## Quantization of Charge:

Whatever is the process of charging, it always ends with the transfer of a certain number of electrons from one body to another. An electron is a fundamental particle and it carries a fixed amount of negative charge (e). The SI unit of electronic charge is a coulomb (abbreviated to C). It has been found that one coulomb of charge is equal to the charge carried by ** 6.25 x 10^{18} electrons**.

Thus, e = 1/6.25 x 10^{18} = 1.6 x 10^{-19} C (Negative) |

All bodies are electrically neutral. They contain equal amounts of positive and negative charges. However, during the charging process, if a body gains a certain number of electrons it becomes a negatively charged body. On the other hand, if the body loses a certain number of electrons, it acquires a positive charge. Since a body gets charged by the transfer of a certain number of electrons, the charge on the body will be

Q = ±ne |

Where n is the number of electrons transferred and e is the charge on the electron. A charged body, large or small, has a total charge which is some integer multiple of e. This statement is known as the principle of quantization of electric charge.

*The following points should be noted in connection with the principle of quantization of charge:*

(1) When a body picks up a certain number of electrons, it acquires a negative charge. As electrons are not massless particles, the body mass increases slightly on being charged negatively.

(2) When a body loses a certain number of electrons, it becomes positively charged. The mass of a body decreases slightly on being charged positively.

(3) The charge on a body cannot have any arbitrary value- it has to be an integral multiple of the charge on the electron. Therefore, it is not possible for a body to have a charge, say ** 7.0 x 10^{-19} C**, since it is not a whole integral multiple of

**.**

*1.6 x 10*^{-19}C(4) On theoretical considerations possibility of particles carrying charges ** ±(2/3)e** and

**has been suggested- these particles are called**

*±(1/3)e***. These particles have not been detected so far.**

*quarks*
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