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The coulomb (symbol: C) is the SI unit of electric charge. It is named after Charles-Augustin de Coulomb.
1 coulomb is the amount of electric charge carried by a current of 1 ampere flowing for 1 second.
It can also be defined in terms of capacitance and voltage, where one coulomb is defined as one farad of capacitance times one volt of electric potential difference:
The coulomb is also the unit of electric flux. (See Gauss Law.)
In principle, the coulomb could be defined in terms of the charge of an electron or elementary charge. Since the values of the Josephson (CIPM (1988) Recommendation 1, PV 56; 19) and von Klitzing (CIPM (1988), Recommendation 2, PV 56; 20) constants have been given conventional values (KJ ≡ 4.835 979×1014 Hz/V and RK ≡ 2.581 280 7×104 Ω), it is possible to combine these values to form an alternative (not yet official) definition of the coulomb. A coulomb is then equal to exactly 6.241 509 629 152 65×1018 elementary charges. Combined with the current definition of the ampere, this proposed definition would make the kilogram a derived unit.
If two point charges of + 1 C are held one meter away from each other, the repulsive force they will feel is given by Coulomb's Law as 8.988×109 N . This is roughly equal to the gravitational force of 900,000 metric tons of mass at the surface of the Earth. Because these forces are so large, it can be informally stated that "a coulomb is a lot of charge." In everyday life, most things don't have a large surplus of charge -- e.g. normal human beings standing one meter away from each other generally don't feel any electrostatic force between them, and have a capacity to feel a force of ~10 N (~1 kg). From this, it can be conjectured that they generally have a net charge of less than 30 µC .
The ampere was historically a derived unit - being defined as 1 coulomb per second. Therefore the coulomb, rather than the ampere, was the SI base electrical unit.
In 1960 the SI system made the ampere the base unit (See http://alpha.montclair.edu/~kowalskiL/SI/SI_PAGE.HTML).
- The electrical charge of one mole of electrons (approximately 6.022×1023, or Avogadro's number) is known as a faraday (actually -1 faraday, since electrons are negatively charged). One faraday equals 96.485 341 5 kC (the Faraday constant). In terms of Avogadro's number (NA), one coulomb is equal to approximately 1.036 × NA ×10−5 elementary charges.
- The elementary charge is approximately 160.2176 zC.
- One statcoulomb (statC), the CGS electrostatic unit of charge (esu), is approximately 3.3356×10-10 C or about 1/3 nC.
- 1 coulomb is the amount of electrical charge in 6.241506×1018 electrons or other elementary charged particles.
- The charge of one electron is equal to -1.6022×10-19 C
- Statcoulomb, the cgs unit of charge
- Faraday, an obsolete unit
- Coulomb's law
- Current (electricity)
- Faraday constant
- Quantity of electricity
Categories: SI derived units | Units of electrical charge