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Question

A metallic coin is given a positive electric charge. Does its mass


A
increase measurably
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B
increase by an amount too small to measure directly
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C
remain unchanged
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D
decrease by an amount too small to measure directly
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E
decrease measurably?
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Solution

The correct option is D decrease by an amount too small to measure directly
Suppose the positive charge has the large value $$1\mu C$$. The object has lost some of its conduction electrons, in number
$$10^{-6}C(1 e/1.60\times 10^{-19} C)=6.25\times 10^{12}$$
And in mass
$$6.25\times 10^{12}(9.11\times 10^{-31} \,kg)=5.69\times 10^{-18} \,kg$$
This is on the order of $$10^14$$ times smaller than the $$\sim 1g$$ mass of the coin, so it is an immeasurably small change.

Physics

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