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Coulomb's Law, net electrostatic force

  1. Mar 28, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A particle with charge −9 μC is located on the x-axis at the point 8 cm, and a second particle with charge 5 μC is placed on the x-axis at 6 cm. The Coulomb constant is 8.9875 × 109 N · m2/C2. What is the magnitude of the total electrostatic force on a third particle with charge 2 μC placed on the x-axis at −2 cm? Answer in units of N.


    2. Relevant equations
    Coulomb's Law
    fe = (kq1q2)/(d2)


    3. The attempt at a solution
    (8.9875e9 * 2e-6 * 5e-6) / (0.08^2) = 14.04296875
    (8.9875e9 * 5e-6 * -9e-6) / (0.02^2) = -983.0078125
    14.04296875 + -983.0078125 = -997.0507813
    magnitude 997.0507813

    Why is this wrong? What can I do to make it right?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 28, 2009 #2

    Doc Al

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    You want the force on the 2μC charge.
     
  4. Mar 28, 2009 #3
    Thank you so much!
     
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