The force between two point charges is…
- directly proportional to the magnitude of each charge (q1, q2)
- inversely proportional to square of the separation between their centers (r)
- directed along the separation vector connecting their centers (r̂)
This relationship is known as Coulomb's Law. Charles-Augustin Coulomb (1736–1806) France. As an equation it is usually written in one of two forms…
|F =||ke||q1q2||r̂||or||F =||1||q1q2||r̂|
|ke =||electrostatic constant
8.99 × 109 N m2/C2
|ε0 =||vacuum permittivity
8.85 × 10−12 C2/N m2
- When two charges have the same sign their product is positive, which means the force vector is directed with the separation vector (r̂) and the action is repulsive.
- When two charges have the opposite sign their product is negative, which means the force vector is directed against the separation vector (r̂) and the action is attractive.