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Facts about Charles-Augustin de Coulomb

We all know that like charges repel, while unlike charges attract such that the force is between these charges is proportional to the product of the charges and inversely to the square of the distance between them. This law is known as Coulomb’s law.

But how much do we know about the person who stated this law? Coulomb’s law was stated by Charles-Augustin de Coulomb, born on 14th June 1736. He was from Angouleme, France. Let’s try to understand few interesting facts related to him.

Interesting facts about Charles-Augustin de Coulomb:

  1.  Coulomb graduated from Ecole royale du genie de Mezieres in the year 1761.
  2. For twenty years he involved himself in various fields like structural engineering, fortifications, soil mechanics and other fields related to engineering.
  3. He even studied philosophy, literature and language.
  4. He presented his first work on applied mechanics in the year 1773 to the Academie des Sciences in Paris.
  5. In 1779, he was sent to Rochefort to collaborate with Marquis de Montalembert, where he started his experiments related to mechanics.
  6. His first discovery was about the inverse relationship of force between two charges and the same relationship between the magnetic poles, which is known as Coulomb’s law.
  7. Due to the outbreak of the revolution in 1789, he resigned his post and settled in Blois.
  8. He was one of the members of the French National Institute and his name is one of the 72 names carved into the Eiffel Tower.

Coulomb’s law

Between 1785 and 1787, Charles Augustine de Coulomb started his series of experiments related to electric charges. The mathematical form of Coulomb’s law is:

F = Kc (q1q2)/r2


  • q1 and q2 are the electric charges
  • r is the distance between the two electric charges
  • Kc is known as Coulomb’s constant which is also known as electrostatic force constant
  • The value of Kc = 8.987551787 × 109m-2.

Inverse-square law

Inverse-square law explains the relation between the force of pushing or pulling and the distance between the particles. Examples of inverse-sqaure law are:

  • Electrostatics
  • Gravitation
  • Acoustics

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