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Chapter 17 Objectives:
 Understand the basic properties of electric charges.
 Differentiate between insulators and conductors.
 Distinguish between charging by contact and charging by induction.
 Calculate electric force using Coulomb’s Law.
 Compare electric force to gravitational force.
 Apply the superposition principle to find resultant force on a charge and to find
where the net force on a charge is zero.
 Calculate electric field strength.
 Draw and interpret electric field lines.
 Identify the four properties associated with a conductor in electrostatic
Chapter 17 Key Ideas
 There are two kinds of electric charge; likes repel and unlikes attract.
 Electric charge is conserved.
 The fundamental unit of charge, e, is the charge of a single electron or proton.
 Conductors and insulators can be charged by contact. Conductors can also be
charged by induction. A surface charge can be induced on an insulator by
 According to Coulomb’s Law, the electric field between two charges is
proportional to the magnitude of the charges and inversely proportional to the
square of the distance between them. (F=k(q1q2)/r2)
 The electric force is a field force.
 The resultant electric force on any charge is the vector sum of the individual
electric forces on that charge.
 An electric field exists in the region around a charged object.
 Electric field strength depends on the magnitude of the charge producing the field
and the distance between the charge and a point in the field.
 The direction of the electric field vector E is the direction in which an electric
force would act on a positive test charge.
 Field lines are tangent to the electric field vector at any point, and the number of
lines is proportional to the magnitude of the field strength.
Key Terms
Conductor, insulator, electric field, electric field lines, induction