Electric charge: Difference between revisions

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==Units==
The [[International System of Units|SI]] derived unit of [[quantity]] of electric charge is the [[coulomb]] (symbol: C). The coulomb is defined as the quantity of charge that passes through the [[cross section (geometry)|cross section]] of an [[electrical conductor]] carrying one [[ampere]] for one [[second]].<ref name=CIPM1946>{{cite web |url=https://www.bipm.org/en/CIPM/db/1946/2/ |publisher=BIPM |title=CIPM, 1946: Resolution 2}}</ref> This unit was proposed in 1946 and ratified in 1948.<ref name=CIPM1946/> In modern practice, the phrase "amount of charge" is used instead of "quantity of charge".<ref name=SIBrochure>{{SIbrochure8th}}, p. 150</ref> The amount of charge in 1 electron ([[elementary charge]]) is approximately {{val|1.6|e=-19|u=C}}, and 1 coulomb corresponds to the amount of charge for about {{val|6.24|e=18|u=electrons}}. The lowercase symbol ''q'' is often used to denote a quantity of electricity or charge. The quantity of electric charge can be directly measured with an [[electrometer]], or indirectly measured with a [[galvanometer|ballistic galvanometer]].
 
After finding the [[charge quantization|quantized]] character of charge, in 1891 [[George Johnstone Stoney|George Stoney]] proposed the unit 'electron' for this fundamental unit of electrical charge. This was before the discovery of the particle by [[J. J. Thomson]] in 1897. The unit is today treated as nameless, referred to as {{em|elementary charge}}, {{em|fundamental unit of charge}}, or simply as {{em|e}}. A measure of charge should be a multiple of the elementary charge ''e'', even if at [[macroscopic scale|large scales]] charge seems to behave as a [[real number|real quantity]]. In some contexts it is meaningful to speak of fractions of a charge; for example in the charging of a [[capacitor]], or in the [[fractional quantum Hall effect]].
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