Electrical Charge



ELECTRICAL CHARGE – The ancient Greeks discovered what might be called the first electrical experiment. It was noticed that when a piece of amber when rubbed with a cloth, the amber was able to attract small pieces of near-by straw or feathers. Today, we understand that the amber became charged with electricity, and the attraction between the amber and the other material (straw, feathers) is referred to as Static Electricity. The word Electricity is derived from electron, the Greek word for amber.

            Later in the sixteenth century, it was found that many other substances other than amber can be charged in the same way. For example, a glass rod rubbed with silk can also produce an electrical charge on the rod. A hard-rubber rod rubbed with fur also picks up an electrical charge. Then in the eighteenth century, Benjamin Franklin was able to prove by experimentation that the glass rod actually had a positive charge and the rubber rod had a negative charge. He was also able to prove that like charges (either 2 positives or 2 negatives) repel each other and that unlike charges (1 positive and 1 negative attract each other).  For the purpose of simplicity, details of  Franklin’s experiment have not been provided.

BASIC STRUCTURE OF THE ATOM –  It  should be noted that an atom is comprised of a nucleus which is made up of only protons which are positively charged and neutrons which have no charge. The nucleus is at the center of the atom. Surrounding the nucleus are the electrons, which orbit around the nucleus, that are negatively charged. In a normally uncharged atom, the number of positively charged protons equals the number of electrons. 

PRODUCTION OF ELECTRIC CHARGE – It is possible in some materials to disturb this equality as was achieved by rubbing the amber with the cloth or the glass rod rubbed with silk. In the case or the glass rod rubbed with silk, the glass rod becomes positive because it loses electrons while the silk gains these electrons and becomes negatively charged to an equal extent.

Other Examples of Electric Charge Production: Shuffling of your feet on a woolen carpet, in dry weather passing your comb through your hair.

ELECTRICAL FIELD – The region around the charged item is known as the electric field of  force, or more simply the Electric Field, because any other charge located in that electric field experiences either a force of attraction or repulsion.  The Electric Field phenomenon is the fundamental  theory behind the operation of electric motors used in Model train locomotives in addition to many other motors used for thousands applications.

If you wish to acquire a better understanding of Electronics Theory, I suggest you go to  the following  link: Electronics