Electrostatics - Coulomb's Law

Thread Starter


Joined Jan 18, 2005
Charles Augustin Coulomb June 14, 1736 - August 23, 1806. Was a French Physicist.
Coulomb created a device known as a torsion balance which could accurately calculate the force exerted between point charges. This force was explained as such: "The force exerted between two point charges is equal to the product of their strength and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them". This statement/law is known as Coulomb's Law or The Inverse Square Law.
As a formula this becomes:F = (Q1 * Q2)/(r2)
In vaccum or free space this formula is adapted to include the constant of proportionality which is 1/4π. Also in free space the permittivity of free space is equal to 1/36π x 10-9(given the greek letter ε (epsilon) o = εo), the fromula becomes.
F = (Q1 * Q2)/4π εo r2
Although a useful concept it would be beneficial to know the strength the force exerted on the other charge, known as the electric field strength/intensity. To do this one charge is fixed say Q1 and the other Q2 is allowed to move. To calculate the force per unit charge or rather force per Q2 we divide the formula for Coulomb's Law by Q2, giving a new vector E which is;
E = Q1/4πεor2
We now have a way of determining the strength of an electric field, or the force field of one (fixed) charge acting on another (moveable) charge.

Remembering that the electric field strength is defined as a moveable point charge in the vicinity another fixed charge of the same polarity. An analogy to describe the Force (F) and Electric Field Strength (E) would be to use two magnets;
Take two magnets each with its own North and South Poles (Naturally), now if we move the two magnets towards each other(the direction of the poles e.g. whether north or south are facing each other, is irrelavent) a force is experineced whether it be a force of attraction or repulsion. The force F is that force exerted between the two magnets.
If we now fix the position of one magnet but allow the other to be brought nearer to the other fixed magnet, then what we would notice is that the force which is experienced is that force which the fixed magnet has on the moveable one. Meaning we can now measure the electric field strength of the fixed magnet by noticing how strong the force of attraction or repulsion is on the moveable magnet.

NOTE: The writing package won't allow me to use the power notation, particularly power of 2, so in the above formulae please take the number 2 after a letter/variable to mean square, as in algebra numbers come before variables anyway, thank you)



Joined Dec 20, 2013
There are plenty of electrostatic devices through the ages. I have an X-Y plotter that holds the paper down electrostaticly. For a up to date very modern application of electrostatics in electronics google "electrostatic mems" and read away.


Joined Dec 13, 2013
xerox copiers use electrostatics for copying. charcoal cookers use electrostatic (piezoelectric) igniters. anyone interested in esd should get to know electrostatics.


Joined Nov 13, 2010
I can't remember off the top of my head, but electrostatics is utilised in power plants in such a way it filters the waste smoke ready for discharge into the atmosphere.


Joined Sep 22, 2013
Electrostatics is the father of electronics. It is the E in E=IR. It powers and initiates most circuits. The electric field radiates from charge. And charge is everything. All energy, force and matter come from charge.
So then does Coulomb's Law apply to inter-molecular forces? Is that how it works? It attracts / repels based on the amount of protons / electrons an object contains?

So, if, for example, an atom has 5 Protons & 7 Electrons, it will be attracted to the Positive Charge?

And the same to be true if it were say 50 Protons & 10 Electrons, but this time it would be attracted to the Negative Charge & with more force?

Is this how objects hold themselves together? Like Plastic, Metal, Rocks, etc. ?


