Electrostatics

Electrostatic studies revealed the interaction between electricity and magnetism.

The study of electrostatics began since a petrified fossil resin called amber was found by Thales of Miletus. By rubbing the resin, he observed that it was possible to attract small bodies such as dry grass seeds, feathers, etc.

Several scientists and also physics lovers, who each had their importance in electrostatics, continued the studies initiated by Thales. Among them, William Gilbert, English physician in 1600, who invented what would be fundamental for the development of electricity, the electric pendulum.

The evolution of Gilbert’s invention took place when Otto Von Guericke observed, through his notes, the repulsion between electrical charges of the same sign. But the phenomenon of attraction and repulsion between charges was demonstrated by Charles Dufay.

Benjamin Franklin also contributed to the advancement of electrostatic studies. He believed in the transfer of electrical charges from one body to another, and he proved this by flying a kite between charged clouds during a storm, an experiment totally inadvisable because of its danger.

At the end of the 18th century, the Frenchman Charles August de Coulomb, using a torsion balance, observed the phenomenon of electric force, defining it then as the law of electric force, known as Coulomb’s law.


Coulomb’s Law Mathematical Equation

Based on the law of electric force, several other studies were carried out, reaching also important concepts such as the introduction of electric field and potential, capacitance, theories developed by Gauss, Laplace and Poisson.

Electric current and electrical resistance were also part of this development, revealing themselves through the invention of the battery by Alexandre Volta.

Studies of electrostatic phenomena also revealed the interaction between electricity and magnetism.

Thanks to so much study and dedication of all these scientists, today we can enjoy so much technology, comfort and a better quality of life.

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