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Conductors and Non-Conductors

If a quantity of electricity be communicated to a conductor or conducting body at one point, it distributes itself according to certain laws over the body; if, on the other hand, it be communicated to a non-conductor, it remains concentrated at the point where it was first placed. Quantities of electricity pass freely through the substance of a conductor; they cannot do so through a non-conductor.

Quantities of electricity are of two kinds, having opposite properties, and are called positive and negative respectively. Two bodies each charged with the same kind of electricity repel each other; two bodies charged with opposite kinds attract each other. To move an electrified body in the field of force due to an electrified system, against the forces of the system requires work to be done, depending partly on the forces of the system and partly on the quantity of electricity on the body moved. - We shall see shortly how best to define the unit in terms of which to measure that quantity. - Moreover, owing to the action between the electrified body and the rest of the system, alterations will generally be produced in the forces in consequence of the motion.

Last Update: 2011-03-19