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Finding electrostatic potential energy

  1. Mar 1, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    ph3RX.png

    2. Relevant equations
    PE = -Fdcos(theta)
    PE = -(qE)dcos(theta)
    PE= -pdcos(theta) or PE = - pd since all the angles here are nice.
    where p is dipole

    3. The attempt at a solution

    :(

    beyond trying to find what looks like the answer, i'm not sure

    many thanks!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 1, 2012 #2

    tiny-tim

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    hi chiddler! :smile:

    hint: which ones do you think would feel most "springy" if you tried to push them together? :wink:
     
  4. Mar 1, 2012 #3
    hey and thanks for the response!

    that's a nice way to put it. C is clearly the most springy.

    Now i'm trying to translate this concept to generating electrostatic potential energy. The reason there exists this potential energy, besides the obvious repulsion, is that negative charges spontaneously move up in potential. So...the potential at the negative charge can be considered most negative and to move up is to move away.

    and two adjacent charges produce more potential than one.

    well that was easy....
     
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