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- Topic Cluster: Fundamental Forces
- Topic: Inverse Square Laws
- Objective: Numerically solve Coulomb's Law
- Content: The magnitude of the electrostatic force acting on two objects is proportional to their charges and inversely proportional to the square of the sitance between their centers of charge; the constant of proportionality is called the Coulomb's Law Constant.
- Level: 2

$$ F_E = k \frac{q_1 q_2}{d^2} $$

\( F_E \)

Electrostatic Force

Newtons (N)

\( k \)

Coulomb's Constant =
\( 9.0 \cdot 10^9 \frac{\text{N} \cdot \text{m}^2}{\text{C}} \)

\( \frac{\text{N} \cdot \text{m}^2}{\text{C}} \)

\( q_1 \)

Charge 1

Coulombs (C)

\( q_2 \)

Charge 2

Coulombs (C)

\( d \)

Distance between charges

Meters (m)

An electrostatic force can be either an attractive charge or a repulsive charge, depending upon the situation. Like charges repel each other, and opposite charges attract.

Positive and Positive

Repulsive

Negative and Negative

Repulsive

Positive and Negative

Attractive

\( e \)

Elementary Charge

\( 1.602 \cdot 10^{-19} \text{ Coulombs}\)

The charge of a single proton or electron.

Å

angstrom

\( 1 \cdot 10^{-10} \text{ meters} \)

A frequently used distance unit for the insides of atoms.

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