Charges please help

  1. Charges...please help!!

    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data


    Two 3.52 g point charges on 7.49-m-long threads repel each other after being equally charged. What is the charge q? (θ=31°.)

    2. Relevant equations
    F = KQQ/R^2

    3. The attempt at a solution
    How do I find Q without having a distance r???
  2. jcsd
  3. Doc Al

    Staff: Mentor

    You are given the thread length and the angle--use that to figure out the distance.
  4. Oh the length from the center to one of the masses is 3.858 m.
    So I can do...
    F = K*Q*Q/r^2
    F = K*Q^2/ r^2
    An wouldn't F = 0 since they cancel each other out?
  5. Doc Al

    Staff: Mentor

    Since the masses are in equilibrium, the net force on each is zero. What forces act on each mass?
  6. Tension
  7. Doc Al

    Staff: Mentor

    That's one force. List them all. (And draw yourself a free body diagram showing how the force act on each mass.)
  8. Tension and weight are the forces
  9. So do I include the electric force? Like...
    T - W + Fel = 0
  10. Doc Al

    Staff: Mentor

    Don't forget the electrostatic force!
  11. Isn't that Fel?
  12. Doc Al

    Staff: Mentor

    Yes, but realize that forces are vectors--direction counts. Set up two equations: One for the horizontal components, one for the vertical components. Combine these to solve for the charge.
  13. X.) TSINθ + qE = 0
    y.) TCOSθ - mg = 0

    T = mg/COSθ
    mg/COSθ * SINθ + qE
    q = -mg*TANθ/E
  14. Doc Al

    Staff: Mentor

    I'd write that first equation as:
    Tsinθ - qE = 0 (since the force components are in opposite directions)

    Realize that E is also a function of q, so rewrite that in terms of k, q, and r (which you figured out).

    Otherwise, you are on the right track.
  15. Okay so I end up with...
    -q = -(mg*tanθ) / (kq/r^2)
    q = (mg*tanθ) / (kq/r^2)
    and the q's cancel?
    = (mg*tanθ) / (k/r^2)
  16. Doc Al

    Staff: Mentor

    The q's don't cancel. And when you divide by a fraction, simplify the result. (Invert and multiply.)
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thead via email, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?