We have discussed almost everything on electric charges in another article (link is given in the related posts section at below). In this article, we are going to discuss the basic properties of an electric charge. This will be helpful for the students of class 10 and class 12.
Contents in this article:
- What is electric charge?
- Properties of electric charge
- Quantization of electric charge
- Electronic Theory of Charge
- Law of conservation of electric charge
What is an electric charge?
Electric charge is a property of matter by virtue for which the matter can produce electric field around it and can exert a force on other charge placed in that region. This force is the coulomb force of electrostatics.
Electric charge has the SI unit of Coulomb (C) or A.s and CGS unit of esu or stat-coulomb. The full form of esu is electrostatic unit. The dimensional formula for electric charge is [TI].
Properties of electric charge
All the basic properties of electric charge are as following –
- Electric charge is a conserved physical quantity. It holds the law of conservation.
- Electric charge is an extensive quantity.
- An electric charge has only the sign and magnitude. It does not have any direction. So, electric charge is a scalar quantity.
- An electric charges can be positive or negative. For example – Electrons have negative charges and protons have positive charges.
- Electric charges are additive. It obeys all the algebraic formulae.
- Electric charges are quantized in nature. An electron has the smallest charge and the charges of other matters are the integral multiple of the charge of electron.
- Charges can be moved by applying external voltage. The motion of charges is the electric current.
- Charges exert electric force on each other. An electric charge can produce electric field around it inside which it can attract or repel other charges. A moving charge can produce magnetic field around it.
- Charges of same sign repel each other and the charges of opposite sign attract each other. This is the fundamental law of electrostatics.
- Only the subatomic particles like electron, proton can carry electric charges.
- Electric charges can be transferred from one object to other object. Positive charges flow from higher potential to lower potential.
- Electric charges can also be stored. Batteries store charges during the charging process and can release these whenever required.
- Electric charge do not depend on the frame of reference. This mean if we measure electric charge from two different frames, the amount of charge will be same in both cases.
- Electric charge is a relativistic invariant. This means that the amount of electric charge do not change when the object is moving with a speed comparable to the speed of light.
Quantization rule of electric charge
Quantization rule of electric charge states that electron has the smallest amount of charge and all the charges of any any other object is integral multiple of the charge of electron. No object can have the charge equal to the fractional multiple of electronic charge.
Suppose an electron has the charge of magnitude e. Then all the object will have the charges of magnitude ne. where n is an integer (1,2,3….). No object can have the charges as 0.1e, 0.2e, 1.5e, 2.2e etc.
Electronic Theory of Charge
Electronic theory of charge states that when a substance will have positive charges if it have lack of electrons and a substance will have negative charges if it have excess of electrons. The atoms with positive charges are the cations and the atoms with negative charges are the anions. There are two main processes to charge any neutral body. These two processes are – Friction process and the induce process.
Law of conservation of charge
One of the very important properties of electric charge is that it is conservative. There is a law of conservation of charge which states that electric charges can neither be created nor be destroyed. It only can be transferred from one body to another body. The algebraic sum of total positive charge and total negative charge in an isolated body is constant.
This is all from the properties of electric charge. If you have any question on this topic you can ask me in the comment section.
- Surface Charge density
- Electric field and field intensity
- Coulomb’s law of electrostatic force
- Properties of Electric field lines
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