What is 'K' in K=1/4pi Epsilon 0?

by kenshi64
Tags: coulomb's law, electric constant
 P: 34 Hey So for those that don't know, I'm reading this from Atomic Physics, basically where they teach you how the size of a nucleus was determined by shooting alpha particles at it. due to repulsion an alpha particle can get only 'so-close' to nucleus(they're both positively charged), and the the so-close is labelled as point P, the closest to the nucleus and alpha gets. So heres a formula they teach us to use: 1/2mv2 = kQq/r What is k called? what is the name of this constant, and what is it equal to since I was told it was the electric constant and went about solving it with that value, but at the back in the answer section they used the value 9x10^9!! Thanks guy!!! :D
 Sci Advisor HW Helper Thanks P: 26,167 hi kenshi64! that's the Coulomb's law equation k (or ke) is the Coulomb constant, 8.988 109 Nm2/C2 k = 1/4πε0 ε0 (not k) is the electric constant, also called the permittivity of the vacuum see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coulomb%27s_law and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_constant for more details

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