what is meant by the statement that "electro static waves follow the principle of super position"

Integral
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
First of all, Electro STATIC waves do not exist. Waves are inherently dynamic in nature which conflicts with the term static. To say the electro magnetic potentials follow the superposition would make sense. This is just saying that electro static potentials add at a point. So if you have 2 separate charge distributions, the field (or potential) at a point distant from either charge would be the sum of the 2 contributing fields.

what is meant by the statement that"electrostatic forces obey the principle of superposition"

Originally posted by lamp post
what is meant by the statement that"electrostatic forces obey the principle of superposition"

Consider a test charge placed at Rt and two source charges, q1 and q2 placed at R1 and R2 respectivley. Let F1t be the force that would be exerted on the test charge due to q1 if q2 were absent and let F2t be the force that would be exerted on the test charge due to q2 if q1 were absent. Then the total force Ftotal on the test charge with both charges present is given by

$$\mathbf{F}_{total} = \mathbf{F}_{1} + \mathbf{F}_{2}$$

That is what is meant when it is said that the total force is the "superpostition" of the two forces.