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Are two charges always in electrostatic equilibrium?

  1. May 16, 2015 #1

    kay

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    What I studied was that the force on one charge due to another equal charge in the system of two charges was, (say) F; whereas the force on the other charge due to the first charge was found out to be -F. Hence they add up to be zero. So can I say that the two equal charges are in electrostatic equilibrium or to generalise any two equal charges are in electrostatic equilibrium?
    (using coulomb's law)
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2015
  2. jcsd
  3. May 16, 2015 #2
    F and -F are equal in magnitude but opposite in direction.

    Does that mean an equilibrium has been obtained?
    ( ie do 2 free electrons separated by a distance d and having F and -F acting on them continue to be separated by distance d? )
     
  4. May 16, 2015 #3

    kay

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    I don't think so...
     
  5. May 16, 2015 #4
    So the two charges would not be in static equilibrium if they are both free to move about.

    What if the charges were in a conductor.
    Could an electrostatic equilibrium be reached in a conductor? And where would the charges then be located?

    You may want to re-visit the definition of electrostatic equilibrium, such as
    from
    http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/estatics/u8l4d.cfm

    ( so, from you first post, the F and -F might not be enough to designate an electrostatic equilibrium situation for the charges )
     
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