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The terms electricity and electrons comes from the Greek word elektron
meaning amber.
Ancients knew that if you rub a piece of amber with cloth, the amber
attracts small pieces of leaves or dust
amber effect or static electricity an object becomes charged as a
result of rubbing and is said to possess a net electric charge
Electric charge fundamental property of matter: the amount of charge
that is on or carried by a particle determines how the particle reacts
to electric and magnetic fields.

There are two types of electric charge: positive and negative. (these
terms were coined by
B_________ F_________). Proton
positive, electron negative.
Charge comes in quantized
units. All protons carry the
same amount of charge
and all electrons carry a
negative charge .
The charge of an object,
, is always a multiple of
this elementary charge:
= , where is an
Like charges repel each other; unlike charges attract.
Charge is conserved. The total charge on an object is the sum of all the
individual charges carried by the object. Charge can move from place to

place, from one object to another, but the total charge of the universe
does not change.
Most everyday objects are comprised of billions of charges, but
usually there are about the same number of positive charges as
negative, leaving the object as a whole NEUTRAL.
A CHARGED object is an object that has an excess of one type of
charge, that is, more positive than negative. The amount of excess
charge is the charge we assign to that object.
SI unit of charge: coulombs
In honor of the French physicist Charles de Coulomb
The charge of a single electron is
and the
charge carried by a single proton is
; is the
fundamental unit of charge.
In a wire, if 1 coulomb of charge flows past a point in 1 second, we
say the current in the wire is 1 ampere.
Example 1:
A charge of magnitude 50
can be produced in the laboratory by simply
rubbing two objects together. How many electrons must be transferred to
produce this charge?

Example 2: How many in a coin?

A copper coin has a mass of
electrons in the coin?

. What is the total charge of all the

Insulators, Conductors, and Induced Charges

Coulombs law

Electrical conduction the transfer of charges from one location to

another within an object.

The force exerted by one point charge on another acts along the line
between the charges. It varies inversely as the square of the distance
separating the charges and is proportional to the product of the charges.
The force is repulsive if the charges have the same sign and attractive if
the charges have opposite signs.

Conductors - ________________________________________________________
Insulators - ___________________________________________________________


is the coulomb constant which has a value of

The force can also be written in the form:

Semiconductors - ____________________________________________________
Charging by Induction - a technique in which an object can give another
body a charge of opposite sign without touching each other and losing any
of its own charge.


The neutral sphere has a equal numbers of positive and negative charges
Electrons redistribute when a charged rod is brought close
Some electrons leave the grounded sphere through the ground wire
The excess positive charge is non-uniformly distributed
The remaining electrons redistribute uniformly, and there is a net uniform
distribution if positive charge on the sphere.

*Charging an object by induction requires no contact with the object

inducing the charge. This is in contrast to charging an object by rubbing (that
is, by conduction), which does require contact between the two objects.


is the permittivity of free space

When more than two charged particles are present, the force between any
pair is given by the Coulomb force and the resultant force is the vector sum
of the individual forces due to all other particles.

Example 3: Electric force in the hydrogen

In a hydrogen atom, the electron is separated from the proton by an
average distance of about
. Find the magnitudes of the electric
force and the gravitational force between the two particles.

Example 5: Find the resultant force

Consider three point charges located at the corners of a right triangle (figure
below) where
, and
. Find the resultant
force exerted on .

Example 4: where is the net force zero

Three point charges lie along the x-axis (figure below). The positive charge
is at
, the positive charge
is at the origin, and the
net force acting on is zero. What is the x coordinate of ?

Example 6: Find the charge on the spheres

Two identical small charges spheres, each having a mass of
, hand
in equilibrium (figure below). The length L of each string is 0.150m, and the
angle is . What is the magnitude of the charge on each sphere?