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Electric Force and Charged Spheres
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Jan10-07, 12:48 PM
1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
Consider the following configuration of fixed, uniformly charged spheres on an xy coordinate system:
·a blue sphere fixed at the origin with positive charge q.
·a red sphere fixed at the point (d1,0) with unknown charge q_red,
·a yellow sphere fixed at the point (d2*cos theta, -d2*sin theta) with unknown charge q_yellow.
The net electric force on the blue sphere is observed to be vector F = (0,-F), where F>0 .
Here is a makeshift sketch:
O = charged particle
O_(q)___________O (d1, 0) q_red
----\O (d2*cos theta, -d2*sin theta) q_yellow
in which the dotted line between q at (0,0) and q_yellow is d2 and theta = angle between d2 and the x-axis (The x- axis is depicted by __________ pattern.)
What is the sign of the charge on the yellow sphere?
What is the sign of the charge on the red sphere?
2. Relevant equations
Possibly Coulomb’s Law:
F_mag = (k*|q1*q2|)/(r^2), where k = 8.988 * 10^9 N*m^2/C^2
3. The attempt at a solution
The y-component of the electric force is –F. The q_red particle does not have a y-component; it only has an x-component. The q_yellow charge has a y-component. If a – sign follows, then the q_yellow chage is positive since – indicates repulsion????
Is the q_red charge negative? If the electric force’s x-component is 0, then q_red’s x-component must be negative if q_yellow’s x-component is positive???
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