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

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35
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7answers
2k 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?
35
votes
7answers
2k 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?
18
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1answer
1k 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 ...
17
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
16
votes
7answers
5k 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
284 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
186 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
293 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
446 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 ...
9
votes
0answers
156 views

Is the Hawking radiation of a charged black hole thermal?

Suppose you have a Schwarzschild black hole of mass $M$ and angular parameter $a = 0$ (no rotation). Question: is it possible to throw a charge $Q$ at a faster rate than it will be re-radiated? Will ...
8
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 ...
8
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
653 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
148 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
200 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
1answer
1k 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
6answers
701 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
366 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
3k views

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

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
2answers
572 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
385 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, ...
7
votes
1answer
127 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
0answers
119 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 position of ...
6
votes
3answers
404 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
2answers
277 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.)
6
votes
1answer
596 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
179 views

If electrons behave as standing waves when they are bound to an atom then how do they carry charge?

Today in my physics lesson we learnt that the best way of describing the behaviour of an electron that is bound to an atom is to treat it as a standing wave. I understand that this is the ...
6
votes
1answer
649 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
135 views

Lorentz covariance of the Noether charge

The invariance under translation leads to the conserved energy-momentum tensor $\Theta_{\mu\nu}$ satisfying $\partial^\mu\Theta_{\mu\nu}=0$, from which we get the conserved quantity$$P^\nu=\int ...
5
votes
4answers
862 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.
5
votes
1answer
3k views

What defines the maximum charge a capacitor can store?

The formula for a capacitor discharging is $Q=Q_0e^{-\frac{t}{RC}}$ Where $Q_0$ is the maximum charge. But what property defines the maximum charge a capacitor can store? If it depends on ...
5
votes
3answers
323 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
433 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
707 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
202 views

Charge Analog of the Higgs Boson?

Since mass can be given to particles via the interaction with the Higgs Field could there be a "Charger Field" that supplies particles with charge? Possibly this would require two different "charger ...
5
votes
4answers
365 views

How electron movement produces current,instead of having a slow drift speed

Just need a clarification here, how the current is produced due to the movement of electrons, in an external circuit,having a very slow drift speed. Normally in a battery there is high potential ...
5
votes
1answer
118 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

What happens to capacitor’s charge when the plates are moved further apart?

In my physics textbook there is an example of using capacitor switches in computer keyboard: Pressing the key pushes two capacitor plates closer together, increasing their capacitance. A larger ...
5
votes
1answer
640 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
194 views

Density of repulsive particles on a disk?

NB: the external circle (where particle or water is in it) is fixed ! It's a 2D theoretical problem (just for understand something in particular). Here, no gravity, no temperature. I put in a disk a ...
5
votes
3answers
170 views

How do charge carriers move thermal energy? (Peltier effect)

I am having hard time understanding how the charge carriers (electrons and holes) are able to move thermal energy. I am on a high school physics level, so I will probably have a hard time ...
4
votes
3answers
315 views

Change in attraction of charged bodies

If I insert a piece of glass between two objects carrying different charges, would they still attract? If they attract, does the piece of glass affect the force of attraction and is there any formula ...
4
votes
2answers
186 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
157 views

If nature exhibits symmetry, why don't up and down quarks have equal magnitude of electric charge?

I always hear people saying symmetry is beautiful, nature is symmetric intrinsically, physics and math show the inherent symmetry in nature et cetera, et cetera. Today I learned that half of the ...
4
votes
2answers
196 views

Will there be any force of attraction or repulsion between an electrified body and a non-electrified body?

Up to my knowledge an electrified (charged) body can attract a non-electrified (neutral) body. I thought this because, when we bring a charged (suppose negatively charged) body near a neutral one. ...
4
votes
2answers
332 views

Sum total distance of electrons on a spherical surface

What is the sum total distance between every possible pair of point charges when there are n point charges on a spherical surface? All point charges can only and are located on the infinitesimal ...
4
votes
1answer
81 views

Would it be consistent with QED to have leptons of different charges?

A recent question, Equality of electric charges of all leptons, made me wonder about a specific aspect of why exactly the charges of the different (free) fundamental particles are all the same. ...
4
votes
3answers
103 views

Charge signs in current

I've had recently an argument with my friend about different charge carriers in an electric current. Suppose that electrons and holes are moving in the same direction. It effectively means we have ...
4
votes
1answer
496 views

How much negative charge do I accumulate by touching the earth?

The Earth carries a negative electric charge of roughly 500 thousand Coulombs (according to different sources I've seen). If I touch the Earth I should therefore pick up some of this electric charge ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

Why does the comb attract the pieces of papers if they're neutral?

When we rub our hairs with a comb, and then try to attract small pieces of paper, they're attracted by the comb. The pieces of the paper were not electrified before they were attracted. Then they ...