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This java simulation illustrates how it is possible to charge
a conductor without having direct contact.
Here we are looking at a "solid conductor", for example a solid metallic box, with an external charge outside of the box.
We charge by induction by first bringing the conductor to the
proximity of a charged object. If the object's charge is large
enough, the charges within the conductor will be separated.
Next, we ground the conductor, which allows charges of the
same sign as the object to flow away. Finally, we unground
the conductor, and discard the object. The conductor is now
charged, and has the opposite sign of the original object.