Electric Charge: Definition, Types, Characteristics and Formulas

Definition of Electric Charge – Increasingly advanced technology makes the role of
electrical energy even greater because technological advances are accompanied by developments in electronic
devices that cannot be used if there is no electricity.
We can find these electronic devices at
home, at the office, at school, at the factory, to the road.
In fact, for now, almost everyone
must be holding an electronic device, namely
a cell phone or cell phone.

Therefore, electrical energy can be regarded as one of the needs of human life at this time.
This is because, we can hardly move at all, if there is no electricity. Thus, be it
everyone, every private or state institution definitely needs electricity and is very dependent on the
availability of electricity.
We can feel this dependence when the lights go out, almost
everyone will be nervous because the activities to be carried out will be disrupted.

Electricity itself cannot just move or you could say electricity can move because it contains a charge.
The charge in electricity is known as electric charge. Basically, electric charge has
a formula, so everyone can calculate electric charge.
By calculating the electric charge, we
know that electric charges can repel each other and attract each other.

This article will discuss electric charge, starting from understanding it to the formula for electric
Sinaumed’s, read this article until it’s finished.

Definition of Electric Charge

In the Big Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI) electric charge is a charge that repels or charges that do not
attract with a force whose magnitude is determined by law.
Based on the definition of electric
charge from KBBI, electric charge can be considered as a charge that is in an object and can produce a force
on other objects if it has an electric charge.

Knowledge of electric charge has been discovered by a scientist named Benjamin Franklin. He
discovered the electric charge while doing experiments using rubber rods and wool.
Franklin did this experiment by rubbing a rubber rod on a sheep’s wool.
After carrying out the
experiment, a reaction appeared from the rubber rod.
It turns out that the rubber rod can tug
with the glass rod, when the two objects are close to each other.

From that experiment, Benjamin Franklin thought that a rubber rod that had been rubbed had an electric
charge in it.
Every charge that exists on an object cannot be generalized because it really
depends on the excess or deficiency of electrons in that object.

In addition, Benjamin Franklin also stated that objects that have the same electric charge, when brought
closer will repel each other.
However, it is different with the two objects that have different
electric charges, then the two objects will attract each other.

From the experiments that have been carried out by Benjamin Franklin, we know how to find out the electric
charge contained in an object.
The easiest way to find out is to rub the two objects together.
When rubbing these two objects, electrons will move from one object to another.

When an object has lost electrons, then the object will become a positively charged object and the object
entered by electrons will turn into an object with a negative charge.
From that event, the two
objects will attract each other.
Benjamin Franklin stated that the transfer of charge from one
object to another is an implication of the law of conservation of charge.

He concluded that the two objects that were rubbed together did not produce new electrical energy but only
the charge moved.
Also, as long as the two objects are rubbed together, the total charge is

Basically, if you want to know the charge on an object, you don’t need to do it by rubbing the two objects
We can just put two objects close to each other, if the two objects attract each
other, then the two objects have a different electric charge.
In short, this way of rubbing
objects is just to make it easier for us to know the electric charge on an object.

Thanks to the discovery of electric charge, developments in the field of electricity have become more
advanced, so that this discovery can be considered one of the important discoveries in the world of
Therefore, many people say that Benjamin Franklin was a scientist who had a role
in the development of electricity.

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Units and Symbols of Electric Charge

It turns out that electric charge has International Units (SI), namely coulombs (C). In
International Units (SI), electric charge has a symbol, namely Q. The Q symbol represents the
International Unit of electric charge.
The electric charge that exists on an object can be
a positive charge or protons and can also be a negative charge or electrons.

With the existence of International Units and symbols, it can be said that electric charge has been used by
many people around the world, especially for those who do research on electricity or magnetism.
This is because electric charges can facilitate research, especially those related to atoms,
protons and electrons.

The electric charge itself is the total of the atoms in an object. If an atom has a shortage
of electrons, it produces a positive electric charge and an atom that has a shortage of protons, then
produces a negative electric charge.

Meanwhile, the quantity contained in electric charge was discovered by Robert Andrew Milikan.
He said that one electric charge is equal to 1.602×10 -19. In short, 1 electric charge
of a proton is equal to (1.602 x 10-19) and one electric charge of an electron is equal to (1.602 x

Benjamin Franklin

January 17, 1706 is the birthday of a scientist named Benjamin Franklin. During his lifetime
he has left a lot of various kinds of inventions that are still used today.
He can be said as
someone who has a lot of work, so he has quite a lot of wealth.
The works carried out by
Benjamin Franklin, such as authors, journalists, publishers, governors, scientists.

Benjamin Franklin was born on Milk Street, Boston, United States. His father married twice and
produced 17 children, Benjamin Franklin being the youngest of his father’s two marriages.

His interest in the world of diplomacy cannot be doubted because he was one of the leaders of the “American
Revolution”, and was even one of the people who signed the “American Declaration of Independence”.
Meanwhile, Benjamin Franklin had served as the 6th governor of Pennsylvania for 3 years, October
18, 1785 to November 5, 1788. Not only that, Benjamin Franklin also became the first head of the post office
in America and he was the creator of the first “public library” in the United States.

