Coulomb's Law | Electrostatics | Electrical engineering | Khan Academy | Summary and Q&A

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December 11, 2014
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Coulomb's Law | Electrostatics | Electrical engineering | Khan Academy

TL;DR

Coulomb's law explains the force of attraction or repulsion between charged particles based on the magnitudes of the charges and the distance between them.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What is Coulomb's law?

Coulomb's law predicts the magnitude and direction of the electrostatic force between two charges based on their magnitudes and the distance between them.

Q: How does electrostatic force compare to gravitational force?

Electrostatic forces are generally stronger than gravitational forces at close range, but become weaker as the distance increases. Gravitational forces, on the other hand, are weaker at close range but dominate on larger scales, such as in celestial bodies.

Q: How does Coulomb's law account for different charge signs?

Coulomb's law states that charges with opposite signs attract each other, resulting in an attractive force. Charges with the same sign repel each other, leading to a repulsive force.

Q: How does the distance between charges affect the electrostatic force?

Coulomb's law states that as the distance between charges increases, the electrostatic force between them decreases. The force is inversely proportional to the square of the distance.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Coulomb's law predicts the force of attraction or repulsion between two charges based on their magnitudes and the distance between them.

  • The force of attraction or repulsion depends on the product of the charges and is inversely proportional to the square of the distance.

  • Coulomb's law closely parallels Newton's law of gravitation, with electrostatic forces being stronger at close range and overcoming gravitational forces easily.

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