Terms & Objectives


The Indiana Physics Standards that Relate to Chapter 32 - Electrostatics are:

Electrostatics Terms:


static electricity

pith ball

electric charge

negative charge


positive charge


electrically neutral


Conservation of Charge

charging by contact


Coulomb's Law

inverse square law





charging by friction


charging by induction


charge polarization



electrical discharge

Van deGraff generator

electric dipole

Electrostatics Objectives:

When you finish your study of electrostatics, you should be able to:

  1. define electrostatics.
  2. give evidence for the existence of two kinds of electric charge (like charges repel, unlike charges attract).
  3. describe and demonstrate a method for determining whether an unknown charge is positive or negative.
  4. name the unit of charge, and discuss its size with respect to common electrostatic situations and in terms of the number of unit charges it represents.
  5. describe what it means to say that charge is conserved.
  6. in terms of protons and electrons, describe a:
    1. neutral atom
    2. positive ion
    3. negative ion
  7. electric, atomic & nuclear forces:
    1. discuss the role of the electric force inside the atom and between atoms.
    2. tell what the strong force does, and compare it to the electric force.
    3. state Coulomb's Law and compare/contrast it with Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation.
    4. compare and contrast the electric and gravitational forces.
    5. use Coulomb's Law to tell what happens to the electric force between two objects when their charges or relative distances change.
  8. describe the electrical properties of:
    1. conductors
    2. insulators
    3. semiconductors
    4. superconductors
  9. describe, in terms of the movement of charges, how an object can be charged by:
    1. friction
    2. contact
  10. tell what grounding is and describe how it works.

last update April 23, 2007 by JL Stanbrough