Electrostatic force. Coulomb’s Law

How is the electrostatic force generated and how is its value calculated?

Online electrostatic force simulations allow us to visualize how this important force of nature is generated and to calculate its value by applying Coulomb’s Law.

Electrostatic force is a fundamental force in nature that arises from the interaction between electric charges. It is a force of an electrical nature that acts at a distance and can be attractive or repulsive, depending on the properties of the charges involved.

Electrostatic force is governed by Coulomb’s Law, formulated by the French physicist Charles-Augustin de Coulomb. According to this law, the magnitude of the electrostatic force between two point charges is directly proportional to the product of their charge magnitudes and inversely proportional to the square of the distance separating them. Mathematically, it is expressed as:

Electrostatic force = (k x q₁ x q₂) / r².

Where:

Electrostatic force is the magnitude of the force between charges.

k is the Coulomb constant, which depends on the medium in which the charges are located and has a value of approximately 9 × 10^9 N-m²/C² in vacuum.

q₁ and q₂ are the magnitudes of the charges involved.

r is the distance between the charges.

The electrostatic force is fundamental to many aspects of physics and has numerous applications in everyday life and technology. For example, it is responsible for the interaction between electrons and nuclei in atoms, maintaining the stability of matter. It also determines the structure and properties of chemical compounds.

In the field of electricity and electronics, electrostatic force is essential for the operation of electrical devices, such as capacitors, which store energy in the form of charges separated by a potential difference. It is also the force behind electrostatic phenomena, such as the attraction of charged objects by rubbing or the repulsion between electrically charged balloons.

Electrostatic force is also applied in technologies such as electrodynamics, electricity generation and distribution, and touch screen technology. In addition, it has implications in fields such as astrophysics, where electrostatic interactions are studied in the behavior of stars and galaxies.

Electrostatic force


Coulomb's Law I


Coulomb's Law II


Visualize the electrostatic force that two charges exert on each other. Notice how changing the sign and magnitude of the charges and the distance between them affects the electrostatic force.

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