Coulombs law and four charges

In summary, the conversation discusses the net charge on a fifth charge located in the middle of a square with four other charges on the corners. The given charges and their values are listed, and the conversation delves into using Coulomb's Law to calculate the net force on the middle charge. It is concluded that the net force will be 0 due to the equal and opposite charges on opposite corners.
  • #1
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Homework Statement



four charges aranged on the corners of a square. a fifth charge is located in the middle of the square. what is the net charge on that charge?
givens: two charges -5uC are placed at opposite corners of the square, two charges 2uC are placed at opposite corners of the square, and the fifth charge is -1uC placed at the middle of the square

Homework Equations



F=K(q1*q2)/r^2

The Attempt at a Solution


i do not know if i can find a distance to use the coulombs law equation.
the answer that i want to say is that there is no force exerted on the fifth charge because the charges at the corners opposite from each other are equal thus giving no exerted force.
 
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  • #2
Are you asked for the net charge on the middle charge that you list as a given already? Or the net force perhaps?

I note that since the charges on opposite corners are equal and in opposite directions and you are equidistant from them ...
 
  • #3
it is asking for the net force on the middle charge, and i keep thinking that the net force will be 0 because the charges on opposite corners are of equal direction and magnitude.
i just don't know if there is some law or rule that i am unaware of that will put any force on that middle charge
 
  • #4
radenm said:
it is asking for the net force on the middle charge, and i keep thinking that the net force will be 0 because the charges on opposite corners are of equal direction and magnitude.
i just don't know if there is some law or rule that i am unaware of that will put any force on that middle charge

Well there is Coulomb's Law that serves to show that very thing. Remember that force is a vector, and the statement of Coulomb's Law includes the vector in the direction between the charges.
 
  • #5
dont i need the distance for each side to figure out the force generated from each charge?
 
  • #6
radenm said:
dont i need the distance for each side to figure out the force generated from each charge?

Write out the equations and see what cancels out.
 
  • #7
thank you very much, your clarification was very helpful! :)
 

1. What is Coulomb's Law?

Coulomb's Law is a fundamental law in physics that describes the electrostatic interaction between charged particles. It states that the force between two charged particles is directly proportional to the product of their charges and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.

2. How does Coulomb's Law apply to four charges?

Coulomb's Law can be applied to four charges by calculating the force between each pair of charges and then vectorially summing these forces to find the total force on each charge. This can be done using the principle of superposition, which states that the total force on a charged particle is the vector sum of all the individual forces acting on it.

3. What is the mathematical equation for Coulomb's Law?

The mathematical equation for Coulomb's Law is F = k * (q1 * q2) / r^2, where F is the force between two charged particles, k is the Coulomb's constant (8.99 * 10^9 Nm^2/C^2), q1 and q2 are the charges of the particles, and r is the distance between them.

4. How does the distance between charges affect the force according to Coulomb's Law?

According to Coulomb's Law, the force between two charged particles is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. This means that as the distance between two charges increases, the force between them decreases. Similarly, as the distance between two charges decreases, the force between them increases.

5. Can Coulomb's Law be used to calculate the force between non-point charges?

Yes, Coulomb's Law can be used to calculate the force between non-point charges, such as charged objects with a finite size or shape. In this case, the distance between the charges is measured from the closest points on the objects. The total charge of the object can also be found by summing the individual charges of each component of the object.

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