Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Direction and magnitude of the net electrostatic force

  1. Aug 30, 2005 #1
    Find the direction and magnitude of the net electrostatic force exerted on the point charge q2 in Figure 19-31. Let q = +1.8 µC and d = 41 cm.
    Direction ° (from the x-axis, which points to the right)
    Magnitude N
    *image of diagram*
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 30, 2005 #2
    i have found the components of all the charges, but dont know where to go after i get them, any help?
  4. Aug 30, 2005 #3


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Pick one charge, and figure the magnitude and direction for the attraction or repulsion of the other three charges.

    The electrostatic force (vector) is along the line between each charge.

    The net force (vector) on one charge is the sum of the forces (vector) due to the three other charges.

    Remember - this is vector addition.

    In the diagram, q2 (-) is attracted to q1 (+), but repelled by q3 (-) and q4 (-), along the lines between each charge.
  5. Aug 30, 2005 #4
    You need to choose a frame of reference, use Coulomb's Law and the principle of superposition (the total force exerted on q2 is sum of the forces exerted by each separate particle)...
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2005
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook