Law of Conservation of Charge

Conservation of Charge

Physics is that one field of education where we can see what is happening, meaning the results, and the examples are macro, and we can see them in our daily lives. One of the major concepts of physics revolves around the charge, which is stored in a given body. When you came across charge in your physics book, you know things are going to get serious from this point onwards. Don't worry, and we will help you learn everything about the conversation of charge and its real-world example so that you can get a better understanding of the concept. 


Charge in physics is what to atoms, protons, and electrons are to chemistry, it is the base of electronic physics. Everything you see, from your computer, TV, to your washing machine runs on the conservation of charge, and today we are going to break down this concept. 


Law of Conservation of Charge

Now let's define the conservation of charge. It states that a positive charge present in the given body will always have the same amount of negative charge to keep the body in the neutral state. These types of bodies are called the neutral body, and you can't say they don't charge them, as they have both negative and positive charges in equal portions to cancel them out. As a result, we concluded that a charge in a given body could not be created, nor could it be destroyed. We can only transfer it from one system to another, and material which provides transfer of charge is called conductors. From conductors, a charge can be displaced in the form of heat or the displacement of electrons. This is what the law of conversation of charge is in physics. 


What is Conservation of Charge?

There are two ways in which a body can leave its neutral state of charge.


Object Getting a Negative Charge

A given object will get a negative charge if the electrons get transferred to it from another source. 


Let's take an example here, and we take a negatively charged rod with a net charge of -4e. When this rod touches the surface of a neutral body, which is a conductor, displacement of the electron takes place from rod to the neutral body. This is because electrons are repulsive to each other, and they want to spread in a wider area to get away from each other, after the transfer of charge we have -2e and -2e on rod and the sphere respectively. 


The total charge in the system was -4e, and after the transfer, it remains -4e, but now it is divided into two bodies. That's how a body gets a negative charge. 


The Object is Positively Charged

An object present in the neutral charge state will get a positive charge when the electrons present inside of it, get transferred to another body. 


We take a rod that is positively charged, and we touched the surface of the neutral body with the rod. During this process, electrons present in a neutral body are attracted to the charge present in the rod, and thus, they are displaced from the neutral body to the rod. As a result, what we have left is a body that has less negative charge than its positive charge making it positively charged body.


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Here we have a +4e charge present in the neutral body when the transfer of the electrons took place, and we are left with a +2e charge on rod and +2e charge on the body. So the object becomes positively charged, and the protons that were present in the body remain the same. Here once again, we have seen the conservation of charge.  


State The Law of Conservation of Charge

The net charge present in the isolated system will always remain constant; thus, the given system will not be doing any exchange of mass and energy with its surrounding atmosphere and will never charge that is different from its initial state. This is what the law of conservation of charge is according to physics. 


Conservation of Charge Examples

Let's take one example here, and you might have seen an old trick of comb and hair, where your hair rises and stick to the comb. It might look like magic, but it comes in the simple conservation of charge examples. Your hair is here in a neutral state, having both positive and negative charges in an equal amount. A combination has a positive charge, and when you use it, it takes away the positive charge from your hair and leaves it with a negative charge. 


Thus, the negative charge starts to repel each other, and you will have yourself floating hair in the air.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What Does it Mean to say that Charge is Conserved?

When we say a charge is conserved, what we are implementing here on the system is a principle which states that total electric charge in a given isolated system will never have any changes until any other object with different charges comes inside the system. Otherwise, the positive charge and the minus charge present in the system will always remain conserved.

2. Consider two Cylinders, Having the Same Radius and Height; one of them is Solid While the Other one Hollow, Which of These two Copper Spheres will have a Higher Charge.

It doesn't matter if the given objects have space inside or not because the charge is present on the surface of the body, not inside it. So, when it comes to holding the charge, we only see if the two objects' surface area is the same. In this case, we have two cylinders having the same radius and height. As a result, their surface area will be the same, and the amount of charge on both the cylinders will be equal.