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What is an electroscope?

An electroscope is an instrument used for detecting the presence of an electric charge or of ionizing radiation. It is usually made of a pair of thin gold leaves hanging from an electrical conductor that leads to the outside of an insulating container. An electric charge brought near the conductor or in contact with it causes the leaves to stand apart at an angle, which illustrates that they have the same charge, and therefore repel each other.

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