Charge

Electric charge is a fundamental property of matter that governs its interaction with electric and magnetic fields.

  • Electric charge carriers, protons (+) and electrons (-) are the primary charge carriers in matter.
  • There are two types of electric charge:
    • Positive charge: Carried by protons, found in the nucleus of atoms.
    • Negative charge: Carried by electrons, which exist in orbitals around the nucleus.
  • The smallest unit of charge is the elementary charge (e ≈ 1.602176634 × 10^-19 C), carried by each individual proton and electron.
Properties of electric charge
  • Like charges repel, unlike charges attract: Objects with the same type of charge (both positive or both negative) repel each other, while objects with opposite charges attract each other.
  • Electrostatic force: The force between charged objects is called the electrostatic force, and it’s governed by Coulomb’s law.
  • Conservation of charge: The total electric charge in an isolated system is always conserved. It cannot be created or destroyed, only transferred between objects.
Examples of charge
  • Static electricity: Rubbing a balloon on your hair transfers electrons, creating static charge that can make hair stand on end or attract small objects.
  • Electric current: The flow of electrons through a conductor, like a wire, creates an electric current, which powers our devices.
  • Lightning: Lightening is a dramatic example of charge-discharge in nature, caused by the buildup of static electricity in clouds.
References
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  • Electric charge is a fundamental property of matter that governs its interaction with electric and magnetic fields.
  • Electric charge carriers, protons (+) and electrons (-) are the primary charge carriers in matter.
  • There are two types of electric charge:
    • Positive charge: Carried by protons, found in the nucleus of atoms.
    • Negative charge: Carried by electrons, which exist in orbitals around the nucleus.
  • The smallest unit of charge is the elementary charge (e ≈ 1.602176634 × 10^-19 C), carried by each individual proton and electron.