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Electrostatics

THE NEUTRAL ATOM

The atom
consists of a
nucleus
containing
protons and
neutrons
surrounded by a
cloud of
electrons.
Number of
protons =
number of
electrons in a
neutral atom.

+++
+ +
+

Rubbing materials

Electron clouds from the


atoms interact with each
other.

ELECTRON
TRANSFERRED

- --

Atoms from different


substances usually attract
electrons with different
strengths.
Electrons from the atoms in
one substance can get
rubbed off onto the atoms of
the other substance.

+ -

- --

- --

+
+ -

-- -

The substance receiving


electrons becomes NEGATIVE
CHARGED ATOMS (IONS)
the substance losing
FORMED
electrons becomes POSITIVE.

Separating Charge

If a polythene rod is rubbed


with cloth electrons are
transferred to the rod.
The total number of negatives
and positives are still equal.
Charges have simply been
separated charge has not
been created.
The Law of Conservation of
charge states that:
CHARGE CANNOT BE
CREATED OR DESTROYED
ONLY TRANSFERRED FROM
ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER.

(+5) + (-5) = 0

A charged object experiences a force in the


vicinity of a second charged object.
We say there is an
electric field
present in the
space around the
charged object.

Force of repulsion

Electric
field

An electric field is defined as a space in which a charged


object will experience an electrostatic force.

Factors affecting force

Size of the charge: +1, +2 etc.

As the charge INCREASES the force INCREASES.

Distance between charges.

As the distance INCREASES the force DECREASES.


Force of repulsion

+
More charge =
bigger force!

2+ F 2+

+
Bigger distance =
smaller force!

Charges and Force

Like charges repel

+
Unlike charges attract.

REPEL
+

+
ATTRACT!!

Polarization

An uncharged object is ATTRACTED by a charged object.


This is due to POLARISATION.
The charged object attracts opposite charges in the object.
This causes a CHARGE SEPARATION or POLARISATION in the
object.
An electrostatic force is then established between the two
objects.

-+
++-+

++
+

Polarization

- -

An uncharged object is ATTRACTED by a charged object.


This is due to POLARISATION.
The charged object repels like charges in the object.
This causes a CHARGE SEPARATION or POLARISATION in the
object.
An electrostatic force is then established between the two
objects.

-+
++-+

The distribution of charge on a


conductor depends on its shape.
------ - - ---

Electric charge is concentrated around a point.

1
C
1
9
,6
X
0

1 Coulomb of charge is an enormous


charge.

1 electron has a charge of -1,6 x 10-19 C - this is


called the elementary charge.

The number of electrons in 1 C is:

= 6,25 x 1018 electrons

r1,6X
A
C
h
e0-19C
a
g
1 Coulomb of charge is an enormous
charge.

1 electron has a charge of 1,6 x 10-19 C - this is


called the elementary charge.

The number of electrons required to m


a charge C is:
= No. of electrons in the charge

When the collecting sphere of a large Van der Graaff


generator is charged sufficiently and the spark is 10
cm long, there is only 0,01 C on the sphere.

Typical everyday charges are of the


order of
picocoulombs (pC)(x10-12C) or
nanocoulombs (nC) (x10-9C).
microcoulombs (C) (x10-6C)

Charged

-- -- - -

Neutral
(polarised)

-- -- - -

--

---

Each!
Final charge on each sphere = (3x10-6 )
= -1.5 x 10-6 C
How many electrons were transferred onto the neutral sphere???
No. Of e- = charge/(-1.6x10-19 ) = -1.5x10-6 /(-1.6x10-19 ) = 9.4x1012
electrons!

Electroscopes

Metal disk

INSULATIO
Gold leaf electroscopes areN

used to detect the


presence of
electrostatic charge.

When the electroscope is


charged the gold leaf
is repelled by the shaft
(LIKE CHARGES) and it
stands out to the side.

Metal
shaft

Gold
foil
(leaf)

Containe
r with
glass
windows

Simplified
diagram
UNCHARGE
D

+
+

+
+

CHARGED!

Charging Electroscopes
If a positively charged
object is brought close
to the electroscope plate
- electrons would be
attracted to the plate
leaving the bottom of
the shaft and gold
leaf, positive.
The gold leaf would now
repel the shaft.
THE POSITIVE CHARGES DO
NOT MOVE!!!!
Some of the electrons are now
transferred to the rod.
The electroscope has now acquired a
positive charge.

+
+
++
+
+
++
------

+
++
+
- - - -++
++
+

- - +
++
+

+
+
+

+ + + +

Charging
Electroscopes
If a negatively charged
object is brought
close to the
electroscope plate electrons would be
repelled by the
plate making the
bottom of the shaft
and gold leaf,
negative.
The gold leaf would
now repel the shaft.
THE POSITIVE CHARGES
Some of the electrons are now
DO NOT MOVE!!!!

transferred to the ELECTROSCOPE.


The electroscope has now acquired a
NEGATIVE charge.

- - - ++++
++
- - - ++++
+ +
++
+
- - - - - - -

Milikans Experiment

Milikanusedamicroscopetoobservetheoildropletsbetweentheplates.
Thesedropletsarechargedastheyareforcedoutofthenozzle.
Astheplatevoltageincreasessomeofthedropsfallmoreandmoreslowlyuntilthedropsstop
moving.
Atthispointtheelectricforeisequaltotheweightoftheoildroplet.
Theelectricforceontheobjectisequaltotheweight.
qV=mg

d
q=DropletChargeV=HoldingVoltaged=Distancebetweenplatesm=dropletmassg=
Accelerationduetogravity.
FromhisexperimentsMilikandeterminedthatthechargeonanelectronwas1.61019C.
Bytiminghowlongittakesforadroplettofallwiththeplatesswitchedoffhecouldcalculatethe
massofthedroplet.

V d Graaf Generator

The brushes transfer


electrons to and from
the belt.
These electrons then
accumulate on the
metal dome.
The insulating stand
keeps the charge from
being transferred to
the ground.

Insulatin
g stand

motor

eeeeeeeeee-

brushes