Physics Themed: Unit 7 "Static electricity & electric fields"

07- Static Electricity and Electric Fields
Summary: The first quarter was called “Artsy” physics. The second quarter is called “E & M”, or electricity and magnetism. In the last three units we learned about light, which is visible electromagnetic radiation, and the fundamental basis for light is an alternating electric and magnetic field. Basically for any electromagnetic radiation, including light, a changing electric field induces (causes) a changing magnetic field which in turn causes a changing electric field and so on. So, now we learn about electricity. By the time you’re done with this unit you will have experienced and understood some very memorable static electricity demonstrations and labs. You will also have a better understanding of electrical safety, especially lightning and acquire an idea of what a field force is. The first thing we do is demonstrate the electrical force and prove it’s not the same as a magnetic force. We learn to calculate the strength of electrical field forces using Coulomb’s law, safety at the gas pump, lightning, charging by induction and conduction. You will gain an understanding of what an electric field is by relating it to a field force you’re more familiar with – gravity; and you’ll become familiar with how an electric field is mapped. You will learn to use the triboelectric series to predict the kinds of charges picked up by various materials and what electric potential (voltage) is.

Resources: Work packet, handouts, online tutorials


Unit 07: Static electricity & electric fields

Objectives, Vocabulary & Equations

Objectives, vocabulary & equations

Other important files (resources)

  1. Work packet - Electrostatics & electric fields

Tutorials (right-click and save file locally ("save target as"), then play)

  1. Notes 07-01 - Static Electricity & Coulomb's Law
  2. Notes 07-02 - Static Phun Lab Preview
  3. Notes 07-03, 0704 - Electric Fields and sharp points
  4. Notes 07-05 - Static Electricity, Faraday cages, Van de Graaff, Leyden jars
  5. Notes 07-06 - Static Electricity: Lightning
  6. Notes 07-06 - Static Electricity: Voltage (electrical potential)


More Links

  1. Electrostatic notes (whole unit)
  2. Good overall electrostatics ppt
  3. What an electric field is and what mapping is ppt
  4. Triboelectric series ppt
  5. Good introduction to electrostatics ppt
  6. Glenbrook's electrostatic website
  7. KEY to Coulomb's Law Extra Practice Problem
  8. KEY to review guide problems
  9. Good picture of how lightning strike happens