# What does it mean to have a charge?

• TheRingBarer
In summary, the concept of charge is just one of many properties that objects possess, similar to mass and volume. It is not easy to imagine because it is difficult to observe directly. The origin of charge can be explained through Maxwell's equations, but this is still considered a non-provable theory. In physics, the question of "why" is not as useful as asking "what" and defining properties based on their interactions with other properties. Ultimately, trying to answer "why charge?" may lead to more basic phenomena that cannot be explained.
TheRingBarer
I understand where is comes from and its effects on other things that have an electrostatic charge, but what does it mean to have a charge? Why do electrons repel other -ve (sub) atomic particles? It's really not something I find tangible. :)

It's just a property of objects, as are mass, volume, and so on. It's just a little more ... hard to imagine than those.

If I remember correctly, we can derive Maxwell's equations from assuming another spatial dimension and taking charge to be the component of momentum in that dimension or something of the sort, but I think for now that's considered in the realm of other non-provable (or, rather, non-disprovable) theories such as string theory.

In the end, the best we can do with all basic properties is to define them by their interactions with other basic properties. "Why" is not a useful question, particularly not in physics. Usually when somebody asks "Why" in a science context the phenomenon is then described in terms of more basic phenomenon. Ex - Why is the sky blue? Because of refraction. Thats is fine, but continue that line of questioning and you will eventually hit a wall when you reach basic phenomenon. Once you get to basic phenomenon "Why" no longer makes sense to ask and "What" is the better way to ask the question.

If/when we do have an answer to "Why charge?" then that would imply we have more basic phenomena to appeal too. Basic phenomena which would in turn resist any question of "Why?".

## What does it mean to have a charge?

Having a charge means that an object has either an excess or a deficiency of electrons, resulting in an imbalance of positive and negative charges.

## What are the two types of charges?

The two types of charges are positive and negative. Positive charges are found in protons, while negative charges are found in electrons.

## How is charge measured?

Charge is measured in coulombs (C). One coulomb is equal to the charge of 6.24 x 10^18 protons or electrons.

## What causes an object to have a charge?

An object can acquire a charge through the transfer of electrons. This can happen through friction, contact, or induction.

## What are the properties of charged objects?

Charged objects have the ability to attract or repel other charged objects, can experience an electric force, and can create an electric field in their surrounding space.

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