NCERT Class 12 Physics Electric Charges and Fields

Read and download NCERT Class 12 Physics Electric Charges and Fields chapter in NCERT book for Class 12 Physics. You can download latest NCERT eBooks for 2021 chapter wise in PDF format free from This Physics textbook for Class 12 is designed by NCERT and is very useful for students. Please also refer to the NCERT solutions for Class 12 Physics to understand the answers of the exercise questions given at the end of this chapter

Electric Charges And Fields Class 12 Physics NCERT

Class 12 Physics students should refer to the following NCERT Book chapter Electric Charges And Fields in standard 12. This NCERT Book for Grade 12 Physics will be very useful for exams and help you to score good marks

Electric Charges And Fields NCERT Class 12


Chapter One



All of us have the experience of seeing a spark or hearing a crackle when we take off our synthetic clothes or sweater, particularly in dry weather. This is almost inevitable with ladies garments like a polyester saree. Have you ever tried to find any explanation for this phenomenon? Another common example of electric discharge is the lightning that we see in the sky during thunderstorms. We also experience a sensation of an electric shock either while opening the door of a car or holding the iron bar of a bus after sliding from our seat. The reason for these experiences is discharge of electric charges through our body, which were accumulated due to rubbing of insulating surfaces. You might have also heard that this is due to generation of static electricity. This is precisely the topic we are going to discuss in this and the next chapter. Static means anything that does not move or change with time. Electrostatics deals with the study of forces, fields and potentials arising from static charges.


Historically the credit of discovery of the fact that amber rubbed with wool or silk cloth attracts light objects goes to Thales of Miletus, Greece, around 600 BC. The name electricity is coined from the Greek word elektron meaning amber. Many such pairs of materials were known which on rubbing could attract light objects like straw, pith balls and bits of papers. You can perform the following activity at home to experience such an effect. Cut out long thin strips of white paper and lightly iron them. Take them near a TV screen or computer monitor. You will see that the strips get attracted to the screen. In fact they remain stuck to the screen for a while. It was observed that if two glass rods rubbed with wool or silk cloth are brought close to each other, they repel each other [Fig. 1.1(a)].

The two strands of wool or two pieces of silk cloth, with which the rods were rubbed, also repel each other. However, the glass rod and wool attracted each other. Similarly, two plastic rods rubbed with cat’s fur repelled each other [Fig. 1.1(b)] but attracted the fur. On the other hand, the plastic rod attracts the glass rod [Fig. 1.1(c)] and repel the silk or wool with which the glass rod is rubbed. The glass rod repels the fur. If a plastic rod rubbed with fur is made to touch two small pith balls (now-a-days we can use polystyrene balls) suspended by silk or nylon thread, then the balls repel each other [Fig. 1.1(d)] and are also repelled by the rod. A similar effect is found if the pith balls are touched with a glass rod rubbed with silk [Fig. 1.1(e)]. A dramatic observation is that a pith ball touched with glass rod attracts another pith ball touched with plastic rod [Fig. 1.1(f )].

These seemingly simple facts were established from years of efforts and careful experiments and their analyses. It was concluded, after many careful studies by different scientists, that there were only two kinds of an entity which is called the electric charge. We say that the bodies like glass or plastic rods, silk, fur and pith balls are electrified. They acquire an electric charge on rubbing. The experiments on pith balls suggested that there are two kinds of electrification and we find that (i) like charges repel and (ii) unlike charges attract each other. The experiments also demonstrated that the charges are transferred from the rods to the pith balls on contact. It is said that the pith balls are electrified or are charged by contact. The property which differentiates the two kinds of charges is called the polarity of charge. When a glass rod is rubbed with silk, the rod acquires one kind of charge and the silk acquires the second kind of charge. This is true for any pair of objects that are rubbed to be electrified.

Now if the electrified glass rod is brought in contact with silk, with which it was rubbed, they no longer attract each other. They also do not attract or repel other light objects as they did on being electrified. Thus, the charges acquired after rubbing are lost when the charged bodies are brought in contact. What can you conclude from these observations? It just tells us that unlike charges acquired by the objects FIGURE 1.1 Rods and pith balls: like charges repel and unlike charges attract each other. neutralise or nullify each other’s effect. Therefore the charges were named as positive and negative by the American scientist Benjamin Franklin. We know that when we add a positive number to a negative number of the same magnitude, the sum is zero. This might have been the philosophy in naming the charges as positive and negative. By convention, the charge on glass rod or cat’s fur is called positive and that on plastic rod or silk is termed negative. If an object possesses an electric charge, it is said to be electrified or charged. When it has no charge it is said to be neutral.


