A fundamental and empirical law quantifying the electrostatic force between two charges.

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Can Maxwell's equations be derived from Coulomb's Law and Special Relativity?

As an exercise I sat down and derived the magnetic field produced by moving charges for a few contrived situations. I started out with Coulomb's Law and Special Relativity. For example, I derived the ...
39
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5answers
3k views

Does Coulomb's Law, with Gauss's Law, imply the existence of only three spatial dimensions?

Coulomb's Law states that the fall-off of the strength of the electrostatic force is inversely proportional to the distance squared of the charges. Gauss's law implies that a the total flux through a ...
26
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4answers
8k views

Why do same/opposite electric charges repel/attract each other, respectively?

I know plus pushes another plus away, but why, really, do they do that? On the other hand, molecules of the same type are attracted to each other. I find that weird. I do know some stuff about four ...
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4answers
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Why are so many forces explainable using inverse squares when space is three dimensional?

It seems paradoxical that the strength of so many phenomena (Newtonian gravity, Coulomb force) are calculable by the inverse square of distance. However, since volume is determined by three ...
15
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2answers
870 views

Is Newton's universal gravitational constant the inverse of permittivity of mass in vacuum?

Is it possible to consider Newton's universal gravitational constant, $G$, as inverse of vacuum permittivity of mass? $$\epsilon_m=\frac {1}{4\pi G}$$ if so, then vacuum permeability of mass will ...
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2answers
377 views

Why is there no permittivity-type constant for gravitation?

When I look at electric or magnetic fields, each of them has a constant that defines how a field affects or is affected by a medium. For example, electric fields in vacuum have a permittivity constant ...
11
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6answers
590 views

What is the range of the validity of Coulomb's law?

What is the smallest and biggest distance in which Coulomb's law is valid? Please provide a reference to a scientific journal or book. Just saying that this law is valid from this range to that range ...
11
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2answers
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Using photons to explain electrostatic force

I am trying to understand the idea of a force carrier with the following example. Let's say there are two charges $A$ and $B$ that are a fixed distance from each other. What is causing the force on ...
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3answers
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Coulomb force in SI and cgs

Coulomb force in SI is $ F = \frac{Q1*Q2}{4\pi\varepsilon R^{2}} $ while in CGS $ F = \frac{Q1*Q2}{R^{2}} $ why is it? I mean doesn't it any make difference in dimension? since $ \varepsilon $ ...
10
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1answer
351 views

How the inverse square law in electrodynamics is related to photon mass?

I have read somewhere that one of the tests of the inverse square law is to assume nonzero mass for photon and then, by finding a maximum limit for it , determine a maximum possible error in ...
9
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7answers
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Why is there a factor of $4\pi$ in certain force equations?

I mean to ask why there is $4\pi$ present in force equations governing electricity? Though all objects in universe are not spherical and circular, the constant of proportionality in both equations ...
9
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3answers
473 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
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4answers
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Are the Maxwell's equations enough to derive the law of Coulomb?

Are the 8 Maxwell's equations enough to derive the formula for the electromagnetic field created by a stationary point charge, which is the same as the law of Coulomb? If I am not mistaken, due to ...
7
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1answer
155 views

Classical vs. quantum energy of the hydrogen atom

If I have an electron and a proton and calculate the classical energy which I get by bringing the electron from infinity to the distance of a Bohr radius to the proton, I get 27.2 eV, but the electron ...
7
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2answers
2k views

Coulomb potential in 2D

I know that the Coulomb potential is logarithmic is two dimensions, and that (see for instance this paper: http://pil.phys.uniroma1.it/~satlongrange/abstracts/samaj.pdf) a length scale naturally ...
7
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1answer
151 views

Does QED provide a closed form for Coulomb logarithms?

The classical models for the integrand as well as the cut-offs in computing the Coulomb logarithm are pretty rough. Does quantum electrodynamics have definite expressions for the quantity ...
6
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2answers
564 views

How does one show using QED that same/opposite electric charges repel/attract each other, respectively?

Why do same charges repel each other and opposite charges attract each other (please explain the phenomenon using real laws of nature (QED) not with the approximation model)?
6
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5answers
204 views

Is Coulomb's law accurate for moving charges?

