Electrostatics Rapid Review for AP Physics B & C

By — McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Feb 12, 2011

For a more thorough review, refer to these concepts:

Rapid Review

  • Matter is made of protons, neutrons, and electrons. Protons are positively charged, neutrons have no charge, and electrons are negatively charged.
  • Like charges repel, opposite charges attract.
  • An induced charge can be created in an electrically neutral object by placing that object in an electric field.
  • Electric field lines are drawn from positive charges toward negative charges. Where an electric field is stronger, the field lines are drawn closer together.
  • The electric force on an object depends on both the object's charge and the electric field it is in.
  • Unless stated otherwise, the zero of electric potential is at infinity.
  • Equipotential lines show all the points where a charged object would feel the same electric force. They are always drawn perpendicular to electric field lines.
  • The electric field between two charged parallel plates is constant. The electric field around a charged particle depends on the distance from the particle.
  • Gauss's law says that the net electric flux through a closed surface is equal to the charge enclosed divided by ε0. To solve a problem using Gauss's law, look for planar, cylindrical, or spherical symmetry.
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