Basic Properties of Electric Charge
Electric charge is defined as the amount of energy or electrons passing from one body to another either by conduction, induction or other specific methods. There are two types of electric charges namely Positive Charge and Negative Charges. Charges are present in almost everybody and those bodies which don’t have charges are assumed to be neutrally charged or no charge. As charges are of two types, positive and negative, there are other certain basic properties they follow. If the size of charged bodies is so small, we consider them as point charges.
The basic properties of electric charges are:
Chagres are Additive in Nature:
Charges are additive in nature means they are like scalars and can be added directly. If a system contains two points charges q₁ and q₂, the total charges of the system is obtained simply by adding algebraically q₁ and q₂, i.e. charges add up like real numbers or they are scalars like the mass of a body. If a system contains n charges q₁, q₂, q₃, q₄ … qn, then the total charge of the system is:
q₁ + q₂ + q₃ + q₄ + … + qn.
Charge has magnitude but no direction, similar to the mass. However, there is one difference between mass and charge. Mass of a body is always positive whereas a charge can be either positive or negative.
Charge is a Conserved Quantity:
The charges is a conserved quantity means charges can neither be created nor be destroyed but it can be transferred from one body to another by certain methods like conduction and induction.
When we rub two bodies, as charging involves rubbing two bodies, it is actually a transfer of electrons from one body to another body. We can’t create a charge in a body but eventually can transfer them to another body with some convenient methods.
Quantization of Charge:
Quantization of charge means that charge is a quantized quantity and is expresses as integral multiples of a basic unit of charge denoted bye. Thus, charge q on a body is always given by:
q = ne
Where, n is an integer not a fraction or irrigational number, n can be any positive integer of negative integer like 1, 2, 3, -4 etc. by convention, the charge on an electron is taken to be negative, therefore charge on an electron is written as -e and that on a proton as +e.