Can we use Coulomb's law to calculate the force between two charges which are not at rest? If not, what formula should be used to calculate the force? I searched it, but I couldn't find a clear ...
5
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0answers
266 views

Modified Coulomb potential

I'm working through Byron and Fuller's "Mathematics of Classical and Quantum Physics" and came across this problem: If the electric potential of a point charge were $\phi(r) = ...
4
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3answers
376 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
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3answers
220 views

Precision of Coulomb's law

Up to which precision has the coulomb law proven to be true? I.e. if you have two electrons in a vacuum chamber, 5 meters appart, have the third order terms been ruled out? Are there any theoretical ...
4
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3answers
2k views

Coulomb's Law: why is $k = \dfrac{1}{4\pi\epsilon_0}$ [duplicate]

This was supposed to be a long question but something went wrong and everything I typed was lost. Here goes. Why is $k = \dfrac{1}{4\pi\epsilon_0}$ in Coulomb's law? Is this an experimental fact? ...
4
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2answers
300 views

When studying electrodynamics do we assume Maxwell's Equations or derive them?

This question is because something made me confused. I always thought that the idea behind electrodynamics was to postulate some things, like Coulomb's law in electrostatics and so on, and then ...
4
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1answer
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How is Gauss' Law (integral form) arrived at from Coulomb's Law, and how is the differential form arrived at from that?

On a similar note: when using Gauss' Law, do you even begin with Coulomb's law, or does one take it as given that flux is the surface integral of the Electric field in the direction of the normal to ...
4
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1answer
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What are the limits of applicability of Coulomb's Law?

Coulomb's law is formally parallel to Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation, which is known to give way to General Relativity for very large masses. Does Coulomb's Law have any similar limits of ...
3
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2answers
139 views

Relation between Gauss' law and Coulomb's law

In Coulomb's law if the relation was as if electric field intensity was to vary inversely $1/r$ with distance rather than the inverse $1/r^2$ of square of distance, would the Gauss's law still be ...
3
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1answer
135 views

Units for physical constants

Someone told me that units for $G$ and $\epsilon_0$ (gravitational constant and Coulomb's constant) are placed there simply to make equations work dimensionally and that there is no real physical ...
3
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1answer
230 views

Information content of the electrostatic Maxwell equations vs Coulomb's Law vs Poisson's Equation

In electrostatics, we have Maxwell's equations: $\nabla \cdot E = \rho$ $\nabla \times E = 0$ These four equations (the second line standing for three equations) can also be written in terms of the ...
3
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1answer
233 views

Coulomb potential

It is known that the Coulomb potential can be obtained by Fourier transform of the propagator from E&M. Is this because one of Maxwell's equations have the form $\nabla \cdot \mathbf{E}=\rho$?
3
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1answer
51 views

The Physics Behind Chemical Bonding

Ok so here's the problem: say I'm a sodium atom. It is 'charged' at +1e. A partner Chlorine atom is flying about, also 'charged' at -1e. According to chemistry (or rather the measurement of the ...
2
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4answers
3k views

The relation between Gauss's law and Coulomb law and why is it important that the electric field decrease proportionally to $\frac{1}{r^{2}}$?

My question relates to the third MIT's video lecture about Electricity and Magnetism, specifically from $21:18-22:00$ : http://youtu.be/XaaP1bWFjDA?t=21m18s I have watched the development of Gauss's ...
2
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2answers
299 views

Newton's Law of Graviation: Why $G$ and not e.g. $\dfrac{1}{4\pi G_0}$?

I've been wondering, in Coulomb's Law, $k_e = \dfrac{1}{4\pi\epsilon_0}$. Therefore, why do we use $G$ in Newton's Law of Gravitation? What if the constant is more like Coulomb's Law, e.g. $G = ...
2
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2answers
4k views

Why exactly does current carrying two current wires attract/repel?

