APS Excellence in Physics Education Award
November 2019

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Science SPORE Prize
November 2011

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The Open Source Physics Project is supported by NSF DUE-0442581.

Computer Program Detail Page

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Coulomb's Law and Electric Field Package
written by Anne Cox, Wolfgang Christian, and Francisco Esquembre
The EJS Coulomb's Law and Electric Field Package is a collection of models for electrostatics.  You can move charges around and see the force, observe the electric field generated by charge configurations and observe the motion of test particles in electric fields. Users can inspect and modify any simulation in the package if you have Ejs installed by right-clicking within the plot and selecting "Open Ejs Model" from the pop-up menu item.

The Coulomb's Law and Electric Field Package was created using the Easy Java Simulations (Ejs) modeling tool.  It is distributed as a ready-to-run (compiled) Java archive.  Double clicking the ejs_electric_sampler.jar file will launch the package if Java is installed.  Navigate within the package and click on a green triangle to run a particular simulation. Ejs is a part of the Open Source Physics Project and is designed to make it easier to access, modify, and generate computer models.  Additional Ejs models are available.  They can be found by searching ComPADRE for Open Source Physics, OSP, or Ejs.

Please note that this resource requires at least version 1.5 of Java (JRE).
14 supplemental documents are available
1 source code document is available
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Practices
- Active Learning
= Modeling
Electricity & Magnetism
- DC Circuits
- Electric Fields and Potential
= Electric Field
- Electrostatics
= Coulomb's Law
- Lower Undergraduate
- High School
- Middle School
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Simulation
Intended Users Formats Ratings
- Learners
- Educators
- application/java
- application/pdf
  • Currently 3.7/5

Rated 3.7 stars by 3 people

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Access Rights:
Free access
This material is released under a GNU General Public License Version 3 license. Additional information is available.
Rights Holder:
Wolfgang Christian
Java Archive file
Ejs, OSP, dipole, electric force, field vectors, multipole, test charge
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created December 1, 2009 by Anne Cox
Record Updated:
January 18, 2018 by Wolfgang Christian
Last Update
when Cataloged:
December 1, 2009
Other Collections:


Author: Wolfgang
Posted: January 18, 2018 at 11:39AM

Unfortunately, web browsers no longer support Java Applets so the ready to run applet pages  pages will no longer work.  You can, however, complete the exercises if you run the Java programs if you have Java installed on your computer.  Download the jar file and double click on that file to run the Java program.

Apple users may need to lower your security setting to allow program from unidentified developers to run.  Even then, you will need to right-click on the jar to authorize that program to run.  This security feature on Apple computers only needs to be done the first time the program is run.

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AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

11. Common Themes

11B. Models
  • 6-8: 11B/M1. Models are often used to think about processes that happen too slowly, too quickly, or on too small a scale to observe directly. They are also used for processes that are too vast, too complex, or too dangerous to study.

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (1993 Version)


G. Forces of Nature
  • 4G (9-12) #3.  There are two kinds of charges?positive and negative. Like charges repel one another, opposite charges attract. In materials, there are almost exactly equal proportions of positive and negative charges, making the materials as a whole electrically neutral. Negative charges, being associated with electrons, are far more mobile in materials than positive charges are. A very small excess or deficit of negative charges in a material produces noticeable electric forces.

NSES Content Standards

Con.B: Physical Science
  • 9-12: Motions & Forces
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
A. Cox, W. Christian, and F. Esquembre, Computer Program COULOMB'S LAW AND ELECTRIC FIELD PACKAGE, Version 1.0 (2009), WWW Document, (https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=9683&DocID=1425).
A. Cox, W. Christian, and F. Esquembre, Computer Program COULOMB'S LAW AND ELECTRIC FIELD PACKAGE, Version 1.0 (2009), <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=9683&DocID=1425>.
APA Format
Cox, A., Christian, W., & Esquembre, F. (2009). Coulomb's Law and Electric Field Package (Version 1.0) [Computer software]. Retrieved June 19, 2024, from https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=9683&DocID=1425
Chicago Format
Cox, A, W. Christian, and F. Esquembre. "Coulomb's Law and Electric Field Package." Version 1.0. https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=9683&DocID=1425 (accessed 19 June 2024).
MLA Format
Cox, Anne, Wolfgang Christian, and Francisco Esquembre. Coulomb's Law and Electric Field Package. Vers. 1.0. Computer software. 2009. Java (JRE) 1.5, Java Archive file.19 June 2024 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=9683&DocID=1425>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Anne Cox and Wolfgang Christian and Francisco Esquembre", Title = {Coulomb's Law and Electric Field Package}, Month = {December}, Year = {2009} }
Refer Export Format

%A Anne Cox %A Wolfgang Christian %A Francisco Esquembre %T Coulomb's Law and Electric Field Package %D December 1, 2009 %U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=9683&DocID=1425 %O 1.0 %O Java Archive file %O application/java %O Java Archive file

EndNote Export Format

%0 Computer Program %A Cox, Anne %A Christian, Wolfgang %A Esquembre, Francisco %D December 1, 2009 %T Coulomb's Law and Electric Field Package %7 1.0 %8 December 1, 2009 %9 Java Archive file %U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=9683&DocID=1425

Disclaimer: ComPADRE offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure. Please refer to the style manuals in the Citation Source Information area for clarifications.

Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Style.org: Electronic References.

The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation.

The MLA Style presented is based on information from the MLA FAQ.

This resource and its subdocuments is stored in 25 shared folders.

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Coulomb's Law and Electric Field Package:

Is Based On Easy Java Simulations Modeling and Authoring Tool

The Easy Java Simulations Modeling and Authoring Tool is needed to explore the computational model used in the Coulomb's Law and Electric Field Package.

relation by Anne Cox
Covers the Same Topic As Electric Field: What is Wrong? Package

Electric Field: What is Wrong? package shows incorrect versions of similar simulations. Students need to identify the error.

relation by Anne Cox
Is the Basis For Coulomb Force Model by Anne Cox

made some changes:
redesign the control panel
added finer control of position x and y
added Q slider that remembers the state of the charges

relation by wee lookang

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