Definition:Electric Charge

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Definition

Electric charge is a physical quantity of matter which causes it to experience a force when near other electrically charged matter.

It is a scalar quantity.


Quantum

Electric charge has been demonstrated to be quantized.

The quantum of electric charge is the elementary charge $e$:

$e = 1.60217 \, 6634 \times 10^{−19}$ coulombs exactly.

This is so small that to all practical purposes in everyday measurement of electricity, it can be treated as though it were continuous.


Dimension

The dimension of measurement of electric charge is $\mathsf {I T}$.


Units

The SI unit of electric charge is the coulomb $\mathrm C$.


Sign

The sign of an electric charge can be one of $2$ types:


Positive Electric Charge

A positive electric charge is an electric charge which is of the same sign as the electric charge on a proton.

When it is necessary to assign a value to a positive electric charge, a $+$ (plus) sign is used, and the value assigned is a positive number.


Negative Electric Charge

A negative electric charge is an electric charge which is of the same sign as the electric charge on an electron.

When it is necessary to assign a value to a negative electric charge, a $-$ (minus) sign is used, and the value assigned is a negative number.


Neutral

A body which has no electric charge on it is described as (electrically) neutral.


Sources