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Electrostatics/Electric Field Question

  1. Sep 29, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    What is the magnitude E of the electric field at point P? Throughout this part, express your answers in terms of the constant k, defined by k = 1/(4πE0)

    To solve this question, I am trying to walk through the hint process.

    Question 1: Find the magnitude dE of the electric field at point P produced by the infinitesimal wire segment between x and x + dx. Express in terms of λ, d, dx, x, and the constant k.

    Question 2: What is dEy, the y component of the electric field at point P due to an infinitesimal segment of wire located at position x? Assume that the magnitude of the electric field at point P due to the infinitesimal wire segment is dE. Express in terms of dE, x, and d.


    Question 3:
    Find dEy(x), the y component of the electric field produced at point P by the infinitesimal segment of the wire between x and x+dx.
    Express your answer in terms of x, d, dx, λ, and k.

    2. Relevant equations
    E = F/q0 = kq/(r^2) = λ/(2πE0R)
    dE = kdq/(r^2) * rhat
    |r| = √(x^2 +d^2)
    dq = λdx
    3. The attempt at a solution
    At the moment, I am stuck on question 1.
    I tried plugging in my know values but I am unsure of how to express rhat

    Since the distance between x and x+dx is dx...

    dE = ((kλdx)/(dx^2 +d^2)) * ( (√dx^2+d^2) / √(x^2+d^2) )

    Is this the correct formula for dE? What am I assuming wrong?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 29, 2016 #2


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    No, this is not correct. Please explain how you arrived at this formula.
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