electric charge

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Related to Electrically charged: positive charge, Electrically neutral

electric charge:

see chargecharge,
property of matter that gives rise to all electrical phenomena (see electricity). The basic unit of charge, usually denoted by e, is that on the proton or the electron; that on the proton is designated as positive (+e
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Electric charge

A basic property of elementary particles of matter. One does not define charge but takes it as a basic experimental quantity and defines other quantities in terms of it.

According to modern atomic theory, the nucleus of an atom has a positive charge because of its protons, and in the normal atom there are enough extranuclear electrons to balance the nuclear charge so that the normal atom as a whole is neutral. Generally, when the word charge is used in electricity, it means the unbalanced charge (excess or deficiency of electrons), so that physically there are enough “nonnormal” atoms to account for the positive charge on a “positively charged body” or enough unneutralized electrons to account for the negative charge on a “negatively charged body."

In line with this usage, the total charge q on a body is the total unbalanced charge possessed by the body. For example, if a sphere has a negative charge of 1 × 10-10 coulomb, it has 6.24 × 108 electrons more than are needed to neutralize its atoms. The coulomb is the unit of charge in the meter-kilogram-second (mks) system of units. See Coulomb's law, Electrical units and standards, Electrostatics

Electric Charge


the source of an electromagnetic field that is associated with material carriers; an intrinsic characteristic of elementary particles that determines their electromagnetic interactions. Electric charge is one of the basic concepts in the science of electricity. The entirety of electric phenomena is a manifestation of the existence, motion, and interaction of electric charges.

Two distinct kinds of electric charges are differentiated and are conventionally designated as positive and negative; it has been noted that bodies (or particles) with like charges repel one another and those with unlike charges attract one another, a fact first established by C. F. Dufay in 1733–34. The charge of an electrified glass rod was designated positive, and the charge of a resin rod (specifically, an amber rod) was designated negative. In accordance with this assumption, the electric charge of an electron is negative (the Greek word elektron means “amber”).

Electric charges are discrete: there exists a minimal elementary electric charge, of which the charges of all bodies are multiples. The total electric charge of a closed physical system is equal to the algebraic sum of the charges of its constituent elementary particles (for the common macroscopic bodies these particles are protons and electrons). This total charge is rigorously preserved during all interactions and transformations of the particles in the system. The force of interaction between quiescent charged bodies (or particles) obeys Coulomb’s law. The relationship between electric charges and an electromagnetic field is defined by Maxwell’s equations.

In the International System of Units, electric charges are measured in coulombs.


electric charge

[i¦lek·trik ′chärj]
References in periodicals archive ?
With this suggestion or idea of imaginary energy, we can express an electrically charged particle as a pack of certain amount of complex energy, in which the real part is proportional to the mass and the imaginary part is proportional to the electric charge.
Recent studies, however, showed that additional retention could be achieved with electrically charged membranes if the protein were of the same charge as the membranes, he said.
It was like he had been electrically charged and he was passing on some of that current to his mounts," was the way Michael Hourigan, his trainer and mentor, had for explaining Adrian's success.
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Using patented Ion Trap Mobility Spectrometer technology, a sample is heated in the desorber to create vapors that are drawn into the detector and electrically charged by a patented ionization process.
In Hoenig's system, air with a substantial water content is passed through electrically charged needles so the water molecules come out with a charge.
Heat from a finger is enough to reveal an electrically charged particle on the 19p stamp, which celebrates the chemistry prize.
As reported in the May 3 issue of the journal Nature, IBM has demonstrated a new non-contact method that uses beams of ions - electrically charged atoms - to align the liquid crystal molecules inside the flat-panel liquid crystal displays used in portable and desktop computers and other electronic devices.
Maglev, a technology pioneered in Germany, uses electrically charged motors to propel trains that literally float above a monorail.
Electric filters create an electrically charged field or ionize particles to trap them more effectively.
The hereditary illness is due to an abnormality in a gene that controls the transport of chloride ions - electrically charged atoms - across cell membranes.

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