What Is Coulomb’s Law And How It Is Applied


Coulomb: French engineer and physicist Charles de Coulomb made pioneering discoveries in electricity and magnetism. He offered new theories about the force found between electrical charges, demonstrating that an electrically charged body can exert a force of attraction or repulsion at a distance on another charged body.

In 1785, he coined a tangible relationship in mathematical form between two bodies that were electrically charged. The physicist developed an equation that explains the force that makes bodies attract or repel each other, which became known as “Coulomb’s Law” or “Coulomb’s Law of the Inverse Square”.

What does Coulomb’s Law say?

Coulomb’s law expresses the strength of the electrical interaction between two electrically charged and immobile particles, allowing the calculation of the electrical force of both attraction and repulsion exerted between two stationary and charged objects. In fact, only the nature of electrical charges can allow us to identify the nature of the force, while the law allows us to calculate the intensity.

According to the physicist, the magnitude of the electrostatic force of attraction or repulsion between two electrically charged bodies is directly proportional to the product of the charge of the charged bodies and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between the center of the charged bodies.

The space in which the force is exerted is called the electric field. By convention, the electric field moves away from the positive charge as it moves toward the negative charge. Thus, the electric field always changes from positive to negative charge. The electric field of two charges of the same sign is opposite, that is, it is oriented in opposite directions, while that of two opposite charges is attracted.

The strength of the electric field depends on the charge of the object producing it and the distance from the charged object. The following equation allows you to calculate the strength of the electric field exerted by a charged body.