Physics » Electric Charges and Fields » Quantization Of Charge

Summary and Main Ideas


  • There are two kinds of charge: positive and negative.

  • Positive charge is carried by protons in the nucleus.

  • Negative charge is carried by electrons.

  • Objects can be positively charged, negatively charged or neutral.

  • Objects that are neutral have equal numbers of positive and negative charge.

  • Unlike charges are attracted to each other and like charges are repelled from each other.

  • Charge is neither created nor destroyed, it can only be transferred.

  • Charge is measured in coulombs (\(\text{C}\)).

  • Charge is quantised in units of the charge of an electron \(-\text{1.6} \times \text{10}^{-\text{19}}\) \(\text{C}\), \(Q=n{q}_{e}\)

  • Conductors allow charge to move through them easily.

  • Insulators do not allow charge to move through them easily.

  • Identical, conducting spheres in contact share their charge according to:


Physical Quantities


Unit name

Unit symbol

Charge (Q)



Charge on the electron (\({q}_{e}\))



Table: Units used in electrostatics

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