Electric charges

In physics, charge, also known as electric charge, electrical charge, or electrostatic charge and symbolized q, is a characteristic of a unit of matter that expresses the extent to which it has more or fewer electrons than protons. In atoms, the electron carries a negative elementary or unit charge; the proton carries a positive charge. The two types of charge are equal and opposite.

The classical study of electricity is generally divided into three general areas.


the study of the forces acting between charges

electric current:

the study of the forms of energy associated with the flow of charge


the study of the forces acting between charges in motion



The SI unit of quantity of electric charge is the coulomb, which is equivalent to about 6.242×1018 e (e is the charge of a proton). Hence, the charge of an electron is approximately −1.602×10−19 C.