Electric charge

In physics, electrical charge is a property of matter that is responsible for producing electrostatic interactions. Matter is composed of atoms which in turn are composed of electrons with a negative electrical charge and protons with a positive electrical charge. Protons are found in the atom nucleus and electrons in the cortex revolving around the nucleus.

Electric charge
  • Unit: coulomb
  • Symbol: "e"
  • Formula: e = 1,602 x 10-19 coulombs

What is the electric charge?

The electric charge is a unit of measurement in the International System of Units that determines a particle's ability to exchange photons. It can also be defined as a physical property of some subatomic particles manifested through repulsion forces and attraction between them by the interaction of electromagnetic fields. Electric charges can be positive or negative.

Properties of the electric charge

Electric charge have the following properties:


The electric charge symbol is “e” and its formula is: e = 1.602.10-19 coulombs.


The unit of the electric charge is the coulomb, symbolized by the letter C according to the International System of Units.

C is equal to the amount of charge it exerts on another charge equal to the distance of one meter.

Types of electric charge

There are several types of electrical charges: Positive, negative, inductive, resistive, capacitors and combined.

Electrical charge of the electron

The electrical charge of the electron is negative. This is represented by the symbol “e.

Of the proton

The electrical charge of the proton is positive. It is represented by the following formula 1 (1,602 x 10-19 coulombs).

Of the atom

The electrical charge of the atom can be positive, negative or neutral. It all depends on how many protons or electrons it has. If the number of protons is more than the electrons, the atom will have a positive charge; if the number of electrons is greater than the protons, the charge of the atom will be negative; but if the quantity of electrons and protons is the same, the charge will be neutral.

The neutron is the nucleus of an atom and does not possess an electric charge. It is made up of three charged particles called quarks, whose charges sum zero.


It is not manifested in any quantity, but in multiples of wholes of a unit based on the electron electrical charge.

In this sense, electric charge quantization occurs when whole quantities of electric charge, multiples of elemental charge and electric charge are transferred in an electric process.

The quantization of the electric charge is calculated with the formula Q = N * e.


Here are some examples of electrical charging:

Written by Gabriela Briceño V.

How to cite this article?

Briceño V., Gabriela. (2019). Electric charge. Recovered on 24 February, 2024, de Euston96:

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