# Why is the electric charge a fundamental conserved property?

Conservation is a common theme in chemistry and physics. When you balance chemical equations, you are ensuring that the total number of atoms remain constant throughout the reaction. Here, it is the conservation of mass that is concerned. Another common conservation principle is energy. We usually use this principle in physics when we equate the initial energy of an event to the final energy of an event. If a baseball is thrown upwards at an initial kinetic energy, ${E}_{k}$, the gravitational potential energy, ${E}_{\text{PE}}$, will be equal to ${E}_{k}$.
To give a brief quantitative overview of electric charge, the unit for charge is the Coulomb, denoted by "C". A proton has a charge of $+ 1.602 \cdot {10}^{-} 19$ and an electron has a charge of $- 1.602 \cdot {10}^{-} 19$. These are referred to as the elementary charge.