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Chapter 22: Electrostatics

The charge that an object carries is as fundamental as the mass of that object. It may, in fact, be more fundamental. Although Albert Einstein predicted, and experiment later confirmed, that mass can be converted into energy and thus is not strictly conserved, physicists have never observed an event that did not conserve charge. The theory that predicts electrostatic (and electrodynamic) interactions is one of the most accurate and successful theories ever developed. Although it seems that charge may appear and disappear in everyday experiments, what you are actually observing is only the rearranging of existing charges. Whenever charge appears on an object, another object picks up an equal charge of the opposite sign. Whenever charge disappears, you are recombining charges of opposite sign.

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