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Electrostatics problem

  1. Aug 15, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    three small identical balls have charges -3C,8C and 4C respectively. they are brought in contact and separated. calculate charge on each ball?

    2. Relevant equations

    q=(q1+q2+q3)/3

    3. The attempt at a solution
    what is the need for dividing by 3. why not simply add the charges q1+q2+q3
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 15, 2009 #2

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    That would give you the total charge, not the charge per ball.
     
  4. Aug 16, 2009 #3
    sir, it has already been mentioned about the charge possessed by each individual ball. When they come in contact some redistribution of charge occurs. if they are separated wont they get their initial charges?
     
  5. Aug 16, 2009 #4

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    No, why would they? They retain no "memory" of their initial charges.

    Here's an example that might make it clear. Imagine two identical balls, with charges of +5 and -5 units. When brought together the charge redistributes, adding to zero. There's no longer a charge on the balls, they are neutral. If you had two uncharged balls together, would you expect them to gain a charge as they are separated?
     
  6. Aug 18, 2009 #5
    Thanks sir. i understood now
     
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