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coulomb - Coulomb's Law Charles Augustin de Coulomb Before...

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Coulomb's Law Charles Augustin de Coulomb Before getting into all the hardcore physics that surrounds him, it’s a good idea to understand a little about Coulomb. He was born in 1736 in Angoulême, France. He received the majority of his higher education at the Ecole du Genie at Mezieres (sort of the French equivalent of universities like Oxford, Harvard, etc.) from which he graduated in 1761. He then spent some time serving as a military engineer in the West Indies and other French outposts, until 1781 when he was permanently stationed in Paris and was able to devote more time to scientific research. Between 1785-91 he published seven memoirs (papers) on physics. One of them, published in 1785, discussed the inverse square law of forces between two charged particles. This just means that as you move charges apart, the force between them starts to decrease faster and faster (exponentially). In a later memoir he showed that the force is also proportional to the product of the charges, a relationship now called “ Coulomb’s Law ”. For his work, the unit of electrical charge is named after him. This is interesting in that Coulomb was one of the first people to start creating the metric system. He died in 1806. The Torsion Balance When Coulomb was doing his original experiments he decided to use a torsion balance to measure the forces between charges. You already learned about a torsion balance in Physics 20 when you discussed Henry Cavendish’s experiment to measure the value of “G” , the universal gravitational constant. Review Cavendish’s work in the Lesson 35: Universal Gravitation notes from Physics 20 if you need to. Coulomb was actually doing his experiments about 10 years before Cavendish.

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coulomb - Coulomb's Law Charles Augustin de Coulomb Before...

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