Joined Sep 22, 2013
There is a misconception about electric charge and electric fields. Coulomb's law is incomplete. There is only one charge. We do not know what charge is. It seems to be un-bounded energy. We believe it to be neutral. Charge is spherical at rest. Nature insist not only that charge must move....it must accelerate. When charge starts to move several things happen. Charge can not move in straight lines. It twists and spirals. The path of a SPRING. If it springs to the right, it will be known to us a positive charge.....to the left, negative. Charge radiates electric field lines. Field lines come out of both charges. The negative field line has a twist or spring(left hand) to it also. Positive field line a right spring. When a right spring line meets a left spring line head on.......they fall in love and hug one another. When two lefts or two rights head on each other.......it is so distasteful that they spring away from each other. This is what modern scientist call attraction and repulsion. The twist is very slight. You would have to ride a field line a very long way to see it twist. (I personally believe the twist rate is variable due to energy level. But more sensitive sensors and better sims are needed to confirm.) Also a field line has tensile strength. A field line does not like to be distorted or varied from its path. The acceleration causes distortion in the fields lines....and the field line push back trying to stay straight. This is the birth and and first step in the property of inertia and mass. This feedback effect causes the charge to veer to the left at a R(radius). As the acceleration and feedback increase....R decreases. When the charge was at rest is had a spherical radius also....r...small r. As the charge accelerates, the charge sphere deforms and starts to elongate.......to become a cylinder. Small r starts to decrease. Big R and small r are related. More on that later. As the charge approaches the speed of light......and the feedback becomes stronger and stronger......and the charge is elongating.....At a R of about 3E-13m the charge kisses is own ass and becomes a circuit. The Prime circuit. A ring of evenly distributed charge that is spinning at the speed of light. You have just witnessed to birth of a fundamental particle. There is no potential on the ring....its all even. But when the circuit was completed....we have current flow because of charge circulation, not charge potential. This causes a magnetic moment at the origin of R. There is also a misconception of magnetism and magnetic fields. Scientist believe that a magnetic field is caused by accelerating charge. This is not true. You can accelerate charge from now till doomsday.......and you will never see a magnetic field. An electron is confined charge. It already has magnetism. When you accelerate an electron....you add energy to the electric and magnetic field and they will grow. If you accelerate it hard enough......it will radiate an electromagnetic field. But you added energy to existing fields.......you didn't manufacture magnetism. Charge does not make magnetism until it makes a circuit and charge(current) must circulate(flow) for magnetism. Until the charge kisses it’s ass, there is no magnetism. (Once is connects with itself, it forms a rigid circle of charge, but it is elastic and can be deformed, but it doesn't like it.) Magnetic field lines are in some ways like electric lines and in some ways not. Electric lines more or less radiate straight out from the charge. It’s like and open circuit looking for a path. They reach out very far. Magnetic line are always circles around the charge. They are complete circuits. They don’t reach out as far.....and are stronger close in. Let’s stop for a moment. Take a piece of notebook paper and a compass. A drawing compass..not magnetic. Draw a circle with 3” radius. label that radius R. Now set compass for 1/4” radius. Set the compass anywhere on the circumference of the first circle. Now draw a 1/4” circle. Label the radius of the little circle r. Now take that little circle and redraw it everywhere on the large circle. What did you get? You should have got a hula hoop like structure(toroid). Think about that. With just two...two dimensional radii, we get the PRIME structure. The Toroid. Is that simple and elegant or not! Now take a 7” or 8” piece of wire and form it into a loop. Connect a battery and a resistor and run a few milliamps thru the loop. Get a magnetic compass and go all around the inside and outside of the loop. Can you see the magnetic field? All of the magnetic field lines come thru the center of the loop. The lines come up thru the center..go down around the wire and back in at the bottom. There are loops that surround the wire making the hula hoop. They travel and rotate like the small r does around big R in your drawing. Now..........back to the instant right before the charge kisses itself. Nature(it might be space its self, we don’t know yet) has been accelerating that charge and is just at a verge of the speed of light........but that damn distortion of those electric field lines has been fighting it all the way. When the charge kisses......all that electrical field line distortion is converted to the magnetic field lines. Without that electric distortion...the charge can now attain the speed of light. At the speed of light.....the magnetic field is very, very strong.... and confines the charge to a toroidal path. Now the electric part of the charge is trying to leave(or expand) the ring. The magnetic part of the charge is trying to compress(or shrink) the ring. When these two forces balance out........we get a fundamental particle. They say there are four fundamental particles. The electron, proton, anti electron, anti proton. I believe there are two. I believe anti matter is a seldom fluke.. So with 2 fundamental particles we can explain all. Back to electron. Its sitting in space. Now the charge is confined to the toroid due to equal force of electric and magnetic fields. The charge is confined....but the electric and magnetic fields are not confined. Thru these two fields is primarily the main way particles interact. The electric field has almost a spherical shape around the electron and radiates straight out. The magnetic field is also almost spherical, but the lines are complete circles and have rotation to them. Now what happens when an electron feels a proton way off in the distance? When the electric lines touch....they lock and more lines lock and attract. As the particles approach one another, the magnetic lines start to sense each other. But magnetic lines have rotation. As the electric force draws them together...the magnetic force orientates or lines up the particles so that the magnetic fields rotate in the same direction. When the particle gets close enough.....the two separate mag fields combine to form one strong field thru both particles. A mag field is always circular and wants to stay that way like electric lines like to stay straight. When the particles get very close, the magnetic field is repulsive, because field lines want to be circular.......When the attractive electric force balances with the magnetic circle(circular or rotational) force.......we have a atom. The complete magnetic field runs thru both particles and wants to stay circular in shape. This is what modern scientist call the strong nuclear force.


