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If the source is also charged, we can't really. Because the particle might be neutral too. Rub a comb/scale with cloth, and place it near tiny bits of paper. The neutral bits of paper get attracted to the charged comb. P.S Repulsion is the sure test of charge. A charged source may attract both charged and neutral particles, but it will repel only another charged particle. So, if the particle is repelled from the source, then you can bet a million rupees that the particle is charged!
Neutral particles are not attracted by the source ... they are unaffected by the field of source. If a particle is attracted to source, means there is force involved, most likely electrostatic or magnetic ... if it is electrostatic, then definitely, the particle must be charged.
Ok, but why does the charged comb attract the (neutral) paper bits then?
well netral particles also get attracted by the source as source creates polarisation in neutral atom @experimentX
yea i agree to that ... polarization causes neutral substances to succumb to field. let's not say particles then.
hmm ok and here in the case of comb here too no charge is formed only polarisation is developed due to friction(source)
i m closing this qn i have one more interesting qn
the charged is developed on comb by friction ... but surely I would like to answer that why comb attracts neutral paper.
ok i ll ans ur doubt aftr dat qn as i think u urself get the anss of ur doubt :)
ok wen u keep source (comb) nearby neutral paper |dw:1333633137763:dw| u see in neutral atom comb bound the charge one side and der u ll find free -ve charge
u see neutral atom is not charged it get polarised
i studied such stuff today and thought to share wid the physcs lovers :)
so ... it was due to polarization.
yes :) not due to charge it is because polarisatio u urelf think if it is due to charge den everytime wen u keep magnet nearby it it get attracted isntd??