Coulomb’s experiment is designed to measure the electrostatic force between two charged spheres. The experiment was first performed by Charles-Augustin de Coulomb in 1785 using a torsion balance. Since then, there have been multiple visions of the experiment. Here we present a simplified version that doesn’t require prior knowledge of trigonometry.
The experimental setup consists of:
The experiment follows these steps:
The reading on the scale will measure the electrostatic force and vary with the charges of the spheres and the distance between their centers as established by Coulomb’s law. The reading on the scale will be the magnitude of the electrostatic force, with a minus sign if the spheres attract and a plus sign if they repel.
Figure: Possible setup for the variation of Coulomb's experiment described above.