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ZingPath: Electric Current and Electromagnetic Force

Electric Force

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Electric Current and Electromagnetic Force

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Lesson Focus

Electric Force

Physical Science

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In this experiment, learners will examine the interaction between electrically charged objects and neutral objects.

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Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • After completing this Activity Object, learners will be able to:
  • Explain that objects with different electrical charges attract each other and objects with the same electrical charge repel each other.
  • Explain that the force between charged objects is inversely proportional to the square of their distance.
  • Explain that the amount of net charge on objects influences the net force between the objects.

Everything You'll Have Covered

Atoms are the basic building blocks of ordinary matter. Atoms have three components: electrons, protons, and neutrons. Electrons have a negative electric charge, protons have a positive electric charge, and neutrons are neutral which means that they have no electric charge.

Atoms normally have the same number of protons and electrons. The negative charge of the electron cancels out the positive charge of the proton giving the atom a zero net or neutral charge. In certain circumstances, there can be an imbalance of protons and electrons. An object with a greater number of electrons than protons is negatively charged. An object with more protons than electrons is positively charged.

Electric force is the attractive or repulsive interaction between any two charged objects. Objects with the same charge repel and objects with a different charge attract. Neutral objects do not interact with one another. However, there is a force between a neutral object and a charged object, but this is beyond the scope of this Activity Object.

The distance between two charged objects and the amount of net charge on each object are factors in determining the magnitude of forces between the objects. A force between charged objects is inversely proportional to their distance; therefore, the greater the distance between the objects, the lesser the force between them. The electric force between charged objects is directly proportional to the net charge on each object; the greater the charge on the objects, the greater the force between them.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 20 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts None
Course Physical Science
Type of Tutorial Experiment
Key Vocabulary charge, distance, electric force