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Homework Help: Electric fields - dipole moment

  1. Feb 26, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    An electric dipole, consisting of charges of magnitude 2.60 nC separated by 7.20 µm, is in an electric field of strength 1400 N/C.

    (a) What is the magnitude of the electric dipole moment?

    (b) What is the difference in potential energy corresponding to dipole orientations parallel to and antiparallel to the field?

    2. Relevant equations

    p = dipole moment = q * d

    U = -p * E

    3. The attempt at a solution

    For a), it's just plug and chug.

    q = 2.6 * 10^-9C
    d = 7.2 * 10^-6m

    q*d = 1.87E-14

    For b), I'm assuming we use U = -p * E.

    So for parallel, it's -pE but then what does antiparallel mean? That just means its not parallel right? (doesn't imply that its perpendicular does it?)
  2. jcsd
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