude that th electric field is radial, therefore always perpendicular and constant ...

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