A fundamental property of matter which causes it to experience electromagnetic forces.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

44
votes
7answers
3k views

Why do we have an elementary charge but no elementary mass?

Why do we have an elementary charge $e$ in physics but no elementary mass? Is an elementary mass ruled out by experiment or is an elementary mass forbidden by some theoretical reason?
44
votes
6answers
4k views

Massless charged particles

Are there any massless (zero invariant mass) particles carrying electric charge? If not, why not? Do we expect to see any or are they a theoretical impossibility?
37
votes
2answers
9k views

Why is the Ampere a base unit and not the Coulomb?

I always thought of current as the time derivative of charge, $\frac{dq}{dt}$. However, I found out recently that it is the Ampere that is the base unit and not the Coulomb. Why is this? It seems to ...
32
votes
4answers
13k views

Why do electron and proton have the same but opposite electric charge?

What is the explanation between equality of proton and electron charges (up to a sign)? This is connected to the gauge invariance and renormalization of charge is connected to the renormalization of ...
29
votes
3answers
3k views

Why is spacetime curved by mass but not charge?

It is written everywhere that gravity is curvature of spacetime caused by the mass of the objects or something to the same effect. This raises a question with me: why isn't spacetime curved due to ...
26
votes
1answer
710 views

Overcharging a black hole

Hubeny's 1998 paper got a lot of people interested in determining whether cosmic censorship can be violated by dropping too much charge onto a black hole. It suggested that you might be able to get a ...
25
votes
8answers
25k views

Why is the charge naming convention wrong?

I recently came to know about the Conventional Current vs. Electron Flow issue. Doing some search I found that the reason for this is that Benjamin Franklin made a mistake when naming positive and ...
22
votes
4answers
2k views

Detection of the Electric Charge of a Black Hole

By the "No Hair Theorem", three quantities "define" a black hole; Mass, Angular Momentum, and Charge. The first is easy enough to determine, look at the radius of the event horizon and you can use the ...
20
votes
6answers
5k views

How can a battery charge up another battery to a higher percentage?

Say I have my phone on 5% and a large battery pack on 35% and I charge the phone. By the end the phone is on 100% and the pack is on 12%. How can the battery pack charge the phone up to a higher ...
20
votes
2answers
9k views

What is the net charge of the Earth?

This question arose in a seminar today about the solar wind... This is my vagueish understanding of the problem - please correct if you see errors! The 'classical' picture of atmospheric electricity ...
16
votes
1answer
3k views

Origin of electric charge

Baryons have charges that are the result of a polynomial calculation of their building blocks (quarks)'s fractional charges. But what gives these quarks electric charges? What interactions do they ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the symmetry which is responsible for preservation/conservation of electrical charges?

Another Noether's theorem question, this time about electrical charge. According to Noether's theorem, all conservation laws originate from invariance of a system to shifts in a certain space. For ...
15
votes
4answers
7k views

What is charge? [duplicate]

I know this isn't the right place for asking this question, but in other places the answers are so awfull.. I'm studying eletricity, so, I start seeing things like "charges", "electrons has negative ...
14
votes
8answers
2k views

Why is capacitance defined as charge divided by voltage?

I understand that capacitance is the ability of a body to store an electrical charge and the formula is $C=\frac{Q}{V}$. What I don't understand, however, is why it is defined as coulomb per volt. Of ...
14
votes
2answers
507 views

Do accelerated charges radiate or not?

This questions has been asked all over the net (here included) but I can't find a satisfactory answer or discussion. Some say it does not radiate if the acceleration is caused by a uniform gravity ...
13
votes
2answers
506 views

Is there any theory for origination of charge?

We have a theory of a Higgs field that describes how a particle gets mass. Since mass and charge both are intrinsic properties of a particle, is there any similar theory for how particles get electric ...
12
votes
2answers
686 views

What's the deepest reason why QCD bound states have integer charge?

What's the deepest reason why QCD bound states have integer electric charge, i.e. equal to an integer times the electron charge? Given that the quarks have the fractional electric charges they do, ...
11
votes
3answers
799 views

How would charge be distributed in charged conductors if the Coulomb law was not ${1}/{r^2}$?

Would the excess charge on a conductor move to surface until the electric field inside become zero if the Coulomb law was for example $\frac{1}{r^3}$? If yes, would the distribution $\sigma(x,y)$ be ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

Paradox with Gauss' law when space is uniformly charged everywhere

Consider that space is uniformly charged everywhere, i.e., filled with a uniform charge distribution, $\rho$, everywhere. By symmetry, the electric field is zero everywhere. (If I take any point in ...
11
votes
1answer
246 views

Do image charges radiate?

Suppose I have a charge moving back and forth above an infinite, grounded, conducting plane. Can I calculate the total radiated power by using image charges? That is, are the scalar and vector ...
11
votes
1answer
261 views

How can I find the position of an image charge when the boundary is parabolic or hyperbolic?

If the position of some charge $Q$ is known, the boundary condition is $u=0$ on some parabolic surface, and we know the image charge has its electric volume of $Q'$, then how can I determine the ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Will a giant ball of protons form a black hole?

Suppose you have enough energy and resources to put together (in a momentarily static configuration in which they are all at rest at the same time) as many protons as you want to form a "proton star". ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it possible to charge photons

For example there are anti-particles to every particle we know, Similary in some sense, is there a possibility that we can charge photons..if not what are the reasons and has there been any attempt ...
9
votes
4answers
988 views

Why are there no elementary charged, spin-zero particles?

In the spirit of a related inquiry, I would like to know if there's a basis for understanding why there aren't any elementary particles that have non-zero electric charge but zero spin? Can such a ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do we need Higgs field to re-explain mass, but not charge?

