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Electrostatic Charge

What is a Gold Leaf Electroscope?

The gold leaf electroscope has a very very thin piece of
gold foil (called gold leaf) fixed at the top to a piece of copper.
The copper has a large round top, called the cap.
The whole thing is put inside a glass case,
to stop air blowing the delicate gold leaf around.

The piece of copper goes through insulation in the top of the
glass case, so that any charge on the gold leaf cannot escape.

The picture below shows an uncharged gold leaf electroscope.

Uncharged Electroscope

Charge can be transferred to the electroscope by wiping
the charged object across the cap. The charge flows over the
conducting copper and gold, and the gold leaf rises as it
becomes repelled by having the same charge as the copper.

Charged Electroscope

The picture above shows a charged gold leaf electroscope.

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