What is Electrical charge: Definition and 33 Discussions

Electric charge is the physical property of matter that causes it to experience a force when placed in an electromagnetic field. There are two types of electric charge: positive and negative (commonly carried by protons and electrons respectively). Like charges repel each other and unlike charges attract each other. An object with an absence of net charge is referred to as neutral. Early knowledge of how charged substances interact is now called classical electrodynamics, and is still accurate for problems that do not require consideration of quantum effects.
Electric charge is a conserved property; the net charge of an isolated system, the amount of positive charge minus the amount of negative charge, cannot change. Electric charge is carried by subatomic particles. In ordinary matter, negative charge is carried by electrons, and positive charge is carried by the protons in the nuclei of atoms. If there are more electrons than protons in a piece of matter, it will have a negative charge, if there are fewer it will have a positive charge, and if there are equal numbers it will be neutral. Charge is quantized; it comes in integer multiples of individual small units called the elementary charge, e, about 1.602×10−19 coulombs, which is the smallest charge which can exist freely (particles called quarks have smaller charges, multiples of 1/3e, but they are only found in combination, and always combine to form particles with integer charge). The proton has a charge of +e, and the electron has a charge of −e.
Electric charges produce electric fields. A moving charge also produces a magnetic field. The interaction of electric charges with an electromagnetic field (combination of electric and magnetic fields) is the source of the electromagnetic (or Lorentz) force, which is one of the four fundamental forces in physics. The study of photon-mediated interactions among charged particles is called quantum electrodynamics.The SI derived unit of electric charge is the coulomb (C) named after French physicist Charles-Augustin de Coulomb. In electrical engineering it is also common to use the ampere-hour (Ah). In physics and chemistry it is common to use the elementary charge (e as a unit). Chemistry also uses the Faraday constant as the charge on a mole of electrons. The lowercase symbol q often denotes charge.

View More On Wikipedia.org
  1. ElectroMaster88

    B Is there some electrical charge that is neither positive nor negative?

    I do not mean neutral electrical charge, but a forth kind (if exists) I am in 9th grade, and someone asked the teacher if there is an electrical charge that is not positive, not negative and not neutral, maybe something in the middle of them. The teacher said that there is a charge like that...
  2. BillTre

    Spiders Flying by Electrical Charge

    Some spiders are known to fly on the breezes by extruding silk strands (like web material) from their abdomen. This is commonly thought to be caught in the wind and carry them away. This would explain the occasional spider you might see drifting by when you are outside. Many (including that...
  3. Gopalkrishna

    A single wire electrical energy transmission....

    Single wire electrical energy transmission without a (ground ) return path... A new way of transmitting electrical energy from a floating totem pole node to almost 500 miles away end point of propagation... My totem pole electric charge supply is made of a high voltage battery and two switches...
  4. L

    Electrical charge, current definitions

    What is electrical charge? is it a measure of the abundance of electrons within a system? Current is defined as the amount of charge flowing between any two points in a system over a given period of time, correct? but what is elctrical charge if possible to define it better/further. I am...
  5. Iron_Man_123

    Simple physics question about electrical charge

    The electric field inside an uncharged metal sphere is initially zero. If the sphere is the positively charged, the field at the center of the sphere will be...?
  6. N

    Atom charge after ionizing (nuclei/particle) radiation

    Homework Statement When an instable atom emits alpha or beta particles. Doesn't the overal electrical charge of the remaining atom change? For example when an atom emits alpha decay, a helium core is emitted, this results in the lose of two protons (forthe radiating atom). But doens't this mean...
  7. A

    Is it possible for an atom to have a pure electrical charge?

    Please don't hate if this is a stupid question, I am a freshmen in high school so I don't know this stuff. What I am really talking about is how all atoms have some impurity in them which is why friction happens, but is there a way to create one with no impurity?
  8. Lee power

    Chemical reaction metal underwater

    Hi guys I was wondering of someone on here could briefly enlighten me on the chemical reactions that would occur with a Teflon Coated high carbon steel hook and a lead sinker while underwater? I am looking into the signals that may or may not be given off by these items both separately and with...
  9. LarryS

    Gauge Invariance for field of *Uncharged* particles?

    A complex classical field Φ of particles is, by itself, invariant under global phase changes but not under local phase changes. It is made gauge invariant by coupling it with the EM potential, A, by substituting the covariant derivative for the normal partial derivative in the Lagrangian. But...
  10. A

    Simple Question about Electricity

    Hey guys :) new here, Just a simple question to get started. looks like a great forum :D Is the following statement correct or incorrect? If I hold a normal magnet with north and south poles, and I move my hand in one direction parallel to copper wiring, will it generate...
  11. P

    Electrical Charge and Electric Fields

    Hi, Am I correct in thinking that for a positively charged spherical electrode, the charge is distributed radially from the entire surface of the sphere, and as such, the electric field is distributed in this way too? If an earthed electrode is then placed nearby, a high voltage would be...
  12. Lamdbaenergy

    How can black holes have electrical charge, and spin?