We already had definition of mass based on gravitational interactions since before Higgs. It's similar to charge which is defined based on electromagnetic interactions of particles. Why did Higgs ...
9
votes
1answer
709 views

Solve my confusion about electrons?

When a glass rod is rubbed with a silk cloth, both get charged: The silk gets positively charged and the rod gets negatively charged. My question is the following: How/why do these objects return to ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

why dosen't a charged particle radiate energy in circular motion in a uniform magnetic field?

I have studied in my Physics course that one of the drawbacks of Rutherford's atomic model was that when an electron will revolve around the nucleus, it is undergoing acceleration and so it should ...
9
votes
2answers
565 views

Is electric charge truly conserved for bosonic matter?

Even before quantization, charged bosonic fields exhibit a certain "self-interaction". The body of this post demonstrates this fact, and the last paragraph asks the question. Notation/ Lagrangians ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

Why do quarks have a fractional charge?

I am aware that evidence exists that strongly suggests the existence of quarks and do not doubt it. It is just simply really weird to me that they can have a fractional charge. While other ...
8
votes
6answers
937 views

What prevents the accumulation of charge in a black hole?

What prevents a static black hole from accumulating more charge than its maximum? Is it just simple Coulomb repulsion? Is the answer the same for rotating black holes? Edit What I understand from ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

How many kinds of “weak charges” exist?

For electricity, we have one charge, for the strong force three. How many are there connected to the weak force? Three, because of the W- and Z-particles?
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do clouds appear black?

I have noticed clouds appearing black during rain. But I don't know what makes clouds to acquire that colour. This phenomenon doesn't appear every rainfall. There has to be distinction to white ...
8
votes
1answer
17k views

Does a positive or negative charge attract a neutral object?

Three objects are brought close to each other, two at a time. When objects A and B are brought together, they attract. When objects B and C are brought together, they repel. From this, we conclude ...
8
votes
1answer
231 views

Charge of the muon

In the Wikipedia article of Muon, it says ...with unitary negative electric charge of roughly -1 and a spin of 1/2, What are they trying to convey with the "roughly"? Aren't the allowed values ...
8
votes
2answers
373 views

What is the condition for accelerating charge to radiate?

I was always taught that any accelerating charge produces radiation, but I don't think this condition is sufficient condition. For instance, any free charge on Earth is accelerated due to Earth ...
8
votes
2answers
88 views

Two charged black holes in equilibrium

Consider a pair of (possibly rotating) charged black holes with masses m1, m2 and like charges q1, q2. It seems that under certain conditions gravitational attraction should exactly cancel ...
8
votes
1answer
592 views

Charge neutrality of the Universe: evidences and theories

I've always wondered why the number of protons in the Universe exactly matches the number of electrons. They are such different particles with totally different cross sections. So, first of all, is ...
8
votes
1answer
309 views

Theoretical reasons for charge quantization

I'm aware of Millikan's oil drop experiment and I've read that quarks have fractional eletric charge, but I was wondering if there's any theoretical argument that makes us believe charge is quantized. ...
7
votes
3answers
5k views

How is possible for current to flow so fast when charge flows so slow?

How is possible for current to flow so fast when charge flows so slow? We know electrons travel very slowly while charge travels at ~the speed of light.
7
votes
5answers
16k views

How can I prevent my son building up static on his trampoline? [duplicate]

Whenever my three year old son plays on his trampoline, it doesn't take very long for him to start building up a significant amount of static electricity. His hair stands on end (which is quite ...
7
votes
4answers
5k views

How does positive charge spread out in conductors?

I know that when there are excess positive charges in a conductor, for example, a metal sphere, the positive charges will spread out over its surface. However, I am confused about how this excess ...
7
votes
2answers
670 views

How quark electric charge directly have been measured?

How quarks electric charge directly have been measured when quarks never directly observed in isolation? (Due to a phenomenon known as color confinement.)
7
votes
3answers
929 views

Does the Higgs field really explain mass or just reformulate it? What about charge?

The mass of a particle used to be considered a fundamental and intrinsic property of the particle; on the same level as other properties such as charge, spin, chirality/helicity. Due to the Higgs ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Electric charge in string theory

The mass of an elementary particle in string theory is related with the way the string vibrates. The more frantically a string vibrates the more energy it posses and hence the more massive it is. My ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Noether theorem and classical proof of electric charge conservation

How to prove conservation of electric charge using Noether's theorem according to classical (non-quantum) mechanics? I know the proof based on using Klein–Gordon field, but that derivation use ...
7
votes
1answer
80 views

How did scientists manage to measure the charge of electron so precisely?

According to the latest CODATA reports the charge of electron is known very precisely $\approx 1.6021765314 \times 10^{-19}$. My question is: How is this charge determined with such high precision? ...
6
votes
4answers
987 views

If the quarks in a neutron are (up,down,down), why isn't it negatively charged?

If the quarks in a neutron are (up,down,down), why isn't it negatively charged? Excuse the silly question, just wondering.
6
votes
3answers
520 views

Negative Mass and gravitation

Since Newtonian gravity is analogous to electrostatics shouldn't there be something called negative mass? Also, a moving charge generates electric field, but why doesn't a moving mass generate some ...
6
votes
3answers
525 views

Charging a black hole?

What would happen if we have a black hole and we start shooting at it a single electron at a time, and go on doing it forever? Would the electrons start to bounce off eventually?
6
votes
9answers
23k views

Why is the charge transferred by electrons and not by protons?

Charges are transferred by electrons which we all know. But why can't it be transferred by protons? Well, I searched on Google where I found similar questions already being asked on many sites. ...