This is an ultra-simple question that I can't wrap my head around. Two particles, both with charge +1C are located 1 m apart. If q1 is held in place, what is the magnitude of the force that must be exerted on q2 to keep it from moving? The answer is Coulomb's constant k. I don't understand why an electric force between two particles of like charge would keep the two charges in place. Or is this exactly what the electric force does? Shouldn't the two particles experience repulsion and move further from each other? The way the question is asked it sounds as if the electric force is the force which at the value k prevents charges from moving. Doesn't that go against the fact that the electric force is either attractive or repulsive? What parameters would have to change in this problem for the charge to be repelled from one another? I am sorry if this sounds confusing. I am really confused!