# Columbia Encyclopedia

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## Coulomb's law

(Encyclopedia)Coulomb's law ko͞oˈlŏmz [key], in physics, law stating that the electrostatic force between two charged bodies is proportional to the product of the amount of charge on the bodies divided by the sq...

## coulomb

(Encyclopedia)coulomb ko͞oˈlŏm [key] [for C. A. de Coulomb], abbr. coul or C, unit of electric charge. The absolute coulomb, the current U.S. legal standard, is the amount of charge transferred in 1 second by a ...

## Coulomb, Charles Augustin de

(Encyclopedia)Coulomb, Charles Augustin de ko͞oˈlŏm, ko͞olŏmˈ, Fr. shärl ōgüstăNˈ də ko͞olôNˈ [key], 1736–1806, French physicist. In 1789 he retired from his posts as military engineer and as super...

## law

(Encyclopedia)law, rules of conduct of any organized society, however simple or small, that are enforced by threat of punishment if they are violated. Modern law has a wide sweep and regulates many branches of cond...

## distributive law

(Encyclopedia)distributive law. In mathematics, given any two operations, symbolized by * and ∘, the first operation, *, is distributive over the second, ∘, if a*(b∘c)=(a*b)∘(a*c) for all possible choices o...

## common law

(Encyclopedia)common law, system of law that prevails in England and in countries colonized by England. The name is derived from the medieval theory that the law administered by the king's courts represented the co...

## commutative law

(Encyclopedia)commutative law, in mathematics, law holding that for a given binary operation (combining two quantities) the order of the quantities is arbitrary; e.g., in addition, the numbers 2 and 5 can be combin...

## Dalton's law

(Encyclopedia)Dalton's law [for John Dalton], physical law that states that the total pressure exerted by a homogeneous mixture of gases is equal to the sum of the partial pressures of the individual gases. The par...

## criminal law

(Encyclopedia)criminal law, the branch of law that defines crimes, treats of their nature, and provides for their punishment. A tort is a civil wrong committed against an individual; a crime, on the other hand, is ...

## commercial law

(Encyclopedia)commercial law, the laws that govern business transactions, except those relating to the maritime transportation of goods (see maritime law). Commercial law developed as a distinct body of jurispruden...