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Electromagnetic force: properties

  • The properties listed below help to explain many of the phenomena associated with the electromagnetic force, such as the behaviour of light, the formation of atoms and molecules, and the attraction between magnets.
  • Properties of the electromagnetic force include:
    • Range: The electromagnetic force is a long-range force, meaning that it can act over large distances. However, the force between two charged particles decreases as the distance between them increases.
    • Strength: The electromagnetic force is the second strongest of the four fundamental forces. The order and relative strength of fundamental forces is:
      • Strong force (1)
      • Electromagnetic force (1/137)
      • Weak force (10^-6)
      • Gravity (10^-37)
    • Direction: The electromagnetic force is a vector force, meaning that it has both magnitude and direction. The direction of the electromagnetic force is always along the line connecting the two charged particles.
    • Charge: The electromagnetic force is only exerted between electrically charged particles. Particles with the same charge repel each other, while particles with opposite charges attract each other.
    • Universality: The electromagnetic force is universal, meaning that it acts on all electrically charged particles in the same way, regardless of their mass or composition.
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