Basic Physics

# Electric charge

Please observe one of the objects that are around you. If you destroy an object, for example, it is a stone, the stone will be divided into smaller pieces. If the part of the stone is destroyed again, the stone pieces will turn into smaller pieces. What if the stone is destroyed again? Of course, the stone is smaller. Can stones be destroyed into smaller to infinite pieces? The reality shows that an object is divided into smaller ones will arrive at a point where the smallest part of the object cannot be divided into smaller ones. The smallest part of an object that cannot be divided is called an atom. So atoms are the smallest part of every material in the universe.

Electric charge in atoms

Atoms are composed of electrons, protons, and neutrons. Protons and neutrons form atomic nuclei that are approximately 10-15 meters long. The electrons are outside the nucleus and move around the nucleus of an atom like planets moving around the sun. If it is assumed that the diameter of the atom is a few kilometers, then the atomic nucleus is the size of a billiard ball and the electrons are between the nucleus and reach a distance of approximately 10-10 meters from the core. Between the core and an electron, there is space.

Negatively charged electrons are located on the edge of atoms and the positively charged protons located in the atomic nucleus. For electrons to keep circling the nucleus and not escape the atom, the positively charged atomic nucleus must exert an attraction force on the electron. The force that attracts electrons to stay around the nucleus and cannot be separated from the atom is called the electric force.

On the other hand, inside the atomic nucleus, there are positively charged protons so that the protons must repel each other because of the same charge. For the protons to remain together in the nucleus and not separate from the atom, there must be a force that unites the protons. The force that binds protons to stay together in the atomic nucleus is called the nuclear force.

The proton mass is almost the same as the neutron mass. Approximately 99.9% of the atomic mass is centered on the atomic nucleus, while electrons have tiny masses. Mass of electron (me) = 9.1093897 x 10-31 kg, mass of neutron (mn) = 1.6749286 x 10-27 kg, mass of proton (mp) = 1.6726231 x 10-27 kg.

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The quantity of electricity

Electrons are negative, protons are positive, and neutrons are neutral. Proton or neutron is composed of quarks which have ± 1/3 and ± 2/3 times the charge of electrons. Quarks are the smallest particles that form atoms, but so far quarks have not been found to stand alone as single particles.

The amount of electron charge or proton charge is the basic unit of charge. The electrical charge of an object is a multiple of the electron charge or proton charge. This is called quantized charge. For example, if the smallest fraction of the currency we use is 1, then the amount of money a person has stated in multiples of the smallest currency is 1. For example, the amount of my money is 2 and 3.

The amount of charge for an electron is –e and the magnitude of the charge of a proton +e. The amount of charge of an object is a multiple of e or 1.60 x 10-19 Coulomb and can be expressed by Q = ± Ne. Q = number of charges, ± represents the type of charge, N = integer, e = 1.60 x 10-19 Coulomb.

Electric charge in objects

If an atom has as many electrons as a proton, then the total electrical charge in the atom is zero, and this atom is neutral or not electrically charged. The number of protons or electrons in a neutral atom is called an atomic number (Z). If the electron is more than a proton, then the atom is negatively charged. Conversely, if electrons are less than protons, they are positively charged. Negatively charged atoms are called negative ions, while positively charged atoms are called positive ions. The process of receive or release of electrons from an atom is called ionization. When we say, an atom is charged, what is meant is the net charge. For example, an atom has 10 electrons and 7 protons. This atom is negatively charged because it has an excess of 3 electrons. So the net charge of this atom is 3, and this type of atomic charge is negative. Figures 3, 7, 10 are only examples to facilitate understanding. In reality, the amount of an electric charge of an object is a multiple of the electron charge or proton charge.

If an object has electrons as much as the proton, then the object is neutral or not electrically charged. If an object has more electrons than a proton, the object is negatively charged, whereas if an object has fewer electrons than a proton, the object is positively charged. Objects that are initially neutral can be made negatively charged by adding electrons to the object. Otherwise, objects can be made positively charged by reducing electrons in the object.