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Coulomb's law: Electrifying Electrostatics Virtual Lab

Experiment with tensions and charges to uncover the secrets of Coulomb's law, the cornerstone of electrostatics.

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Coulomb's law: Electrifying Electrostatics

About this Simulation

No wonder Coulomb's law would spark your interest! In this simulation, you will learn how charges interact through the electrostatic force, how different factors influence the strength of that force, and how to determine its direction.

Dr. One's hair-raising new look 

Your helpful science assistant, Dr. One, is considering powder coating their case, a process that involves electrostatic forces. Join the lab to learn all about the law that governs those forces: Coulomb's law. Use scientific equipment to measure different values of the electrostatic force and play this sim's minigames to figure out the effect of the charges' signs on its direction.

Charges, distances, and the electrostatic force

Measure, collect, and graph data to figure out the effect of the value of distance and charge on the electrostatic force using realistic scientific equipment, experimenting freely with different values of the parameters. Visualize the impact of the charges' signs on the force through fun graphics and interactive activities.This simulation allows the student to measure the effect of Coulomb's law using a realistic lab setup without the risks electricity entails in real life. Starting from the measurable physical phenomena, the simulation guides the student through increasing stages of mathematization, highlighting the physical meaning behind the algebraic expression of Coulomb's law. 

Master Coulomb's law

By the end of the sim, you will have built a qualitative and quantitative understanding of Coulomb's law through the interactive activities in the lab. Do you know what the force between the two charges tells us about Dr. One's new coating?

Learning Objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to:

  • Identify and describe the electrostatic force between two particles as proportional to the product of their charges and inversely proportional to the separation distance squared

  • Apply Coulomb’s law to make predictions about the electrostatic forces between two objects

Techniques in Lab

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to:

  • Coulomb's law
  • Electrostatics
  • Inverse-square law
  • Magnitude and direction
  • Data collection
  • Graphs

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