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Electric dipole's maximum angular velocity

  1. Feb 17, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Consider an electric dipole located in a region with an electric field of magnitude [tex]\vec{E}[/tex] pointing in the positive y direction. The positive and negative ends of the dipole have charges +q and -q, respectively, and the two charges are a distance D apart. The dipole has moment of inertia I about its center of mass. The dipole is released from angle [tex]\theta[/tex], and it is allowed to rotate freely.

    What is [tex]\omega_{max}[/tex], the magnitude of the dipole's angular velocity when it is pointing along the y axis?

    2. Relevant equations

    dipole moment p= qd

    [tex]\vec{\tau}[/tex]=[tex]\vec{p}[/tex]X[tex]\vec{E}[/tex]

    U= -[tex]\vec{p}[/tex] [tex]\cdot[/tex][tex]\vec{E}[/tex]

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I attempted to use energy, but I am not sure how to do it correctly - does potential energy equal kinetic? is the potential energy the one described in the above equation?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 18, 2008 #2

    mjsd

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    Homework Helper

    dipole in a E field gives torque, torque is a force and can then be related to moment of inertia and angular acceleration
     
  4. Feb 18, 2008 #3

    clem

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    Science Advisor

    You can use your expression for U and (1/2)I\omega^2 for the KE.
     
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