Electrostatic force is the phenomenon that results from slow-moving or stationary electrical charges. It is studied in the scientific discipline known as electrostatics by researchers analyzing electromagnetic interaction. Specifically, electrostatic force is the physical reaction that holds together the electromagnetic field created by subatomic particles, such as electrons and protons. In order for electrostatic forces to remain cohesive, these particles need to independently maintain both positive and negative charges and react to each other accordingly. According to the laws of physics, there are four fundamental forces that describe the reactions of particles, one of which is considered electromagnetic force, which results in electrostatic force under certain conditions.
Electrostatic force between electrons and protons is one of the strongest forces in the universe, even more powerful than gravity. A hydrogen atom, which contains only one electron and one proton, has the fundamental force of gravity keeping it together. However, each subatomic particle can develop electrostatic force as well, which becomes even stronger. In physics, the laws state that a magnitude of force must be exerted between the particles that is 1024 stronger than simple gravity. Each atom in the universe in its natural state contains an even amount of protons and electrons, creating a strong presence of electrostatic forces.
As two surfaces come in contact with each other, charge exchange occurs, resulting in the development of electrostatic forces. When resistance is present in one of these materials, electrostatic charges are more apparent to the observer. The resistive material retains the electrostatic charge for a longer period of time until the charges become neutralized, such as with a static shock.
Coulomb's law defines the fundamental theories regarding electrostatic force of attraction within the science of electrostatics. It was established in the 1780s by a French physicist named Charles Augustin de Coulomb. He utilized the basic theories of electromagnetism to determine the formulas and equations that defined electromagnetic forces and electrostatics.
One of the most common examples of electrostatic force seen in everyday life occurs when someone opens up a plastic package. Often, this package becomes stuck to one's fingers. This is due to the fact that the package, containing electrically-resistant properties, had rubbed against other surfaces, building up an electrostatic charge. The ancient Greeks were the first to notice this concept when they researched amber. Amber possesses the ability to attract particles when rubbed with a another material.