Physics

# Key Terms

PhysicsKey Terms
capacitor
arrangement of objects that can store electrical energy by virtue of their geometry
conductor
material through which electric charge can easily move, such as metals
Coulomb’s law
describes the electrostatic force between charged objects, which is proportional to the charge on each object and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between the objects
dielectric
electrically insulating material that becomes polarized in an electric field
electric field
defines the force per unit charge at all locations in space around a charge distribution
electric potential
the electric potential energy per unit charge
electric potential energy
the work that a charge can do by virtue of its position in an electric field
electron
subatomic particle that carries one indivisible unit of negative electric charge
induction
creating an unbalanced charge distribution in an object by moving a charged object toward it (but without touching)
insulator
material through which a charge does not move, such as rubber
inverse-square law
law that has the form of a ratio, with the denominator being the distance squared
law of conservation of charge
states that total charge is constant in any process
polarization
separation of charge induced by nearby excess charge
proton
subatomic particle that carries the same magnitude charge as the electron, but its charge is positive
test charge
positive electric charge whose with a charge magnitude so small that it does not significantly perturb any nearby charge distribution