Joined Sep 22, 2013
So an atom....just like a particle, is held together by two opposing electric and magnetic fields. Now....to be classified as a fundamental particle.....it must be stable. To be classified as an atom.......it must be stable also. One electron and one proton do not form a stable atom. Almost any external electric or magnetic field will break it up. That why you don’t see much H1 around. Now there are many, most physicist, astronomers and some chemist that will tell you that H1 is the most abundant element in the universe. It is not. A proton by itself is not ionized H1. It’s a proton. Now...look at my icon. That is the smallest atom. Its hydrogen. This is the first element. This is the smallest piece of stable matter. The large circle connecting the four particles represents the magnetic field holding the atom together. When we look at the atom(and we will be able to), all you would see is the four loops. And you could not see the loops until they radiate......because the magnetic field of the particle keeps them invisible. All 4 particles are lined up magnetically. And all of that field goes thru all particles and it syncs and it rotates, it is very, very strong. Quantum physicists call this the strong nuclear force, but we now know what this is. The electric force is balanced and keeping the particles equal-distant from each other. The small loops are protons and the big loops are electrons. Now I have to go back to the free electron for a moment. A free electron is siting in space. As a free space, low energy electron.....as the charge rotates one time around the loop or ring.......it twists once......makes one spring coil per one loop rotation. Now the electric field and the magnetic field of the electron is in tune. It resonates. The frequency of the electron resonance is the wavelength of the circumference of the loop. Now there is only one electron in the universe and it is dark. One billion miles away I turn on a bright multi-spectrum light source. When the light finally reaches the electron.......it ignores all except that one frequency that is equal to the circumference wavelength. It starts absorbing the electric and magnetic field energy from the light. As it absorbs energy, the E and H fields of electron build up. The charge wants to speed up.......but it already going at the speed of light....so when the energy builds up enough.....instead of going faster.......it adds another twist. Now when it gained enough power to make a new twist......it changed the circumference of the loop(the circumference went down,the electron loop got smaller).......and stopped absorbing power at that frequency. Now if there is light at the new circumference frequency.....it will start absorbing more light. Now turn the light off. Now the electron is sitting there in the dark at a high energy state and it does not like it. All particles like to calm. To lose(relax) that extra twist......it changes its circumference back to the norm. When that radius(circumference) expands....it momentarily cuts the magnetic field and emits the same power and frequency that it absorbed. I present to you the electron. The PRIME radio receiver and the PRIME radio transmitter. The birth place of light. The PRIME radio repeater. What a most beautifully simple and elegant device! OK...you can think on that, I gotta take a break.


