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What the hell is a coulomb

  1. Aug 6, 2009 #1
    Ok not 100% if this is right place but it's not homework so...

    What the hell is a coulomb i've looked everywhere and everything seems to be different.

    So is it the charge on electrons?

    Or is it a packet of electrons? 6 million million million electrons = coulomb?!??

    Sorry if this seems dumb :(
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 6, 2009 #2


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    Homework Helper

    Re: Coulombs

    Wiki is always a good starting point:

    Unofficially, a coulomb is then equal to exactly 6.241 509 629 152 65 × 1018 elementary charges. :

  4. Aug 6, 2009 #3
    Re: Coulombs

    Yeah i've checked wiki but it seems to contradict other material i've read... how would you describe it?
  5. Aug 6, 2009 #4
    Re: Coulombs

    The Coulomb is the SI unit of charge. It is just a standard against which we can compare the relative charges of difference objects; just like we might say this object has a mass of 1kg, and this object has a mass of 3kg, we could say one object has 1 coulomb (C) of charge, and another has 10C. It has meaning in the sense that we can compare the relative charges from object to object.
  6. Aug 6, 2009 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Coulombs

    The official definition of the coulomb is, "the amount of charge carried past a point in a wire by a one-ampere current in one second."
  7. Aug 7, 2009 #6
    Re: Coulombs

    Actually COULOMB was a famous scientist ! (maybe was a justice also he he he as long as one of his invention is known as COULOUMBs LAW . . . kidding!) the unit of charge is entitled with his name !
    When you send 1A current though a conductor for 1 second then the amount of flow in any width of it is 1 COULOMB!


    q = I t
    where q = charge
    I = Electric Current
    t = Time

    and always q = n e
    where, e = charge of electron
    n = any full number
  8. Aug 8, 2009 #7
    Re: Coulombs

    OK mate... the coulomb is a measure of electrons in the same way that a dozen is a measure of eggs.
    When anyone refers to coulombs they are talking about a quantity of electrons.

    If you buy a dozen eggs you know you are getting 12 eggs.
    If you have 1 coulomb of of charges you have approx. 6.25 x 1018 charges.

    In terms of electricity a coulomb is the number of electrons.
  9. Aug 9, 2009 #8
    Re: Coulombs

    Ok so i THINK i have it i really appreciate all the replies guys :D i owe you all!
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