    If the star's mass supposedly collapses into a single point, and it ends up having "said" zero volume, then how can people say that the hole has a specific spin or that it can have an angular momentum? Does it mean that the singularity is somehow still spinning, or maybe the spacetime around it...
  13. I

    3 point electrical charge problem

    Homework Statement Given 3 point charges as follows: 1) a +2.5uC charge at (-0.20m , 0.15m) 2) a -4.8uC charge at (0.50m , -0.35m) 3) a -6.3uC charge at (-0.42m , 0.32m) What is the electric field at the origin (0,0)? Homework Equations E = (k * q) / (r^2) (To find the...
  14. J

    Relationship between energy and electrical charge?

    E=mc² shows the relationship between matter (mass) and energy, but another elementary information in the atomic physics is the electrical charge. So exist some relationship between energy and electrical charge?
  15. 1

    Electrical Charge Distribution on a Metal Teapot

    Homework Statement A positively charged glass rod is brought near to (but not touching) a neutral metal teapot. What will be the charge distribution on the teapot? Homework Equations None The Attempt at a Solution This is a multiple choice question, and the possible answers are: -Excess...
  16. P

    Electrical charge on Capacitor

    Homework Statement A dc current of 3 A flows through an initially discharged capacitor. After 2 micro s what is the electrical charge on the capacitor? Homework Equations q(t)= integral i(t) dt between t=0 and t The Attempt at a Solution (3t^2)/2=6x10^-12 C. Is this right?
  17. A

    Electrical charge problem (need assurance on an answer)

    Homework Statement Dry air will break down and generate a spark if the electric field exceeds about 3.0\times 10^6 N/C How much charge could be packed onto a green pea (diameter 0.81cm ) before the pea spontaneously discharges? Homework Equations E = kQ/r^2 Q = Er^2/ k <-------this is the...
  18. C

    Is the electrical charge of atomic particles correlated with mass?

    Hello world. I've been studying up on the fundamentals of electronics and have started with an abstract on atomic particles. My understanding is Electrons have a lighter mass and have a negative charge, Protons have a heavier mass and have a positive charge. Neutrons have a mass greater...
  19. N

    Electrostatic exercise, Electrical charge calculation

    Hello, i have to solve the following problem, i have the result, but i can get the way to arrive to it. This is the problem: There are 2 spheres of copper, separated at 1 meter, each sphere have a weight of 1 Kg initially. The problem want's to know how many electrons i need to transfer from...
  20. S

    Basic Question: Positive and Negative Electrical Charge

    I am not a student of Physics. I want to know. I am curious. I never understood a basic thing. What is the difference between a positive and a negative electrical charge? What characteristics describe the two charges? Are they just something you mug up as a given example of the duality in the...
  21. V

    Are Protons & Electrons Just Electrical Charge?

    ...electrical charge? i've read them described as both. what i want to try to understand is, is the proton and electron simply an electrical charge, nothing more? or, are they things in their own right, which have an electrical charge? to use an analogy. peter can have a cardboard sign...
  22. B

    Negative electrical charge on water? Help

    Negative electrical charge on water?? Help! Hello everyone: I have heard about paint sprayers that put a charge on the paint as it exits the sprayer - the charged paint is then attracted to the metal surface being painted, provided the metal surface is charged with the opposite charge. My...
  23. K

    Two types of electrical charge?

    Why are we so sure that there are only two types of electrical charge?
  24. I

    Kirchhoff's First Rule - Electrical Charge / Energy Conservation

    Hi, I've read that Kirchhoff's first rule is a statement of electrical charge conservation. However, currents are electrical charge in movement, so isn't it possible to say that it also follows the law of conservation of energy? Thanks.
  25. T

    Electrical charge developed by a snow plow?

    I know this question seems to be a little out there, and I might not be in the right forum, but here it goes. I have a friend that has a 2008 Ford F350 pickup with a stainless steel Fisher snow plow that has developed a problem with rust spots all over the truck. Rust is even showing up on...
  26. P

    Experimental Proof of Electrical Charge

    Hi, I have a question about the transfer of electrical charge from object to another. Basically, my professor stated that if you rub a rod with certain matierials, the rod will become charged. This is due to the convention that Ben Franklin came up with called the triboelectric series. So...
  27. H

    Imaginary unit - electrical charge relationship

    In my Algebra 2 textbook it says that the imaginary unit finds practical application in electrical engineering. Is that because the imaginary unit is as elusive as electrical charge to rational perception?
  28. P

    Is the lifetime of the Z0 particle too short to be directly observed?

    Greetings. I read somewhere that ONLY particles with an electrical charge possesses mass. Is that true? Thanks.
  29. R

    GR: Black Hole - Electrical Charge

    A GR? Does Acceleration or Gravity affect the force of electric charges? Example: Material is forming a Black Hole Heat is creating a ‘Cosmic Wind’ – that is blowing less dense matter away while denser matter is being favored for forming and enlarging the Black Hole. And material is made...
  30. A

    How Do Charges Affect Velocity at Infinite Distances?

    Hey All, I'm having some trouble with this problem. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Two charged objects A and B have masses of 1.3 X 10-2 kg and 2.6 X 10-2 kg respectively. Their charges are -1.7 X 10-4 C and -3.8 X 10-4 C respectively. They are released from rest when they are 3.6 m...
  31. A

    A static charge vs. electrical charge?

    Hi, I'm having a little hardship with visualizing this. If I touch a 12V car battery, it has the potential to kill me. Probably won't, but anyway that's what they say. However, a Taser, with 50 000V sends very little current through a body. What gives? My resistance never changed. How can the...