Electric fields of triangle

In summary, three point charges with a magnitude of +2.6 µC are placed at the corners of an equilateral triangle with sides 0.13 m in length. The question asks for the magnitude of the electric field at the midpoint of any of the three sides of the triangle. To solve this problem, we can use the equation E={k}\cdot\frac{q}{r^2} and the rules of vector addition, as well as visualizing the problem through a drawing. It does not matter which side's midpoint we choose for our calculation.
  • #1
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Homework Statement


A point charge q = +2.6 µC is placed at each corner of an equilateral triangle with sides 0.13 m in length.
What is the magnitude of the electric field at the midpoint of any of the three sides of the triangle?


Homework Equations


E=(kq)/r^2
Fx=(F1+F2)cos
Fy=(F1+F2)sin
F=Fx+Fy


The Attempt at a Solution


I first tried using the first equation, but I was pretty sure that I had to also use the other three equations, but I did not know how to properly solve for each of the F values. Am I supposed to use F=(kq1 q2)/r^2 ?
 
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  • #2
map7s said:
Fx=(F1+F2)cos
Fy=(F1+F2)sin

Do this formulas seem right to you? Where are the arguments of cos and sin?

In general, when dealing with problems of physics, you should try to visualize them, not treat them just like a system of equations. It's much easier if you make a drawing and see what forces act on that point and what are the angles between them.

So you should begin by drawing the three point charges in the corners of an equilateral triangle, and draw the vectors representing the electric fields produced by each point charge, at the midpoint of a side of your choice.

You will only need one formula which you mentioned [tex]E={k}\cdot\frac{q}{r^2}[/tex] and the rules of vector addition.

Also you should think why it doesn't matter which side's midpoint you take.
 
  • #3


I would approach this problem by first visualizing the situation and understanding the concept of electric fields. The electric field is a vector quantity that represents the strength and direction of the electric force at a given point. In this case, we have three point charges placed at the corners of an equilateral triangle.

To calculate the electric field at the midpoint of any of the three sides of the triangle, we can use the superposition principle. This principle states that the total electric field at a point is the vector sum of the individual electric fields due to each point charge.

First, we need to determine the distance between the point charge and the midpoint of the side. Since the triangle is equilateral, the distance from the corner to the midpoint is half the length of the side, which is 0.065 m.

Next, we can use the equation E=(kq)/r^2 to calculate the electric field due to each point charge. Plugging in the given values, we get E=(9x10^9 Nm^2/C^2)(2.6x10^-6 C)/(0.065 m)^2 = 0.606 N/C.

Now, we need to find the components of the electric field in the x and y directions. We can use the equations Fx=(F1+F2)cos and Fy=(F1+F2)sin to calculate the x and y components of the electric field. Since the triangle is equilateral, the x and y components will be equal for each point charge. Therefore, we can simply multiply the electric field value by cos(60°) and sin(60°) to get the x and y components, respectively.

Finally, we can use the equation F=Fx+Fy to find the total electric field at the midpoint of the side. Since there are three point charges, we need to add the x and y components for each point charge. Thus, the magnitude of the electric field at the midpoint of any of the three sides of the triangle is 0.606 N/C in the direction of 60° from the positive x-axis.

In conclusion, by understanding the concept of electric fields and using the superposition principle, we can calculate the magnitude and direction of the electric field at the midpoint of any of the three sides of the triangle.
 

What is an electric field?

An electric field is a region in space around a charged particle or object in which another charged particle experiences a force.

How is an electric field of a triangle calculated?

The electric field of a triangle can be calculated by using the formula E = k * q / r^2, where k is the Coulomb constant, q is the charge of the triangle, and r is the distance from the triangle to the point where the field is being measured.

What factors affect the strength of an electric field of a triangle?

The strength of an electric field of a triangle is affected by the magnitude of the charges on the triangle, the distance from the triangle to the point where the field is being measured, and the angle at which the field is being measured.

What is the direction of an electric field of a triangle?

The direction of an electric field of a triangle is always away from positive charges and towards negative charges. In the case of a triangle, the direction of the field at any point is perpendicular to the side of the triangle that it is closest to.

How is the electric field of a triangle different from the electric field of a point charge?

The electric field of a point charge is spherically symmetric, meaning it is the same in all directions. However, the electric field of a triangle is not spherically symmetric and varies depending on the distance and location of the point where the field is being measured.

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