Module 8: Electrostatics (10 Days)
This module develops an understanding of electrostatics by the use of demonstrations, simulations, and modeling.
The general theme is that the current model of matter consisting of electrically neutral atoms composed of charged particles is integral to the understanding of electrical forces.
The module begins with traditional activities of charging objects by friction and comparing electrostatic forces to magneto-static forces. The traditional experiments are explained in terms of the model of an atom, and the “attract and repel force rules” are explored and expanded.
Devices to create, store, and measure charge are utilized in experiments. The formal theory of Coulomb’s law is introduced, and problems are assigned utilizing that theory.
Additional concepts of electric fields, potential difference, and properties of conductors and insulators are developed through experiment, demonstration, and discussion.
What makes an object a good insulator or a good conductor?
How does our atomic model of matter help us understand electrostatic phenomena?
How can we use electrostatic phenomena to confirm our atomic model of matter?
What are the similarities between gravitational quantities properties and electrical phenomena?
How will studying mechanics help in the study of electricity?
How has the concept of electrostatics changed over time?
World's First Electric Generator
An interesting demonstration about the interaction between a copper conductor and a magnetic field.
Knowledge & Skills
Research and describe the historical development of the concepts of gravitational, electromagnetic, weak nuclear, and strong nuclear forces.
Describe and calculate how the magnitude of the electrical force between two objects depends on their charges and the distance between them.
Characterize materials as conductors or insulators based on their electrical properties.
Investigate examples of kinetic and potential energy and their transformations.
Electrical properties of matter include insulation and conduction.
The development of electrostatic theory and the atomic model of matter are closely related.
The concepts from “mechanics” of forces, fields, and energy also describe the electrical interactions of charges.
The concept of electrostatics was developed through the contributions of a number of people.
Students may think an electric field and force are the same thing.
Students may think a charged body has only one type of charge.
Electric field – a field of force surrounding a charged particle
Electric force – an attractive or repulsive electrostatic force described by Coulomb's law
Coulomb's law – an equation describing the electrostatic force between electric charges
Electromagnetic force – force associated with electricity and magnetism
Magnitude – an amount, a quantity, or a size
Conductors – material through which heat and electrical charges can be transferred
Insulators – material that is a poor conductor of heat and electrical charges
Law of conservation of energy – the fundamental principle of physics that the total energy of an isolated system is constant, despite internal changes
Complete a lab report describing, explaining, and analyzing electrostatics demonstrations and phenomena in terms of the atomic structure of matter, principles of conservation of charge, electric forces, electric fields, and electrostatic energy.
Research and describe, in a summary, the contributions of Franklin, Millikan, and Coulomb in the development of electrostatics and atomic structure theory.
This module will have the stated performance indicators as well as the unit assessment and one exam.