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Are all objects electrically charged?

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westernman | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 5, 2010 at 4:12 AM via web

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Are all objects electrically charged?

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kjcdb8er | Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted February 5, 2010 at 4:46 AM (Answer #1)

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No. An object is only electrically charged if it carries more protons than electrons, or vice versa. For example, a hydrogen atom has one electron and one proton.  Thus, it is not charged. However, hydrogen can lose its electron, and become positively charged.

 

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enotechris | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted February 5, 2010 at 12:17 PM (Answer #2)

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All objects are matter, which is composed of atoms.  Every atom has the potential to change is electronic composition by adding or subtracting electrons, which induce a negative or positive charge.  As atoms congregate to become the objects we are familiar with in the macro world, they still carry their particular charges, but the effect of any given atom is reduced by the sheer numbers around it.  In other words, the positive and negative electrical charges on any given object in the macro world balance.   However, this balance can be upset, usually by the addition of electrons.  Getting shocked when touching a metal object, for example, is explained by the slightly more electrons upon your body (for whatever reason) which are conducted away by the metal.  Before discharge, your body possesses an unbalanced electric charge.

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versatilekamini | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted February 5, 2010 at 6:09 PM (Answer #3)

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Quantity of electricity that flows in electric currents or that accumulates on the surfaces of dissimilar nonmetallic substances that are rubbed together briskly are called electric charge. It occurs in discrete natural units, equal to the charge of an electron or proton. It cannot be created or destroyed. Charge can be positive or negative; one positive charge can combine with one negative charge, and the result is a net charge of zero. The electric charge on a body may be positive or negative. Two positively charged bodies experience a mutual repulsive force, as do two negatively charged bodies. A positively charged body and a negatively charged body experience an attractive force.

Charge is the fundamental property of a matter that exhibit electrostatic attraction or repulsion over other matter. Electric charge is a characteristic property of many subatomic particles. The charges of free-standing particles are integer multiples of the elementary charge e; we say that electric charge is quantized. Michael Faraday, in his electrolysis experiments, was the first to note the discrete nature of electric charge. Robert Millikan's oil-drop experiment demonstrated this fact directly, and measured the elementary charge.

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