His interest in the field of electricity has made him carry out various kinds of research, he has done a
lot of research on electricity.
From the research he has done, he created inventions that are
currently used by many people, such as lightning rods and electric charges.

When he found a lightning rod, he tried it with a kite, whether the kite could conduct electricity or not.
This experiment is known as the kite experiment. Meanwhile, on the discovery of
electric charge, Benjamin Franklin did his research by rubbing a rubber rod on sheep’s wool, then the rubber
rod was brought closer to the glass rod and the result was that the rubber rod and glass rod attracted each

Benjamin Franklin breathed his last on April 17, 1790. Even though he had passed away a long time ago, various
kinds of inventions and knowledge in the world of diplomacy are still used today.

Types of Electric Charge

This discovery about electric charge is not only limited to understanding, units, and symbols, but also to
its types.
Benjamin Franklin, who became the discoverer of electric charge, divided the two
types of electric charge, namely positive charges or protons and negative charges or electrons.

1. Positive Charge (Proton)

Benjamin Franklin said that positive electric charges (protons) are electric charges that repel each other with
objects that have a similar charge.

2. Negative Charge (Electrons)

Benjamin stated that you will emit repulsive properties if the object is brought close to the plastic (has a
charge), then it will repel.

To make it clearer, we will explain below about the electric charge that can be determined by the number of
protons and electrons.

a. If an object has more electrons, then the object will be negatively charged (Σ electrons
> Σ protons).

b. If an object has fewer electrons, then the object is categorized as a positively charged
object (Σ electrons < Σ protons).

c. If an object has more protons, then the object is a positively charged object (Σ protons
> Σ electrons).

d. If an object has fewer protons, then the object is negatively charged (Σ protons < Σ

e. If the number of electrons and protons are the same, then the object’s charge is a neutral
charge (Σ electrons = Σ protons).

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Characteristics of Electric Charge

The characteristics of the electric charge as follows:

1. Electric Charges Are Of Two Types

The first characteristic of electric charge is that electric charge is divided into two types, namely
negative electric charge (electrons) and positive electric charge (protons).
The two charges
can be transferred from one material to another.
In this case, the meaning of matter is objects
or goods.

A material can be said to have a positive charge, if the number of electrons in the material is more than
the number of protons.
Meanwhile, a material will be said to be negatively charged, if the
number of electrons is less than the number of protons.
In simple terms, the more the number of
electrons in a material, the more negative electrical charge it will produce, and this applies vice

2. Charge is Eternal

The electric charge on an object is part of the charge. According to Benjamin Franklin, the
charge that is on an object has an eternal nature.
This is already part of the law of
conservation of charge.
In other words, a charge (positive or negative) cannot be created and
cannot be destroyed.

We can see things like this in two different types of objects, then bringing them closer or rubbing them
can produce an electric charge.
The attractive reaction of the two objects will occur if
negative electric charges (electrons) can move from one place to another.
However, if the
negative electric charges (electrons) do not move to other objects, then the resulting reaction is

3. Electric Charges Can Repulse
or Attract each other

The third feature of electric charge is that electric charges on an object can attract each other and can
also repel each other.
In this third feature, we can only prove it by bringing the two objects
closer or to make it easier to rub one object and then bring it closer to the other object.

If the two objects can attract each other, then we will know that the electric charge between the two
objects is of a different type.
The same or similar electric charge on an object will make the
two objects repel each other.
This is because electrons do not move to other objects.

4. Electric charge is a physical quantity

The fourth characteristic of electric charge is that it is a countable physical quantity. This
can be proven by the existence of the formula for electric charge and the existence of the International
Unit for electric charge, namely
the coulomb. In fact, electric charge has a symbol, which is

In one electric charge the proton is equal to (1.602 x -10-19) and in one electric charge the electron is
equal to (1.602 x -10-19).
With the introduction of electric charge into physics, we can
calculate the amount of electric charge present in a material or object.

Electric Charge Formula

Basically, the formula used to find the electric charge on an object is a formula taken or derived from the
Coulomb’s law formula.
This formula was discovered by a scientist named Charles Augustin de
From the results of his research, he found a relationship or relationship between the
electric force and the magnitude of the charges and the distance between the two charges.

Therefore, the relationship created by Charles Augustin de Coulomb is known as “Coulomb’s law” which reads:

” The magnitude of the attractive and repulsive forces is proportional to the magnitude of the respective charges
and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between the two charges.”

Here is the formula of “Coulomb’s law”.


F = force of repulsion or force of attraction, the unit is newtons (N)

q1 = first charge, unit (C)

q2 = second charge, unit (C)

r = distance between two charged objects, units of meters (m)

k = constant comparison which has a magnitude of 9 x 109 Nm2/C2


Benjamin Franklin became the discoverer of the electric charge and he said that a charge has eternal
properties or cannot be created or destroyed.
Thanks to the discovery of this electric charge,
we know that in an object there are negative charges (electrons) and positive charges (protons).

From Benjamin Franklin’s discovery, we know that two objects can attract and repel each other.
Two objects that are rubbed together then attract each other indicating that the electric charge is
Meanwhile, two objects that are rubbed together but repel each other indicate that
the electric charge on the object or material is of the same type.

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