Joined Sep 22, 2013
An electron can accept radio power at a certain F. It can also accept sub.multiples of F and harmonics of F. But less so....it's an antenna. Now we can take and shine resonate light on the electron and charge it with energy and changing the radius to a smaller value. Now we change the light F so it is higher and matches the new shorter circumference. Hit the electron again....it will charge more and shrink in cir again. Using a variable F light source at the right frequencies.......at the right succession....we can adjust the power level and dia or R of any fundamental particle. Fundamental particles frequency ranges from the low Infer red to gamma in the center of large atoms. Think about that one. Now remember when I said there was a relationship between R and r? That relationship is a constant because of the relationship between the fields, the speed of light and angular momentum. So only certain ring circumferences are viable for the device to exist. This is what gives fundamental particles their fine spectrum structure. This means that some light frequencies are never made and never exist. It is the structure of the particle that causes quantum steps......not because energy travels in quantum chunks. Energy transfer is analog. Now...mass. There is no mass.....just apparent mass. Rest mass is nothing more than angular momentum. Electrons are usually in a less energetic region than protons. Protons are usually locked in the nucleus where the fields are high and synced. Protons are squeezed down to small radii and have about 1800 times more angular momentum than electrons. That's why they seem to have 1800 times the mass. When particles combine, the apparent mass is additive. Now atoms have weight. And books and objects have weight....apparent mass all due to tiny spinning particles. Now inertia. When a particle gets bumped by another particle fields......the first particle fields don't like it and rebound to straighten back out. Both fields object to being deformed and respond. That's inertia. The more you try to move a particle, the more it fights back. When particles combine and make atoms....the inertia adds and becomes the inertia of the atom. And then becomes the inertia of the object. Now spin. The energy of a particle is divided between the electric field and the magnetic field. The magnetic part is the rotating part, and it is 1/2 spin because it's 1/2 of the energy. This accounts for the properties of particles.......back to the H atom. Remember my icon is not 2 H atoms to form molecular H. My icon is the smallest, lightest and stable atom. Again....is an atom....not a molecule. The shape of this atom(and that means to shape of the magnetic and electric fields) depends on the region(region...the number and intensity of electric and magnetic fields) in which it is and how much energy the particles have. The magnetic field can elongate causing the electrons to get farther apart, while the protons get a little closer. These elongations or distortions come in structure and energy steps also. Now...how does an atom vibrate? You would think that being the electron has 1800 less apparent mass.....that the electron would bounce in and out towards the proton. Not so. The particles remain relatively fixed.....that's why things are solid. It's the electronic tuning that causes the vibration. The proton F is much higher than the electron F. But the proton F is a harmonic of the electron. And the proton has much more angular momentum and is much more rigid... so the electron ring distorts a little. The ring wiggles. This distortion is the vibration of an atom. This is called a neutral dipole. As this dipole vibrates....a wee wee little bit of radiation escapes from the electron. It is E-40 times smaller than the electric field. It is always attractive to other matter.....and it is additive. It is Gravity.
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Joined Nov 9, 2007
BR-549's ideas are interesting, but I think a bit off the rails. I do not want to get into a big discussion, but reader beware.
Good point Russ!


But some of the statements are just plain wrong.

We do not know what charge is. It seems to be un-bounded energy. We believe it to be neutral.
Charge is never neutral.

