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Homework Help: 8-point charges on a vertice of a cube

  1. Sep 20, 2011 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    I attached a picture to make it easier...

    2. Relevant equations

    Coulomb's Law: F=k(q1*q2)/(r)^2


    Charge properties

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I uploaded a picture of one of the cleaner sheets of work I used so far...Basically, I suppose I'm at a loss at figuring out where to start, and where to finish. I thought I was on the right track by calculating the magnitude of each charge affecting the vertex A, but apparently it hasn't got me very far.

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 20, 2011 #2


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    Homework Helper

    I would start by calculating the force between two adjacent charge - for example the one directly below A. All the other forces and components will be fractions of that - the size of the fraction determined by the different distances involved. [and angles when looking at components].
    That will keep the arithmetic simple and you may be able to keep track of the forces.
  4. Sep 20, 2011 #3
    Okay, I understand finding the force between the two adjacent ones. No problem. And I get that the other components are fractions of them, but how would I go about calculating them simply?
  5. Sep 20, 2011 #4


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    For "diagonal" charges, the separation is up by a factor of sqrt(2), so the force is down by a factor of 2 courtesy of the inverse square law [there is a factor of R2 in the denominator of the formula.
    The body diagonal distance is up by a factor of sqrt(3)
  6. Sep 20, 2011 #5
    You guys on this forum are the best! Thank you!
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