# Calculating electrostatic force on particles

• Jrlinton
In summary, the conversation discusses a homework problem involving the use of "parts" to find the x and y components of a force using the equation F=(kq1q2)/d^2. A calculation mistake is made initially, but is corrected and the correct numerical value is found. The conversation also highlights the importance of considering the signs and directions of the charges when calculating the force components.
Jrlinton

F=(kq1q2)/d^2

## The Attempt at a Solution

So it should be fairly easy to use "parts" to come up with each answer
Part a
Because particle 1 has no pull in the x direction I should be able to ignore it when finding the x component of the force
Fx=k*q3*q4/a^2+k*q3*q2/(a*sqrt2)^2*cos45
=7.46E-4 N
This was incorrect and I did not attempt part 2 as I figured my mistake would carry over to that similar calculation

Check your calculation. I get something else. Spell it out if you want it checked.

8.99E9*(9.5E-8)*(-9.5E-8)/(2.03E-3)+8.99E9*(9.5E-8)(-5E.7)/(4.05E-3)cos45deg
=-0.114623N
it seems that I made a mistake on my cm to m conversion and if I remember correctly this should be absolute value of the charges so
=0.114623N

Numerical value same as what I found.

Jrlinton said:
if I remember correctly this should be absolute value of the charges
No. You are asked for an x-component, which can be negative or positive. Make a sketch to find the right sign. What does the F in your relevant equation represent ?

I realized this after I sent it. Both q2 and q4 are opposite charges of q3 so they are both attractive forces. In regards to the y component q1 will repel q3 while q2 will again be attractive and by glance you can tell the effect of q1 will be greater than q2 you can assume that the answer will be negative in the y direction

BvU
Assuming is one thing, calculating is better .

## 1. How do you calculate the electrostatic force between two charged particles?

The electrostatic force between two charged particles is calculated using Coulomb's law, which states that the force is directly proportional to the product of the charges and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. The formula for calculating the electrostatic force is F = (k * q1 * q2) / d2, where k is the Coulomb's constant, q1 and q2 are the charges of the particles, and d is the distance between them.

## 2. What is the unit of electrostatic force?

The unit of electrostatic force is Newton (N), which is equivalent to kg*m/s2. It is a unit of force that represents the amount of force required to accelerate a mass of one kilogram at a rate of one meter per second squared.

## 3. How does the distance between charged particles affect the electrostatic force?

The electrostatic force between two charged particles is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. This means that as the distance between the particles increases, the force decreases. Similarly, as the distance decreases, the force increases. This relationship can be seen in the formula F = (k * q1 * q2) / d2.

## 4. Can the electrostatic force be attractive or repulsive?

Yes, the electrostatic force can be both attractive and repulsive. If the charges of the particles are of opposite sign, the force between them will be attractive, pulling the particles towards each other. On the other hand, if the charges are of the same sign, the force will be repulsive, pushing the particles away from each other.

## 5. How does the magnitude of the charges affect the electrostatic force?

The magnitude of the charges has a direct effect on the electrostatic force between particles. The greater the magnitude of the charges, the stronger the force will be. For example, if the charges are doubled, the force between the particles will also double. This relationship can be seen in the formula F = (k * q1 * q2) / d2.

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