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On the one hand: a measure of the strength of a force (action-at-a-distance) originating from a body, and of how susceptible it is to being influenced by other bodies via the same force. The most famous example is electric charge: Electrically charged bodies act on other electrically charged bodies via an electric force whose strength is proportional to the electric charges of the bodies involved.

It is a characteristic property of charges that they are conserved; they can neither be created from nothing nor simply disappear. For instance, when a positron with electric charge +1 (in suitable units) and an electron with electric charge -1 annihilate to give electromagnetic radiation, overall charge conservation is satisfied: Before the annihilation, the sum of the electric charges was 1+(-1)=0, and afterwards, when there is only uncharged electromagnetic radiation left, it is also zero.

In the context of particle physics, there are more abstract charges not directly connected with forces and interaction, but subject to similar conservation laws.

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