In electrostatics, we study the electromagnetic phenomena that occur when there are no moving charges (After a static equilibrium has been established). Charges reach their equilibrium positions rapidly because the electric force is extremely strong.
- All substances are made up of atoms, which consist of a nucleus (containing protons and neutrons) and orbiting electrons. Protons are positively charged and electrons are negatively charged. Neutrons are so named because they are neutral; they have no net electric charge.
- In each atom of a material, the number of protons and electrons are equal. The positive and negative charges cancel each other to a large extent and there is no net electrical charges.
- Electrons can be removed from atoms or added to atoms and the material is left with a net charge, and electrical effects result. The study of these net stationary charges and their effects on each other constitutes the subject of static electricity or electrostatics.
- Atoms with net charges are called ions.