charge, electrical

Cultural Dictionary

charge, electrical definition


A fundamental property of matter. Protons and the nuclei of atoms have a positive charge; electrons have a negative charge; neutrons have no charge. Normally, each atom has as many protons as it has electrons and thus has no net electrical charge; in other words, it is neutral. Charged substances have an imbalance of positive and negative charges, a net charge that exerts a force on other charged substances. Charges that are both positive or both negative repel each other; charges that are different attract.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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