If we put a negative charge in the field of a positive charge and I know that the two charges attract each other, will the two charges attract each other until they touch?


1 Answer 1


If the system is isolated at what you described, yes: the two particles will be attracted by the Coulomb force

$ \vec{F_{Coul}} = k_e\cdot \frac{q_{neg}\cdot q_{pos}}{r^2}\cdot\vec{u_{r}} = \frac{d(m\vec{v})}{dt}$

with r the distance between the two particles and $\vec{u_r}$ the versor of the line that joins the two particles.

So they will move with velocity $\vec{v}$ towards each other (obviously, the motion is computed for each of them separately).

When they touch, however, depending of the nature of the particles there can be some energetic exchange, impact, or chemical bonding... Surely there would be a repelling force between the nuclei of the atoms once they reach the boundary distance.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.