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I am a newbie trying to enter the world of electronics and currently struggling with getting a good grasp of basic concepts of electricity. I understand that electrons which usually produce the current are moving from points with lower potential to the points with higher potential.

Consider the following situation which confuses me:

Somehow we arranged two plates of capacitor to be charged. Consider also that positively charged plate has actual positive charge on it and negative plate has actual negative charge on it. So the upper plate is now having the higher potential than the lower plate and also has higher potential than the ground. The electrons are attracted to the higher plate by means of electric field. Now imagine connecting the lower (negatively charged) plate to the ground (assume ground's potential and charge is zero). Will electrons be moving from the plate to the ground or will they stay concentrated on the plate? And if they will move wouldn't it be opposite to the assumption outlined before?

Will the situation be different if positive charge was not present on higher plate. So the upper plate and ground have both the same zero potential?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The charges are trapped on the plate by the charges on the other plate. \$\endgroup\$ – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Oct 9 '17 at 7:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @IgnacioVazquez-Abrams Thanks And if no positive charge present they will "move" to the ground ? \$\endgroup\$ – Boris Oct 9 '17 at 7:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ If no positive charge was present then they wouldn't be on the plate in the first place. And if they were on the plate somehow then they'd attract a positive charge. \$\endgroup\$ – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Oct 9 '17 at 7:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @IgnacioVazquez-Abrams Thanks again. I just suggested the theoretical situation where one plate has electrons in excess and other one protons in excess. \$\endgroup\$ – Boris Oct 9 '17 at 7:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Positive charges are holes, not protons. \$\endgroup\$ – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Oct 9 '17 at 7:33

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