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Electric Charges

Do you use a radio to listen the hottest music on your favorite channel? Or maybe watch TV to finds the newest news? All of these devices use electrical energy to operate. The source of this energy was in the forces between the electric charges found in atoms.

What is atom?
The matter around you is made of atoms. Atoms are the smallest particle of an element which contains protons, neutrons, and electrons. The nucleus of atoms contains protons and neutrons. Things which swarm around the nucleus in all directions called electrons. An atom has the same number of protons and electrons.

Positive and Negative Charge

Protons and electrons have electric charge. Electrons have negative charge and protons have positive charge. The amount of positive charge on a proton equals the amount of negative charge on an electron. Neutrons have no electric charge.

Neutral and Electrically Charged Objects

An object with the same amounts of positive and negative charge is electrically neutral. If an atom gains or losses electrons, it is electrically charged. An object is electrically charged if the amounts of positive and negative charge it contains are not equal.

The Forces

Between Charges

Figure 1
Electrics force between two charges

The electrics forces between two charged can be attractive or repulsive. When two objects are positively charged, theyll repel each other. They also repel each other if two objects are negatively charged. Objects with opposite charges (one object is positively charged and the other is negatively charged) attract one another. In other words, like charges repel and unlike charges attract.

Electric Force Depends on Distance

The electric force between two charged objects depends on the distance between the objects. The electric force decreases as the distance between the objects increases. For example, as two electrons move farther apart, the repulsive force between them decreases.

Electric Force Depends on Charge

The electric force between two charged objects also depends on the amount of charge on each object. As the amount of charge on either object increases, the electric force between the objects also increases.

Is it important?
Maybe you will ask me how important are electric charge, isnt? The electrons in an atom swarm around the nucleus. The question is what keeps these electrons close to the nucleus? The positively charged protons in the nucleus were the answer.

Electric Field
Because it was Invisible!
Every proton and electron is surrounded by an electric field that exerts a force on every other proton and electron. The electric field surrounding an electric charge is invisible. The electric field around a positive charge points away from the charge. The electric field around a negative charge points toward the charge. (Why the electric field arrows around a negative charge are in the opposite direction of the arrows around a positive charge?)

Just Imagine

Making Objects

Electrically Charged
There is two ways Charging by Contact Charging by Induction