The Coulomb's Law Interactive is an adjustable-size file that displays nicely on smart phones, on tablets such as the iPad, on Chromebooks, and on laptops and desktops. The size of the Interactive can be scaled to fit the device that it is displayed on. The compatibility with smart phones, iPads, other tablets, and Chromebooks make it a perfect tool for use in a 1:1 classroom.


Teaching Ideas and Suggestions:

This Interactive is intended for use near the early stages of a learning cycle on Coulomb's law. The Interactive provides a perfect environment for investigating the effect of one variable upon another variable. The amount of charge on each of the two objects and the distance that separates them can be easily changed. Each square on the background grid of the simulation is intended to be 1.0 meter along its edge. The simulation allows learners to explore the direct proportionality between the force and the amount of charge on either of the objects. Learners can also explore the inverse square relationship between force and separation distance. The separation distance is defined here as the distance between the centers of the two charges.

Many students would benefit from simply launching this Interactive and exploring on their own. For those teachers who wish for a more guided experience, The Physics Classroom has prepared an activity for use with this Interactive. The activity involves two challenges. The first challenge involves manipulating charge values in order to collect data that identifies the mathematical relationship between the electrostatic force and the quantity of charge on the two objects. The second challenge involves altering the separation distance in order to determine the relationship between the electrostatic force and the separation distance. View Activity.

If you have other ideas or even activities that can be used with this Interactive, we'd loe to hear about them. Please share your ideas on our social media websites:

Try our simulation. And when you're done, follow it up with our Concept Checker to see how well you learned the concept.


Related Resources

There are numerous resources at The Physics Classroom website that serve as very complementary supports for the Coulomb's Law Interactive. These include:
  • Minds On Physics Internet Modules:
    The Minds On Physics Internet Modules include a collection of interactive questioning modules that help learners assess their understanding of physics concepts and solidify those understandings by answering questions that require higher-order thinking. Assignments SE8 and SE9 of the Static Electricity module provide great complements to this Interactive. They are best used in the middle to later stages of the learning cycle. Visit the Minds On Physics Internet Modules.

  • Curriculum/Practice: Several Concept Development worksheets at the Curriculum Corner will be very useful in assisting students in cultivating their understanding, most notably ...

    Charge Interactions
    Coulomb's Law

    Visit the Curriculum Corner.

  • Labwork: 
    Simulations should always support (never supplant) hands-on learning. The Laboratory section of The Physics Classroom website includes several hands-on ideas that complement this Interactive. One notable lab idea includes ...

    Coulomb's Law Lab

    Visit The Laboratory.

Additional resources and ideas for incorporating Coulombs' Law into an instructional unit on electrostatics can be found at the Teacher Toolkits section of The Physics Classroom website.  Visit Teacher Toolkits.


The Physics Classroom would like to extend a special thanks to Nerd Island Studios for the creation of this HTML5 Interactive. Visit to see more great stuff by Nerd Island Studios.

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