Equilateral Triangle Point Charge Forces

  • Thread starter xortan
  • Start date
In summary, the problem involves three identical point charges, Q, placed at the vertices of an equilateral triangle with side length d. The task is to find the magnitude and direction of the total electrostatic force on the charge at the top of the triangle using the formula F= kqQ/r^2. After initial attempts, the key realization is that the potential formula should be replaced with the force formula and the angles should be taken into account.
  • #1
xortan
78
1

Homework Statement



Three identical point charges, Q, are placed at the vertices of an equilateral triangle as shown in the figure. The length of each side of the triangle is d. Determine the magnitude and direction of the total electrostatic force on the charge at the top of the triangle

Homework Equations



F= kqQ/r2

The Attempt at a Solution



I have attached a picture of the problem, I've attempted the problem a few times now and I am getting no where near the answer cause I seem to be working in circles as I just get them canceling each other off...Can someone push me in the right direction I got a midterm on this stuff in a couple days

Thanks in advance!

Edit: After I posted this I went back to the question. Since it is an equilateral I know that all the angels must be 60 degrees. I split the triangle down the middle so i had 2 right angel triangles. So would it be (sin60 kQ/r) + (sin60 kQ/r)? I am still pretty confused..
 

Attachments

  • MT1-PHYS.JPG
    MT1-PHYS.JPG
    5 KB · Views: 418
Last edited:
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
Hi xortan,

xortan said:

Homework Statement



Three identical point charges, Q, are placed at the vertices of an equilateral triangle as shown in the figure. The length of each side of the triangle is d. Determine the magnitude and direction of the total electrostatic force on the charge at the top of the triangle


Homework Equations



F= kqQ/r2

The Attempt at a Solution



I have attached a picture of the problem, I've attempted the problem a few times now and I am getting no where near the answer cause I seem to be working in circles as I just get them canceling each other off...Can someone push me in the right direction I got a midterm on this stuff in a couple days

Thanks in advance!

Edit: After I posted this I went back to the question. Since it is an equilateral I know that all the angels must be 60 degrees. I split the triangle down the middle so i had 2 right angel triangles. So would it be (sin60 kQ/r) + (sin60 kQ/r)?

That is along the right idea; however kQ/r is the formula for the potential of a point charge, and here they want the force between two point charges (based on the formula you provided for F). So retry writing it using your force formula.



I am still pretty confused..
 

Related to Equilateral Triangle Point Charge Forces

1. What is the difference between trigonometry and electrostatics?

Trigonometry is a branch of mathematics that deals with the relationships between angles and sides of triangles, while electrostatics is a branch of physics that studies electric charges at rest and their interactions.

2. How are trigonometric functions used in electrostatics?

Trigonometric functions, such as sine, cosine, and tangent, are used to determine the direction and magnitude of electric fields and forces in electrostatics problems.

3. Can trigonometry be used to solve electrostatics problems?

Yes, trigonometry can be used to solve electrostatics problems by using the relationships between angles and sides of triangles to determine the direction and magnitude of electric fields and forces.

4. What is Coulomb's law?

Coulomb's law is a fundamental law in electrostatics that describes the force between two electrically charged particles. It states that the force is directly proportional to the product of the charges and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.

5. How is the concept of electric potential related to trigonometry?

The concept of electric potential in electrostatics can be visualized as a scalar field. Trigonometry is used to determine the potential at a point in this field by calculating the distance and direction from the point to the source of the electric field.

Similar threads

  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
5
Views
920
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
5
Views
775
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
2
Views
3K
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
6
Views
2K
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
10
Views
1K
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
2
Views
1K
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
1
Views
3K
Replies
22
Views
1K
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
3
Views
9K
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
3
Views
2K
Back
Top