# Electric field strength of 4 charges positioned in a square shape

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In summary: It's important to always remember the fundamentals and try not to overthink things. In summary, the conversation was about solving a physics problem involving four charged particles, determining the electric field and total electrostatic force on a specific charge, and the importance of remembering the fundamentals in problem-solving.
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## Homework Statement

Four charged particles are at the corners of a square of side a as shown in the figure below. (Let
A = 3, B = 5 and C = 6.)

(a) Determine the electric field at the location of charge q. (Use the following as necessary: q, a, and ke.)
(b) Determine the total electrostatic force exerted on q. (Use the following as necessary: q, a, and ke.)

F=Eq

## The Attempt at a Solution

Assuming that I have to solve this algebraically...

Yeah - all they want is the resulting equation.
You also need the equation for E. Don't forget E is a vector.

I really have no idea how to solve this question...

You know how to work out the force on the charge q?

Simon Bridge said:
You know how to work out the force on the charge q?

I have managed to do the first question.

Not sure how to do the second one...

The first one asks for the electric field - which you should have as a strength and direction.
The second one asks you to find the force as a result - what is the relationship between electric field and the force on a charge?
Hint: you gave the equation in post #1.

Simon Bridge said:
The first one asks for the electric field - which you should have as a strength and direction.
The second one asks you to find the force as a result - what is the relationship between electric field and the force on a charge?
Hint: you gave the equation in post #1.

God thinking too hard on a one question resulted in tunnel vision.

Problem solved. Thank you.

No worries.

## 1. What is the formula for calculating the electric field strength of 4 charges positioned in a square shape?

The electric field strength of 4 charges positioned in a square shape can be calculated using the formula: E = (k * Q) / (d^2), where k is the Coulomb's constant, Q is the charge of each particle, and d is the distance between the charges.

## 2. How do the individual charges affect the overall electric field strength?

The individual charges in a square shape affect the overall electric field strength by either adding to or cancelling out each other's electric fields. If the charges are all positive or all negative, they will add to each other and create a stronger electric field. If they are a mix of positive and negative charges, they will cancel out and create a weaker electric field.

## 3. Does the distance between the charges affect the electric field strength?

Yes, the distance between the charges does affect the electric field strength. As the distance increases, the electric field strength decreases. This is because the electric field follows an inverse square law, meaning that the strength decreases exponentially as the distance increases.

## 4. Can the direction of the electric field change in a square shape?

Yes, the direction of the electric field can change in a square shape. The direction of the electric field at any point is determined by the direction of the electric field created by each individual charge. In a square shape, the direction of the electric field can change depending on the position of the observer relative to the charges.

## 5. How does the net charge of the 4 charges affect the electric field strength?

The net charge of the 4 charges does not have a direct effect on the electric field strength. The electric field strength is dependent on the individual charges and their positions. However, the net charge can indirectly affect the electric field strength by determining the overall direction and magnitude of the electric field.

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