red as above described, then the mechanical force between them is equal to QQ'/Kd^2 dynes. For constant charges and distances the mechanical force is inversely as the dielectric constant.
Electric Force.--If a small conducting body is charged with Q electrostatic units of electricity, and placed in any electric field at a point where the electric force has a value E, it will be subject to a mechanical force equal to QE dynes, tending to move it in the direction of the resultant electric force. This provides us with a definition of a unit of electric force, for it is the strength of an electric field at that point where a small conductor carrying a unit charge is acted upon by unit mechanical force, assuming the dielectric constant of the surrounding medium to be unity. To avoid unnecessary complications we shall assume this latter condition in all the following discussion, which is equivalent simply to assuming that all our electrical measurements are made in air or in vacuo.
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