Edit: note also that the original post is getting on for 10 years old.
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Joined Sep 22, 2013
When I was a small boy, my greatest wonder was what is all this stuff? What is matter? What is it made of? When I was a young man I graduated the US Navy Nuclear Engineering school. I was still asking what is this stuff and no one could answer. Nuclear power was the same as electricity. We know enough to control and use it.....But we really don’t know exactly what is going on. We can derive equations that describe relationships and find certain quantities at certain locations at certain times.......but as for cause, well we are still here aren't we. After the navy, I got busy with life, marriage, kids, work. About 2 years ago unexpectedly I became disabled. With lots of time.......I decided to see what’s new with matter. The first thing I had to do was brush up on the math. It had been a long time since nuc school. So I did, and then dove right into QM and GRT. I could not believe what I found. Nothing had changed! Since 1972........same old crap! Qm was still professing point particles! We were told that we use point particles because we really didn’t know exactly what a particle was, but within 5 yrs or so we would know and we could start using the real equations......when we find out what they are. That was in 1972. Back in those days, physicists had to admit to engineers that they weren't quite sure yet, but they were close. Today an engineer asks what a particle is....he gets handed a few pages of equations. A word about math. Math is a man made concept. It is the truest man made concept. BUT it can deceive you. If you can remember that math ONLY DESCRIBES experiments........it can NEVER SHOW CAUSE. After the ‘70s, scientist started believing that math alone can explain everything. Thus we have QM and GRT. The only legs these two have is math. Experimentation.......shows different results than math. Modern scientists will take the math over the experiments......every time. Lets talk of Einstein's GRT for a min. If you read his papers and look at his equations.......it says this......The inherent property of mass is that it distorts space(length) and time(rate) around it. It is Einstein's math that causes this. He and other scientist say that mass is just a point in space. They say that charge is just that same point with mass. They say this point has electric and magnetic fields, it has spin and angular momentum, and that it has inertia. All this from a point in space. This is what math proves. This is how we got kindergarten science. Yes sir......every time something moves in the universe.....the length of a meter changes and the rate of time changes. I can not believe they are still teaching this. I recognized horse crap in 72, and it’s still there.
I went back and read Coulomb, Ampere, and Maxwell. They is a real big problem with Maxwell. Max took Coulomb and Ampere and put them together. Now Coulomb experimented with STATIC charges and Ampere experimented with current elements(current loops...complete circuits). These experiments were done in the Galilean frame reference, with Static charges and complete circuits. Maxwell’s equations DO NOT show the proper relationship between charge and current! Maxwell stated this in his papers, nobody listened to him. Go back and read him. Look at how much has been built on these equations. This is the stumbling block in science. Now there was another man that redid Coulomb and Ampere with MOVING charges. He is the greatest scientist so far, his name was Wilhelm Eduard Weber. He was the first to use c in his equations. He was the first to realize the relationship between electric and magnetic fields and the speed of light.................in the Galilean frame......long before Einstein and the term relativity. Relativity was discovered and explained.........without changing length and time..........................over one hundred yrs. ago! Study Weber. If Max had used Weber’s equations, this would all be over......Now after realizing this......BR said to himself.......there must be more than one genius(me) on the planet. So I started looking. And there are a lot of alternative theories. But I was looking for Weber, I wanted true cause and effect and I wanted it in the Galilean frame. What is this frame stuff? One could talk days about frame.....it’s a whole math science in itself now. Basically...it’s your point of view. Galilean space..............Space(volume(length,width,depth)), and the RATE of time is constant and never change. Now Maxwell, QM, and GRT all use the Lorentz frame. In this frame.....the dimensions of space and the rate of time must change for these equations to work. This is called curved space. Why is this important? Well....if curved space is true.......then when the universe expands...it expands like a balloon.... meaning that inside the balloon is non-existence(not even space or time) and the universe has no center. Existence is only from the balloon’s surface and outward. Scientist say we don’t notice this because the curve is very, very slight. OK.....that means that the balloon is very, very big. We should be able to see the edge of the universe very clearly. AND we shouldn't be able to see 360 spherical degrees. This is today’s science. Sorry....getting side tracked. It’s so easy. I did fine a group of like minded people but I was leery at first. Christians they were. I am not leery of a Christians normally.....I am one. But we all know Christian scientist don’t we...they seem to have an agenda....you know that 7 day thing. It’s like they are trying to confirm their belief thru science or something. To my delight they turned out to be very strict scientists. I have read and studied the work and I am very sure this is the correct road. There’s no 7 day stuff, or explaining miracles and that stuff. It’s real hardcore science.....although you will here a prayer now and again. For the fist time in history this group has shown the cause of every property of a particle. It also shows how particles interact with one another. And it shows a lot more. We now have a Unified Force Law. This should have been in worldwide headlines for months. It’s ironic. The religious dogma of QM and GRT has prevented a group of scientists(because they are Christian), from presenting to the world.....the greatest discovery in history. This will change. Chemist and biologist are beginning to use this very successfully. Chemist love the structure and the biologist are understanding protein structures(DNA). It will be interesting in the coming yrs. Now I happen to be quite proud of myself to know this knowledge. It is very satisfying to know this universe. It is stable and it follows and never breaks the law. I have tried to share this with other scientist. But there’s that dogma thing. So I thought I would come here.....the engineers......the poor slobs(like me) that do the work. Techs have to work with cause and effect, follow laws, and use common sense. They live in the real world. And that’s why I was surprised at the lack of response. Has curiosity and critical thinking been drummed out of the schools? Surely engineers can understand and appreciate structure. OK. I must confess that part up to where the ass kissing takes place was all mine. Nobody knows how a particle is put together. But I wanted to add a little action and my theory of particle birth is as good as anyone's. But the ring theory belongs to commonsensescience. I encourage all to go there and study. Enjoy wonder. And remember...matter was first explained to you on this site in 2014 by BR-549. IF your willing to listen. In a one hour episode I explained the universe to you, without any math or graphics. I believe I did a much better job than Carl or Neil.


Joined Mar 24, 2008
This is not the place to do it. Long verbage does not make you right, especially a single run on hard to read paragraph. It just makes for a hard to read post that most of us don't have time for. If you want to present ideas outside of mainstream science then be prepared to back them up with citations and facts. Experimental evidence is the core of real science, not opinion. And has been said, you are stating facts to back up your opinions that simply aren't true.

I let the original hijack go because it was on topic, and fair game for discussion. The moderating staff may have blown it a bit on this one, but we do our best. We may yet split some posts off into their own threads after some discussion.
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Joined Sep 7, 2013
I read the whole thing. (Please use paragraphs Itwasmorehardtoreadthanthis) Your view on distortions were quite interesting. At least to me.