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written by Tom Henderson
supported by the National Science Foundation
This a four-part interactive tutorial on the basics of electrostatics, developed for teachers and learners of introductory physics. It introduces electric force in the context of charge interaction and helps build conceptual awareness of charged objects as an imbalance of protons and electrons. After laying the conceptual groundwork, follow-up lessons include charge polarization, methods of charging, Coulomb's Law, and electric field. Each section contains problem sets allowing users to self-test their understanding.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Electricity & Magnetism
- Electric Fields and Potential
= Electric Field
- Electrostatics
- High School
- Middle School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Collection
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Tutorial
- Reference Material
- Audio/Visual
= Illustration
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Lesson Plan
- Activity
- Assessment
- New teachers
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Intended Users:
Learner
Educator
Formats:
text/html
image/jpeg
video/quicktime
Access Rights:
Free access
Restriction:
© 1996 Tom Henderson
NSF Number:
0840768
Keywords:
Coulomb, charge, charging by friction, conductors, electric field, electric force, grounding, induction, insulators, inverse square relationships, online quizzes, online tutorial, quizzes, static electricity, student activities, student tutorial
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created June 21, 2010 by Shane Allison
Record Updated:
November 23, 2010 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
August 31, 2010

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (1993 Version)

4. THE PHYSICAL SETTING

D. The Structure of Matter
  • 4D (9-12) #1.  Atoms are made of a positive nucleus surrounded by negative electrons. An atom's electron configuration, particularly the outermost electrons, determines how the atom can interact with other atoms. Atoms form bonds to other atoms by transferring or sharing electrons.
G. Forces of Nature
  • 4G (9-12) #3.  There are two kinds of charges?positive and negative. Like charges repel one another, opposite charges attract. In materials, there are almost exactly equal proportions of positive and negative charges, making the materials as a whole electrically neutral. Negative charges, being associated with electrons, are far more mobile in materials than positive charges are. A very small excess or deficit of negative charges in a material produces noticeable electric forces.
  • 4G (9-12) #4.  Different kinds of materials respond differently to electric forces. In conducting materials such as metals, electric charges flow easily, whereas in insulating materials such as glass, they can move hardly at all. At very low temperatures, some materials become superconductors and offer no resistance to the flow of current. In between these extremes, semiconducting materials differ greatly in how well they conduct, depending on their exact composition.

This resource is part of 2 Physics Front Topical Units.


Topic: "Static" Electricity
Unit Title: Teaching About Electrostatics

Looking for a refresher on the basics of electrostatics? This tutorial from The Physics Classroom does a solid job with explaining basic charge interactions, electric force and Coulomb's Law, electric field and action-at-a-distance, and methods of charging.

Links to Units:

Topic: "Static" Electricity
Unit Title: Static Electricity for the Early Grades

Looking for a refresher on the basics of electrostatics? This tutorial from The Physics Classroom does a solid job with explaining basic charge interactions, electric force and Coulomb's Law, electric field and action-at-a-distance, and methods of charging.

Link to Unit:
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AIP Format
T. Henderson, (1996), WWW Document, (http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/estatics/).
AJP/PRST-PER
T. Henderson, The Physics Classroom: Static Electricity (1996), <http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/estatics/>.
APA Format
Henderson, T. (2010, August 31). The Physics Classroom: Static Electricity. Retrieved April 20, 2014, from http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/estatics/
Chicago Format
Henderson, Tom. The Physics Classroom: Static Electricity. August 31, 2010. http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/estatics/ (accessed 20 April 2014).
MLA Format
Henderson, Tom. The Physics Classroom: Static Electricity. 1996. 31 Aug. 2010. National Science Foundation. 20 Apr. 2014 <http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/estatics/>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Tom Henderson", Title = {The Physics Classroom: Static Electricity}, Volume = {2014}, Number = {20 April 2014}, Month = {August 31, 2010}, Year = {1996} }
Refer Export Format

%A Tom Henderson
%T The Physics Classroom: Static Electricity
%D August 31, 2010
%U http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/estatics/
%O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%A Henderson, Tom
%D August 31, 2010
%T The Physics Classroom: Static Electricity
%V 2014
%N 20 April 2014
%8 August 31, 2010
%9 text/html
%U http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/estatics/


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