: do electric charges have mass?


if we say voltage is work done on a single charge to move it across a circuit, and work is the force applies on a body of a certain mass to move it across a distance, are electric charges in a circuit bodies of mass?

In: 2

Yes, they’re electrons.

What is actually physically moving or flowing in a circuit are electrons, and those electrons do have mass. They’re have very very very very very very little mass, but they still have mass.

In metals, it’s the electrons that move.

In plasma, it’s ions that move.

In something like a water solution with ions in it (for example a salt solution), it’s the ions that move.

So in most cases, the particles that have the charge, also have mass. Mass and charge are fundamental properties of particles, and they are “independent” of each other.

For your specific question, though, the definition of “work” is [the displacement of energy](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Work_(physics)), and while it may make sense to express it in terms of force and distance for kinetic energy situations where you have objects moving inertially or within a uniform gravity field, for electricity it makes more sense to [express work in terms of the voltage](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Work_(electric_field)).

So it’s probably better to think of work as “transfer of energy” and then look for a formula based on what energy you’re talking about, whether it be heat, pressure, electricity, gravity / kinetic, nuclear, and so on.

Voltage is potential difference between two points.


Work is energy which can be seen as a mass via E=MC^2.

Electricity is the transfer of electrons which moves electromagnetic energy.

Electrons have mass.


Think you need to get the basics sorted first because your question is really difficult to understand when you misuse terms.

As a matter of fact all known particles that carry an electric charge have a mass.

This begs the better question, “Why are there no massless charged particles?”

As far as I am aware there is not a solid theoretical reason why massless charged particles couldn’t exist–they just don’t. Also as far as I know, none of our other major theories require a massless charged particles to exist, so there is no reason to expect that they exist.

Yes electrons have mass. But the electromagnetic force does not operate on mass, it operates on charge. Charge is a property, so it cannot have mass. Although particles with charge do have mass (some of them don’t, kinda, see “holes”).

Work is change in potential energy, not just kinetic. So as charged particles move in an electric field, they gain/lose electric potential energy.