Would the self-created electric field at the end of a pointed conductor, such as a lightning rod, remove positive or negative charge from the conductor? Would the same sign charge be removed from a neutral pointed conductor by the application of a similar externally created electric field? (The answers to both questions have implications for charge transfer utilizing points.)
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The repulsion of like charges is more significantly effective on a flattened surface because the force component along the line of field is of more magnitude.