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a place of mind. FACULTY OF EDUCATION. Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy. Physics Electrostatics : Coulomb’s Law – Force on a Third Charge. Science and Mathematics Education Research Group. Supported by UBC Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund 2012-2013. Force on a Third Charge. +.

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physics electrostatics coulomb s law force on a third charge

a place of mind

FACULTY OF EDUCATION

Department of

Curriculum and Pedagogy

PhysicsElectrostatics: Coulomb’s Law – Force on a Third Charge

Science and Mathematics Education Research Group

Supported by UBC Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund 2012-2013

slide3

Coulomb’s Law I

Q3

Three charges with equal magnitude but different signs are arranged as shown. Q3 is the same distance away from Q1 and Q2. What is the direction of the net force on Q3, if any?

Q1

Q2

+q

+q

A. No net force

C.

B.

D.

E.

Fnet

Fnet

-q

Fnet

Fnet

slide4

Solution

Answer: B

Justification: Q1 and Q3 are both positive and will repel each other. Q1 and Q3 repel each other. This means that the force Q1 exerts on Q3 will point away from Q1.

Q2 and Q3 have opposite charges, so they attract each other. Q2 and Q1 also attract each other. The force Q2 exerts on Q3 will point toward Q2.

Adding the two forces gives Fnet.

F1 on 3

Fnet

Q3

F2 on 3

Fnet

Q1

Q2

F1 on 3

F2 on 3

slide5

Coulomb’s Law II

Two charges with the same magnitude but different signs are arranged as shown. Where should a positive charge be placed so that it experiences no net force?

B.

+q

A.

C.

D.

Q1

Q2

-q

B.

E. The charge will always experience a non-zero net force

slide6

Solution

Answer: E

Justification: In order for the third charge to experience zero net force, the force it experiences due to both Q1 and Q2 must have equal magnitudes but point in opposite directions. Only points equidistant from Q1 and Q2 (points along the dashed vertical line) will experience a force with equal magnitude from Q1 and Q2. However, from last question we know that the net force will point to the right (towards the negative charge) for any positive charge placed along the vertical line equidistant from both charges . Therefore a charge will always experience a non-zero force.

+q

Q1

Q2

-q

slide7

Q3 = -q

Q2 = q

Q1 = q

Coulomb’s Law III

What is the direction of the force Q1 exerts on Q3?

All of the charges are the same distance apart.

A

B

C

E

D.

slide8

Solution

Answer: E

Justification: The two charges Q1 and Q3 are opposite and will attract each other. Q1 is pulling Q3 closer. This means that the force Q1 exerts on Q3 will point from Q3 towards Q1.

Forces A and C are along the line between Q3 andQ2 and represent an interaction between those two charges. Force B is a repelling force between Q3 and Q1.

And Force D is the net force applied on charge Q3 .

slide9

Coulomb’s Law IV

Q3 = -q

Up

Q1 = q

Q2 = q

What is the direction of the net force acting on Q3?

A. up

B. down

C. to the left

D. to the right

slide10

Solution

Answer: B

Justification: Fnet is found by adding all of the vectors together.

Because of symmetry in the system, the x-components of F1on3 and F2on3 will cancel out, and Fnet will point down.

Q3

F1on3

F2on3

F1on3

Up

Fnet

F2on3

Q2

Q1

slide11

-7q

2q

4q

-5q

-3q

d

-5q

-3q

2q

4q

-7q

Coulomb’s Law V

The central particle of charge -2q is surrounded by a square array of charged particles. The square has side length d. What is the magnitude and direction of the net electrostatic force on the central particle due to the other particles?

B

A

C

-2q

D. There will be no net force

slide12

-7q

2q

4q

-5q

-3q

d

-5q

-3q

2q

4q

-7q

Solution

Answer: D

Justification: This problem can be solved with symmetry. Each charge along the edge of the square has an equal pair charge on the opposite side of the square. The forces caused by these two charges will cancel each other when they are added together, since they are equal in magnitude but opposite in direction.