Published on 04/22/2011
Students explore the relationship between force, charge, and distance for two charged particles, i.e., Coulomb's law.
In this activity, students investigate Coulomb's law using simulations of charged particles. First, they explore the effects of distance on electric force. They vary the distance between two simulated charged particles and observe the resulting changes in electric force.
They make a graph of force vs. distance and use a power regression to find the relationship between force and distance.
Next, students explore the effects of charge on electric force. They vary the magnitudes of electric charge on the two particles and observe the results.
Finally, students use a test charge to explore the electric field around two charged particles and to calculate the charge on one of the particles.