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Homework Help: Electric Field Strength at Center of Triangle

  1. Dec 15, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Three positive charges, A, B and C, of 3 × 10-6, 2 × 10-6, and 3 × 10-6 Coulombs respectively, are located at the corners of an equilateral triangle of side 0.2 meters.

    Find the magnitude in newtons/Coulomb of the electric field at the center of the triangle.

    2. Relevant equations

    E = [itex]\frac{1}{4∏ε}[/itex] Ʃqjroj/roj2

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I'm not quite sure what I'm doing wrong but I feel like it's something simple (and perhaps geometric). My triangle has a base on the x axis and it's origin is at the center of the base. My basic approach is to find the center of the triangle.

    Then, I compute the distance from each point charge to the center via Pythagorean.

    Once I have that, I compute the electric field strength for each particle. Then, I take the x and y components and add them.

    I've tried different centers for the triangle but I'm always off by a factor of 10.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 16, 2012 #2
    Hey, just wanted to say that I figured it out. As I suspected, it was a geometric mistake when calculating the center of the triangle. Looks like I need to go over some middle school math =/
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