Electrostatics - Electrostatics The properties of...

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1 Electrostatics The properties of electricity (electric charge) play an essential role in our everyday lives. For example: 1. Matter is composed of atoms which are in turn composed of electric charges (protons (positive) and electrons (negative)). 2. We wouldn’t be able to move without electricity because; our muscle contraction requires electricity. 3. Our heart wouldn’t beat without electricity. 4. We wouldn’t have computers without electricity. 5. Overall, we wouldn’t be around without electricity. The Atom The atom consists of a very small nucleus that contains protons and neutrons. The protons have positive charge and the neutrons have NO charge. The number of protons is equal to the atomic number of the element. Moving around the nucleus are particles called electrons. The electrons have negative charge. The magnitude of the charge on the electron is equal to that of the proton. The atom is held by the electric force between the protons and the electrons. 10 -10 m 10 -15 m Atom m p =1.67 x 10 -27 kg ≈ m n m e = (1/1800) m p In a neutral atom, the number of electrons is equal to the number of protons. If they are different, we say that atom is ionized. In general, when we talk about the charge on an atom or any body, we mean the net charge.
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This note was uploaded on 09/02/2011 for the course PHYS 4B taught by Professor Luna during the Spring '11 term at DeAnza College.

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Electrostatics - Electrostatics The properties of...

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