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Thread: Why we multiply charges in the coulomb's law equation

  1. #1 Why we multiply charges in the coulomb's law equation 
    New Member
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    Nov 2012
    Hi.I want to know why we multiply the separate charges in the coulomb equation.I understand that the force is proportional to the charges, but I don't understand why we multiply charges.Why just we don't add them together.Are there any theoretical explanation for this.The same goes for the Gravitational law.I need some theoretical explanation in the form of the Newton laws.

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  3. #2  
    Forum Senior TheObserver's Avatar
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    Jan 2012
    Alberta, Canada
    Coulombs law is a direct consequence of Maxwells equations, particularly Gauss' law. Maxwells equations are an experimental fact, they aren't really derivable from more fundamental principles.

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  4. #3  
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    Oct 2012
    Provence (South east of France)
    The Observer gave the answer and you may have an intuitive understanding thinking this way :
    Suppose there is N negative elementary charges (= charge of 1 electron) in the first point and P positive charges in the second.
    Each of the positive charge applies an elementary force on each negative charges. So the sum of all these elementary forces is proportional to the product PxN, not the sum.
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