Module Overview

In this module, the concepts of electric charge and interacting forces between charges are discussed.  This module begins with a brief review of vector notations in both 2-dimension and 3-dimension to aid in the study of electric force vectors. Coulomb’s law is the main focus of the discussion on electric force. The force of repulsion as well as attraction between two point charges is studies first, followed by the discussion of the use of superposition principle in the treatment of net force acting on a point charge due to multiple charges. 

Many first-year students have some knowledge of properties of charge and have studied vectors in secondary school mathematics. The use of a mathematical tool (i.e. vector) to describe a physical quantity (i.e. electric force) may be new to some, and hence is the pedagogical focus of this module. The step-by-step solved examples which demonstrate how fundamental law can be applies to solve problems will help students develop critical thinking and analytical skills in problem solving. The multiple choice questions (MCQ) are intended for self-formative assessment to gauge conceptual understanding of the materials covered in the module. The feedbacks given in MCQ will reinforce the relevant key concepts.
This module consists of a sequence of 3 videos with 2 step-by-step solved examples and 10 self-assessment questions. It is expected that the course instructor, will supplement the module with additional questions and possibly one laboratory exercise.
Before starting this module, it will be helpful to be familiar with:
  • Properties of protons and electrons,
  • Three-dimensional coordinate system,
  • Fundamental trigonometry.

Learning Outcomes

With careful study and problem-solving exercise, by the end of this module, one should be able to:
  • Use a charge model to explain the nature of electric charges and basic electric phenomena,
  • Represent electric forces in vector form,
  • Use Coulomb’s law to calculate the electric forces between charges.

Explore Module

Please note that this preview is intended for exploration purposes only. If you'd like to use this interactive module in one of your courses,to ensure playback and tracking, you must upload the SCORM package (downloadable below) to your institution's Learning Management System (ex. Blackboard, D2L, Moodle, etc). 

Type: Assessments
Title Author Description Copyright
Force (Easy Example) | Download File (127.47 KB) Prof. Belinda Wang
Force (Hard Example) | Download File (137.38 KB) Prof. Belinda Wang
Electric Charges and Forces - MCQ (Quiz) | Download File (274.22 KB) Prof. Belinda Wang
Type: Glossary
Title Author Description Copyright
Glossary | Download File (142.59 KB) Prof. Belinda Wang

This glossary contains definitions for the modules: Electric Charges and Forces, Electric Fields, Electric Potential and Potential Energy, Capacitance and Capacitor, Magnetic Fields and Forces, and Electromagnetic Induction.

Type: Illustrations
Title Author Description Copyright
Electrification | Download File (59.09 KB) Prof. Belinda Wang
Lightning | Download File (61.73 KB) Prof. Belinda Wang
Type: Modules
Title Author Description Copyright
V1_2015_Electric Charges and Forces (Storyline File) Prof. Belinda Wang

This Storyline File can be downloaded and modified to your specific learning objectives (within the bounds of the creative commons licensing selected for this file. This is encouraged, but any technical issues are not supported by the University of Toronto.

V1_2015_Electric Charges and Forces (Storyline SCORM PACKAGE) Prof. Belinda Wang

This Articulate Storyline SCORM package can be uploaded into your institution's Learning Management System.

V2_2021_Electric Charges and Forces (Rise SCORM PACKAGE)

This Articulate Rise SCORM package can be uploaded into your institution's Learning Management System.

Type: Video Links
Title Author Description Copyright
1.2 Electric Force | Link Prof. Belinda Wang

You also have access 1.2 Electric Force on MyMedia.

1.1 Vectors | Link Prof. Belinda Wang

You also have access 1.1 Vectors on MyMedia.

1.0 Electric Charges and Forces: Introduction | Link Prof. Belinda Wang

You also have access to 1.0 Electric Charges and Forces: Introduction on MyMedia.