When to parallel wires carrying currents in same direction I1 & I2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43AeuDvWc0k this video demonstrates that effect. My question is, why exactly does this happen? ...
2
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2answers
188 views

My conundrum with Gauss’ law in electrostatics

If I use Gauss’ law to calculate the electric field outside of a charged (conducting or insulating) sphere or a point charge, the fields are the same. However, as a test approaches a point charge, the ...
2
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2answers
1k views

Electric potential due to a point charge in Gaussian/CGS units

I learned electrostatics in SI units. In SI, the electrostatic potential due to a point charge $q$ located at $\textbf{r}$ is given by $\Phi(\textbf{r}) = \frac{q}{4 \pi \epsilon_0 |\textbf{r}|}$. ...
2
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2answers
31 views

Electrostatics - Inserting a brass plate between two charges

The question is: if I were to insert a brass plate between two charges, what will happen to the force between the charges? Would it increase, decrease or stay the same? Does the brass plate increase ...
2
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1answer
41 views

What would happen if charged plates are placed horizontally?

My idea is placing charged conducting plates in such a way that they won't see each others' surfaces unlikely to the typical design of parallel plates. If they are placed like this, would be the force ...
2
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1answer
240 views

Coulomb interaction as virtual particles exchange?

I've been reading about virtual particle exchanges in physics books and in Physics SA posts, where a particle interpretation of gravity and Coulomb interaction is established. The Feynman Diagram ...
2
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1answer
51 views

Why do we take the value of the constant in Coulomb's law as $\frac{1}{4\pi\varepsilon_0}$? [duplicate]

Why do we take the value of the constant in Coulomb's law as $\frac{1}{4\pi\varepsilon_0}$?
1
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3answers
2k views

Similarity between the Coulomb force and Newton's gravitational force

Coulomb force and gravitational force has the same governing equation. So they should be same in nature. A moving electric charge creates magnetic field, so a moving mass should create some force ...
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2answers
138 views

Is it possible to calculate the force exerted by two unequal charge, separately?

According to the Coulomb's law, when two equal like point charges are placed 1m from each other the force between them is 9 * 109. But if two unequal like point charges are placed, the bigger charge ...
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2answers
154 views

How to check units?

I've got: $Q=\frac{Er^2}{k}$ how to check the units? I start with $\left[\frac{\text V}{\text m} \, \text m^2\right]$, tried replacing $[ \text V ]$ with $\left[ \frac{\text J}{\text C} \right]$, but ...
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2answers
108 views

The fundamental equations of electromagnetism

I'd like to know what are the basic equations of electromagnetism, that can be used to formulate all the other laws and equations. Those basic equations I can think of are Maxwell equations, Lorentz ...
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2answers
377 views

In which cases is it better to use Gauss' law?

I could, for example calculate the electric field near a charged rod of infinite length using the classic definition of the electric field, and integrating the: $$ \overrightarrow{dE} = \frac{dq}{4 ...
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3answers
668 views

Electrostatic Potential Energy

I have read many books on Mechanics and Electrodynamics and the one thing that has confused me about electrostatic potential energy is its derivation .One of the classical derivations is : ...
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3answers
783 views

2 dimensional Coulomb's law equation

We can notice that in the Coulomb's law equation, $$\begin{equation}\tag{1}F=\frac{1}{4\pi\epsilon}\cdot\frac{q_1q_2}{r^2}\end{equation} $$ $4\pi r^2$ factor in the denominator expresses directly ...
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1answer
168 views

Coulomb force on the center of a hexagon?

Six point charges $q$ are at the corners of a regular hexagon that has sides of length $a$. What is the force on another charge $Q$ which is located in the center of the hexagon? What is the force on ...
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2answers
346 views

Coulomb's law and Plasma

Does Coulomb's law apply to Plasma?
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1answer
116 views

Why Gauss' law is applied?

Why Gauss' law is applied? Why is there a need of finding electric field by Gauss' law if we can find the electric field through Coulomb's law? or has it got more applications than Coulomb's law?
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1answer
257 views

Finding the electric field on a point (x,y,z) using Coulomb's Law

Using Gauss' Law, the answer is $$\frac{Q}{4 \pi \epsilon R^2}.$$ However if I were to do the integration using Coulomb's Law, I get $$ \int_0^{2\pi} \int_{0}^{\pi}\int_r^a \frac{\rho \sin\theta dR ...