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Class 10 Class 12

Electric Charges and Fields

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Basic Properties of Electric Charge

There are two types of charges,positive and negative and their effects tend to cancel each other.

The basic properties of electric charges are as follows:

  1. Charges are additive in nature
  2. Charge is a conserved quantity
  3. Quantization of charge

Additivity of charges

  1. Charges adds up like real numbers i. e., they are Scalars more clearly if any system has n number of charges q1, q2, q3, qn then total charge of the system is 
    q = q1 + q2 + q3 + ................ qn
  2. Proper sign have to be used while adding the charges for example if 
    q1 = +3C
    q2 = -4C
    q3 = +8C
    then total charge of the system is 
    q = q1 + q2 + q3
    q = (+3) + (-4) + (+8) C
    q = (+7) C

Charge is conserved

A charge is a conserved quantity: Charge can neither be created nor be destroyed but can be transferred from one body to another by certain methods such that conduction and induction.

For example, during rubbing or natural forces, no new charge is created. The charges are either redistributed or a neutron breaks up into proton and electron of equal and opposite charge.

Quantisation of charge

Electric charge is always an integral multiple of e is termed as quantisation of charge.The basic unit of charge denoted by e. Thus charge q on a body is always given by,

q = ne

where n is any integer, positive or negative. This basic unit of charge is the charge that an electron or proton carries. The magnitude of e = 1.602192 X 10-19 This is called quantization of charge. 

A unit of charge is called a Coulomb and is denoted by the symbol C.