Point charge

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A point charge is a point electrical charge , i.e. a charge without any spatial expansion. This idealization is used in electrostatics to describe the fundamental interactions between electrical charge carriers . Point charges, like extended charges, generate electric fields so that an electrostatic force acts between them . Solutions for field equations with point charges are called vacuum solutions . They are used in the point charge model .

Point charges are mostly a simplification of the real situation. Macroscopic bodies never represent a point charge, but their charge is distributed over the body or, in the case of conductors, on their surface. In many cases, however, they can be mathematically approximated as point charges. Objects at the atomic level are usually not point charges either, such as the proton . One assumes, however, that the electron is actually a particle that has point-like mass and charge. The same applies to the other leptons and quarks .

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