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Electric field strength at the center of semicircle

  1. Mar 28, 2014 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A uniformly charged insulating rod of length 12.0 cm is bent into the shape of a semicircle as shown in the figure below. The rod has a total charge of −7.50 µC.

    Find the magnitude of the electric field at O, the centre of the semicircle.

    2. Relevant equations
    E = 2kq / pi r2
    (Acquired on the internet)

    3. The attempt at a solution
    E = 2(9X109)(-7.5X10-6) / pi (0.06)2
    E = -135000 / 0.01130973355
    E = -11936620.73

    magnitude: 11936620 N/C

    Got it wrong... I don't know why...
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 28, 2014 #2

    BvU

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    You want the magnitude of a vector ##\vec E##. Contributions from different places on the rod point in different directions, so the sum vector is not as big as you calculate now.
    If the ring were not half but complete, ##|\vec E|## would be ...?
     
  4. Mar 28, 2014 #3
    Less...?
     
  5. Mar 28, 2014 #4

    BvU

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  6. Mar 28, 2014 #5
    You used the wrong radius.
     
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