Electrostatics (also known as static electricity) is the branch of physics that deals with apparently stationary electric charges.

Electrostatics involves the buildup of charge on the surface of objects due to contact with other surfaces.

Although charge exchange happens whenever any two surfaces contact and separate, the effects of charge exchange are usually only noticed when at least one of the surfaces has a high resistance to electrical flow. This is because the charges that transfer to or from the highly resistive surface are more or less trapped there for a long enough time for their effects to be observed.


These charges then remain on the object until they either bleed off to the ground or are quickly neutralized by a discharge: e.g., the familiar phenomenon of a static ‘shock’ is caused by the neutralization of charge built up in the body from contact with nonconductive surfaces.

Topical Notes, Problems, Presentations, Quiz, Test, Investigations and Videos              
Charge and Coulomb’s law
Electric field and electric potential
Gauss’s law
Fields and potential of other charge distributions         
                                                        Test your Understanding: Chapter 1 MCQ Quiz 1 Here                                                                                                     Take Chapter 1 ReQuiz MCQ Quiz 2 Here 

There are several things which interfere with our understanding of “Static Electricity.” Most demonstrations incorrectly focus on friction. Also, the nature of matter and the fundamental reasons for charge conservation are usually ignored. And the materials used in demonstrations (silk, fur) are hard to obtain and have a finicky dependence on humidity.


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