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18: Electric Charge and Electric Field

Thumbnail: This diagram describes the mechanisms of Coulomb's law; two equal (like) point charges repel each other, and two opposite charges attract each other, with an electrostatic force F which is directly proportional to the product of the magnitudes of each charge and inversely proportional to the square of the distance r between the charges. Regardless of attraction, repulsion, charges or distance, the magnitudes of the forces, |F| (absolute value), will always be equal. Image used with permission (CC-BY-3.0).


  • Paul Peter Urone (Professor Emeritus at California State University, Sacramento) and Roger Hinrichs (State University of New York, College at Oswego) with Contributing Authors: Kim Dirks (University of Auckland) and Manjula Sharma (University of Sydney). This work is licensed by OpenStax University Physics under a Creative Commons Attribution License (by 4.0).