Skip to content Skip to navigation

Portal

You are here: Home » Content » Introduction

Navigation

Recently Viewed

This feature requires Javascript to be enabled.
 

Introduction

Module by: First Last. E-mail the author

Note: You are viewing an old style version of this document. The new style version is available here.

Figure 1: Electric charges exist all around us. They can cause objects to be repelled from each other or to be attracted to each other. (credit: modification of work by Sean McGrath)
A photograph of a cat covered with Styrofoam peanuts

Back when we were studying Newton’s laws, we identified several physical phenomena as forces. We did so based on the effect they had on a physical object: Specifically, they caused the object to accelerate. Later, when we studied impulse and momentum, we expanded this idea to identify a force as any physical phenomenon that changed the momentum of an object. In either case, the result is the same: We recognize a force by the effect that it has on an object.

In Gravitation, we examined the force of gravity, which acts on all objects with mass. In this chapter, we begin the study of the electric force, which acts on all objects with a property called charge. The electric force is much stronger than gravity (in most systems where both appear), but it can be a force of attraction or a force of repulsion, which leads to very different effects on objects. The electric force helps keep atoms together, so it is of fundamental importance in matter. But it also governs most everyday interactions we deal with, from chemical interactions to biological processes.

Content actions

Download module as:

Add module to:

My Favorites (?)

'My Favorites' is a special kind of lens which you can use to bookmark modules and collections. 'My Favorites' can only be seen by you, and collections saved in 'My Favorites' can remember the last module you were on. You need an account to use 'My Favorites'.

| A lens I own (?)

Definition of a lens

Lenses

A lens is a custom view of the content in the repository. You can think of it as a fancy kind of list that will let you see content through the eyes of organizations and people you trust.

What is in a lens?

Lens makers point to materials (modules and collections), creating a guide that includes their own comments and descriptive tags about the content.

Who can create a lens?

Any individual member, a community, or a respected organization.

What are tags? tag icon

Tags are descriptors added by lens makers to help label content, attaching a vocabulary that is meaningful in the context of the lens.

| External bookmarks