Coulomb's Force Constant

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Coulomb's constant, the electric force constant, or the electrostatic constant (denoted ke ) is a proportionality constant in electrodynamics equations, roughly equaling 8.99·109 Nm2C−2. It was named after the French physicist Charles-Augustin de Coulomb (1736–1806) who introduced Coulomb's law.

The symbol k is a proportionality constant known as the Coulomb's law constant. The value of this constant is dependent upon the medium that the charged objects are immersed in. In the case of air, the value is approximately 9.0 x 109 N • m2 / C2. If the charged objects are present in water, the value of k can be reduced by as much as a factor of 80. It is worthwhile to point out that the units on k are such that when substituted into the equation the units on charge (Coulombs) and the units on distance (meters) will be canceled, leaving a Newton as the unit of force.