Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Coulomb's Law for Two Charged Spheres


In 1767, British natural philosopher Joseph Priestley became the first scientist to propose that electrical force followed an inverse-square law, similar to Newton's law of universal gravitation. However, he did not elaborate on this. The general law was enunciated by French physicist Charles Augustin de Coulomb. In 1784, Coulomb used two charged spheres arranged in a torsion balance to verify that the interaction forces varied as the inverse square of the distance between their centers.


In this activity, you will

  • Use a simple apparatus along with video analysis to explore the inverse square law proposed by Coulomb.

Software for Experiment

This experiment uses Logger Pro software for video analysis. The video for analysis is included with the lab book.

Experiment 25 from Physics with Video Analysis Lab Book

<em>Physics with Video Analysis</em> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

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