18 terms

Physics Honors Vocabulary Chapters 20 and 21

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Electrostatics
The study of electric charges that can be collected and held in one place.
Neutral
An atom whose positively charged nucleus exactly balances the negative charge of the surrounding electrons.
Insulator
A material, such as glass, through which a charge will not move easily.
Conductor
A material, such as copper, through which a charge will move easily.
Electric Field
The field that exists around any charged object; produces forces that can do work, transferring energy from the field to another charged object.
Electric Field Lines
Lines that provide a picture of an electric field, indicate the field's strength by the spacing between the lines, never cross, and are directed toward negative charges and away from positive charges.
Electric Potential Difference
The change in potential energy per unit charge in an electric field.
Volt
The unit equal to one joule per coulomb, 1 J/C.
Equipotential
The electric potential difference of zero between two or more positions in an electric field.
Capacitor
An electric device used to store charge that is made up of two conductors separated by an insulator.
Capacitance
The ratio of an object's stored charge to its electric potential difference.
Electroscope
A device that is used to detect electric charges and consists of a metal knob connected by a metal stem to two thin metal leaves.
Charging by Conduction
The process of charging a neutral object by touching it with a charged object.
Charging by Induction
the process of charging an object without touching it, which can be accomplished by bringing a charged object close to a neutral object, causing a separation of charges, then separating the object to be charged, trapping opposite but equal charges.
Grounding
The process of removing excess charge by touching an object to earth.
Coulomb's Law
States that the force between two charges varies directly with the product of their charge and inversely with the square of the distance between them.
Coulomb
The SI standard unit of charge; one of these, C, is the magnitude of the charge of 6.24e18 electrons or protons.
Elementary Charge
The magnitude of the charge of an electron.