electric charge

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Wikipedia.
Related to electric charge: electric potential, Electric charge density

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
..... Click the link for more information.

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 ?
Previous measurements have shown that both magnetization and electric charge fall off sharply with distance from the proton's center.
Even if the integrated (total) electric charge of the photon body as a whole vanishes, there is on account of the nonzero electric field divergence a local nonzero electric charge density
The guns fire two darts, sending an electric charge through the victim's body, paralysing them for five seconds.
The interference generates an ultrarapid vibration of electric charge within each molecule.
Just a few of Applied Materials' breakthrough 65nm technologies being highlighted at SEMICON West are the Applied Quantum(TM) X, a new single-wafer high current ion implanter, the Applied Reflexion LK Ecmp(TM), a revolutionary electro-chemical mechanical planarization system that removes copper from the wafer with electric charge, and the Applied Producer(R) HARP gap-fill system for enhanced transistor performance.
The sun's surface layer is divided into alternating bands of electric charge, either positive or negative, and each band has a different magnetic polarity.
Potential topics include how electric charge is distributed within individual electrons and the ways in which chemical bonds form and break.
Besides possessing an electric charge, every electron totes around a tiny magnetic field that points either up or down.
As reported in today's issue of the journal Nature, Intel researchers split a beam of light into two separate beams as it passed through silicon, and then used a novel transistor-like device to hit one beam with an electric charge, inducing a "phase shift.
A quark has not only the electric charge but also the color charge [17, 18].
Introduced in 2005, the Applied Reflexion LK Ecmp system eliminates traditional CMP slurries by using an electric charge to remove bulk copper from the wafer at high throughput, cutting chipmakers' operating costs.
The production gets an electric charge as the three Cobbs - with bats in sync - recount a typical Ty Cobb trip around the bases.