# What is the relation between positive and negative charges?

1. Jun 22, 2013

### abi.ayan

Is it the absence and presence of an electrical fluid called as positive and negative charges?

2. Jun 22, 2013

### tiny-tim

hi abi.ayan! welcome to pf!

if you want to think in terms of fluid, you can regard the electric field as a fluid which obeys conservation of mass except at the position of electric charges …

then the positive charges are sources, and the negative charges are sinks

3. Jun 22, 2013

### abi.ayan

what do mean by sources and sink?I don't have much knowledge in terms related to this field.so could you explain it in simple terms??

4. Jun 23, 2013

### dreamLord

A source is a location/object out of which the 'fluid' will appear to come out of. A sink is just the opposite - it is where the 'fluid' appears to go and vanish. So if you were in a bathroom, the tap would be your source, and the drain your sink. Similarly, field lines emerge from positive charges, so they are called sources, and vice versa for negative charges.

5. Jun 23, 2013

### CWatters

In a neutral atom the charge of the electron and proton are equal. The atoms of many materials are able to gain and loose electrons giving them a net charge. If the material gains electrons it has a net negative charge. If it looses electrons it has a net positive charge due to excess number of protons.

In a conductor Electrons are free to move from atom to atom. The protons are fixed in place. The protons appear to move but it's really the "absence of electrons" that is moving.

6. Jun 23, 2013

### Drakkith

Staff Emeritus
Some fundamental particles have a property that we call electric charge. The rules that this property seems to obey tell us that there are two different "types" of charges, which we have labeled as positive and negative. According to these rules, two similar charges will repel each other while two opposite charges will attract.

The relation between positive and negative charges is simply that both are types of electric charge. Electric charge is only one of many different properties that particles have. For example, mass and spin are also properties of particles.