# Can throwing charged capacitors cause magnetic fields?

Since current is just buckets of charge passing through a point in space per unit time, and a capacitor is a literal bucket of charge, I had some questions in mind.

• Is throwing a charged capacitor considered electrical current? Like if the capacitor is say 1 inch in length, has 1C of charge, and is flying through the air at 100 inches per second, does that mean 100 amps of current?
• If so, would magnetic fields be generated? Would it actually take more effort to throw a charged capacitor than to throw an uncharged one, since the supposed magnetic field stores part of the work done in throwing?
• If the capacitor is left on the desk, and an observer moves instead, would he/she see magnetic fields, but a stationary one doesn't?

I know this is silly and trivial, but I don't have iron filings and a large supercap.

• Do(n't) charged capacitors attract/repell each other? Why (not)? What does that say about their total charge? Commented May 28, 2018 at 14:30
• When throwing a charged capacitor across the workshop at someone while shouting “catch” the reaction was usually the best... but no we never did that :) ... Commented May 28, 2018 at 14:32
• Oh, btw these were the capacitors that were used in distributors so smal... Commented May 28, 2018 at 14:36
• I was going to answer based on what happens if you throw half a capacitor (ie a single charged object) around, but you've already accepted an answer. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxford_Electric_Bell Commented May 28, 2018 at 14:57

One plate on a capacitor is positively charged and the other plate is negatively charged. Net charge on a capacitor is therefore zero. Does that help? Do we see magnetic fields generated by the charged capacitor if we placed it at the equator (rotating about 1000 mph).

• What if the capacitor is very big, like 10m long? :) And if you have a twisted pair, don't you see a very weak magnetic field right close to the wires?
– user76844
Commented May 28, 2018 at 14:48
• @GregoryKornblum ask your self how much voltage is needed to achieve 1 coulomb with plates 10m apart. Yes, twisted pairs have a weak magnetic field close to 1 wire relative to the other. Commented May 28, 2018 at 15:10
• I don't think the question was quantitative. Besides, C/V is not that complicated :)
– user76844
Commented May 28, 2018 at 15:15
• Just a little (not more than 1mg) more seriously, imagine throwing a Van Der Graaf generator :D
– user76844
Commented May 28, 2018 at 15:19
• Throwing a VDGG doesn't sound trivial but if you did throw it and also spun it you would likely create an nice EM wave at the spin frequency. Commented May 28, 2018 at 15:29