1.1 What is the force between two small charged spheres having charges of 2 × 10–7C and 3 × 10–7C placed 30 cm apart in air?

1.2 The electrostatic force on a small sphere of charge 0.4 μC due to another small sphere of charge – 0.8 μC in air is 0.2 N.

      (a) What is the distance between the two spheres? (b) What is the force on the second sphere due to the first?

1.3 Check that the ratio ke2/G memp is dimensionless. Look up a Table of Physical Constants and determine the value of this ratio. What does the ratio signify?

1.4 (a) Explain the meaning of the statement ‘electric charge of a body is quantised’.

      (b) Why can one ignore quantisation of electric charge when dealing with macroscopic i.e., large scale charges?

1.5 When a glass rod is rubbed with a silk cloth, charges appear on both. A similar phenomenon is observed with many other pairs of bodies. Explain how this observation is consistent with the law of

conservation of charge.

1.6 Four point charges qA = 2 μC, qB = –5 μC, qC = 2 μC, and qD = –5 μC are located at the corners of a square ABCD of side 10 cm. What is the force on a charge of 1 μC placed at the centre of the square?

1.7 (a) An electrostatic field line is a continuous curve. That is, a field line cannot have sudden breaks. Why not?

      (b) Explain why two field lines never cross each other at any point?

1.8 Two point charges qA = 3 μC and qB = –3 μC are located 20 cm apart in vacuum.

      (a) What is the electric field at the midpoint O of the line AB joining the two charges?

      (b) If a negative test charge of magnitude 1.5 × 10–9 C is placed at this point, what is the force experienced by the test charge?

1.9 A system has two charges qA = 2.5 × 10–7 C and qB = –2.5 × 10–7 C located at points A: (0, 0, –15 cm) and B: (0,0, +15 cm), respectively.What are the total charge and electric dipole moment of the system?

1.10 An electric dipole with dipole moment 4 × 10–9 C m is aligned at 30° with the direction of a uniform electric field of magnitude 5 × 104 NC–1. Calculate the magnitude of the torque acting on the dipole.

1.11 A polythene piece rubbed with wool is found to have a negative charge of 3 × 10–7 C.

     (a) Estimate the number of electrons transferred (from which to which?)

     (b) Is there a transfer of mass from wool to polythene?



Please refer to attached file for NCERT Class 12 Physics Electric Charges and Fields



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Chapter 1 Electric Charges and Fields
NCERT Class 12 Physics Electric Charges and Fields
Chapter 2 Electrostatic Potential and Capacitance
NCERT Class 12 Physics Electrostatic Potential and Capacitance
Chapter 3 Current Electricity
NCERT Class 12 Physics Current Electricity
Chapter 4 Moving Charges and Magnetism
NCERT Class 12 Physics Moving Charges and Magnetism
Chapter 5 Magnetism and Matter
NCERT Class 12 Physics Magnetism and Matter
Chapter 6 Electromagnetic Induction
NCERT Class 12 Physics Electromagnetic Induction
Chapter 7 Alternating Current
NCERT Class 12 Physics Alternating Current
Chapter 8 Electromagnetic Waves
NCERT Class 12 Physics Electromagnetic Waves
Chapter 9 Ray Optics and Optical Instruments
NCERT Class 12 Physics Ray Optics and Optical Instruments
Chapter 10 Wave Optics
NCERT Class 12 Physics Wave Optics
Chapter 11 Dual Nature of Radiation and Matter
NCERT Class 12 Physics Dual Nature of Radiation and Matter
Chapter 12 Atoms
NCERT Class 12 Physics Atoms
Chapter 13 Nuclei
NCERT Class 12 Physics Nuclei
Chapter 14 Semiconductor Electronics Materials Devices and Simple Circuits
NCERT Class 12 Physics Semiconductor Electronics Materials and Devices and Simple Circuits
Chapter 15 Communication Systems
NCERT Class 12 Physics Communication Systems
Part I Answers and Solutions
NCERT Class 12 Physics Answers and Solutions
Part II Answers and Solutions
NCERT Class 12 Physics Answers and Solutions
Part II Appendix
NCERT Class 12 Physics Appendix
Part II BiblioGraphy
NCERT Class 12 Physics BiblioGraphy

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