Charging of an Object

This principle can be applied elsewhere. Think bigger. Let's say one million billion atoms all together. So basically you've got this big ball of hydrogen (pretend for a second that hydrogren wouldn't be a gas). In this big ball most of the electrons leave.

So now you have some million billion protons and oh about 20 electrons. What do you have (don't think, just say negative or positive). In this way objects can be charged but there are various ways of actually getting the electrons off or onto the object.

Right about now you probably saying "so why do these electrons move anyway??" - So you probably weren't thinking just that but let's all close our eyes really tightly and pretend you were asking that OK? When electrons are not in an electric field they stay in a comfortable even distribution. But if something positive comes near (remember electrons dig positive charges) they all try and go towards the positive charge.

So think of it this way, if you have a big ball of neutrally charged atoms with the same number of electrons and protons you would have something that looked like this.

Ball 2
[ +- +- +- +- +-+-] or [ = = = = ==]

Then you have another ball which is strongly positively charged near the neutrally charged ball. All the electrons in the neutral ball are going to try and get as close as they can to the positive ball.

 Ball 1 Ball 2 [ + + ++ + +] [------ + ++ + + +]

(Note the balls are not touching so the electrons are not able to change balls.)

In this way you can make the ball on the right charged on one side with a negative charge and on the other with a positive charge. [Negative | positive]

 View of how the charge arranges itself Close view of how the protons and electrons arrange themselves

If you take away the positive ball (ball 1) then the neutrally charged ball (ball 2) goes back to normal. [ +- +- +- +- +-]

Remember, as long as all the electrons stay on the ball, the entire ball's net charge is neutral, as long as everything added up together still equals zero.

If the balls do touch, the electrons have the chance to move from one of the balls to the other. This would produce two positive balls but they would have an even distribution of electrons.

 Ball 1 Ball 2 [- + + -+ + -++] [- ++ -+ + -+ +]

Methods of Charging

Induction : (the previous example with the balls) By bringing a charged object near something, the charge on the object distills itself accordingly. While the balls weren't touching and one was positive on one side but negative on the other, it was charging by induction.

Conduction : When an object is close enough to another charged object so that electrons are able to pass between them. When the two balls touched it became conduction.

How much is charge anyway?

Charge is given the unit of a Coulomb. An electron has 1.6*10-19C. Because the charge of an electron comes up so much in physics a short hand symbol is used for it: "e." So if you see 4e it just means 4 times 1.6*10-19C.

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