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written by Tom Henderson and the National Science Foundation
This tutorial for introductory physics explores the inverse square relationship between electrostatic force and separation distance, with descriptions, definitions and explanations of how electrostatic forces obey the inverse square law. An interactive question-and-answer set allows students to self-test their understanding.

This page is part of The Physics Classroom tutorials for students of introductory physics. SEE RELATED ITEMS on this page for a link to a closely related tutorial on Coulomb's Law by the same author.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Electricity & Magnetism
- Electrostatics
= Coulomb's Law
Other Sciences
- Mathematics
- High School
- Instructional Material
= Curriculum
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
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Intended User:
Learner
Format:
text/html
Access Rights:
Free access
Restriction:
© 2006
Restrictions depend upon use.
Keywords:
Coulomb's Law, electrostatic force, electrostatics, inverse square law
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created November 18, 2006 by Cathy Ezrailson
Record Updated:
June 25, 2011 by Tom Henderson
Last Update
when Cataloged:
January 1, 2006

This resource is part of 2 Physics Front Topical Units.


Topic: "Static" Electricity
Unit Title: Electric Force

Inverse relationships are common in nature. In electrostatics, the electrical force between 2 charged objects is inversely related to the distance that separates them. This interactive tutorial from The Physics Classroom is the best we've found on the web for exploring and applying the inverse square law to electrostatics forces.

Link to Unit:

Topic: "Static" Electricity
Unit Title: Electric Force

Inverse relationships are common in nature. In electrostatics, the electrical force between 2 charged objects is inversely related to the distance that separates them. This interactive tutorial from The Physics Classroom is the best we've found on the web for exploring and applying the inverse square law to electrostatics forces. Great refresher for K-8 science teachers!

Links to Units:
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Record Link
AIP Format
T. Henderson and National Science Foundation, (2006), WWW Document, (http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/estatics/u8l3c.cfm).
AJP/PRST-PER
T. Henderson and National Science Foundation, The Physics Classroom: Electric Force - Inverse Square Law (2006), <http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/estatics/u8l3c.cfm>.
APA Format
Henderson, T., & National Science Foundation. (2006, January 1). The Physics Classroom: Electric Force - Inverse Square Law. Retrieved July 30, 2014, from http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/estatics/u8l3c.cfm
Chicago Format
Henderson, Tom, and National Science Foundation. The Physics Classroom: Electric Force - Inverse Square Law. January 1, 2006. http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/estatics/u8l3c.cfm (accessed 30 July 2014).
MLA Format
Henderson, Tom, and National Science Foundation. The Physics Classroom: Electric Force - Inverse Square Law. 2006. 1 Jan. 2006. 30 July 2014 <http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/estatics/u8l3c.cfm>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Tom Henderson and National Science Foundation", Title = {The Physics Classroom: Electric Force - Inverse Square Law}, Volume = {2014}, Number = {30 July 2014}, Month = {January 1, 2006}, Year = {2006} }
Refer Export Format

%A Tom Henderson
%T The Physics Classroom: Electric Force - Inverse Square Law
%D January 1, 2006
%U http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/estatics/u8l3c.cfm
%O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%A Henderson, Tom
%A National Science Foundation,
%D January 1, 2006
%T The Physics Classroom: Electric Force - Inverse Square Law
%V 2014
%N 30 July 2014
%8 January 1, 2006
%9 text/html
%U http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/estatics/u8l3c.cfm


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The Physics Classroom: Electric Force - Inverse Square Law:

Supplements The Physics Classroom: Electric Force - Coulomb's Law

This tutorial by the same author provides an overview of Coulomb's Law with practice problems for the beginning physics student.

relation by Caroline Hall
Has Student Extra Flickr Physics

Visit The Physics Classroom's Flickr Galleries and enjoy a photo overview of the topic of static electricity.

relation by Tom Henderson
Has Student Extra The Calculator Pad

Improve your problem-solving skills with problems, answers and solutions from The Calculator Pad.

relation by Tom Henderson
Has Teaching Guide Curriculum Corner

Practice makes perfect with this computational activity from The Curriculum Corner.

relation by Tom Henderson
Has Teaching Guide Electric Field: What is Wrong? Package

This package of six EJS simulations from Open Source Physics (OSP) is incorrectly programmed with the intent of challenging students to identify the error. A great brain-teaser in electrostatics.

relation by Tom Henderson

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