Coulomb's law requires expensive and delicate equipment. This chape and easy version is a clever and innovative inquiry lab that is appropriate for on-level, pre-AP, honors, and AP physics.
Students work in groups of 4 to determine the effect of distance on the repulsive force between two similar magnets. Disk magnets are best, neodymium disk magnets even better, but any small magnets will work.
Student express surprise at feeling the force of repulsion between the magnets. This is measured with an electronic balance. Students convert grams to newtons and centimeters to meters, plot a graph, and then predict the distance that will give them a particular force. It would even work in a math class. You'll love this activity!
Keywords: electrostatics, force, electrical force, test charge, Coulomb's law, coulombs, distance, inverse square law