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 Form 1 Physics: Electrostatics I Questions and Answers

A highly negatively charged rod is gradually brought close to the cap of a positively charged electroscope. It is observed that the leaf collapses initially and then diverges. Explain the observation.

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Answer Text:
As the rod approaches the cap, the negative charges on the cap are repelled towards the rod. The leaf collapses since the positive charges on it are neutralized by the negative charge. As the rod gets close to the cap, more negative charges are repelled to the leaf, causing it to diverge.