How do electrical charges attract/repel each other

In summary, the conversation is about understanding the direction of force in physics problems involving multiple charges. The speakers discuss how opposite charges attract, causing charge C to be pulled towards both charge A and charge B. The resultant vector for charge C is determined by the combined forces from charges A and B, which may result in a vector pointing to the left and slightly downward. The conversation ends with the understanding being clarified.
  • #1
DrKARMA
4
0
Ok. I understand like repel and opposite attract. There are these physics homework with 3 charges and find the force from 2 of them on one. I understand the math: the only problem is my signs are wrong due to not understanding the direction of the force.

For example,
There's a positive charge (A) on origin. There's a positive charge (B) 4 meters up. There's a neg charge (C) 3 meters x-axis and 4 meters y axis. Find the resultant vector on charge 3?

For me, I would make charge 3 my main object. It would then attract and pull Charge B, making a vector to the SOutheast. It would then pull charge A to the NE direction. Then the resultant vector would be to right. But I am wrong.


I am literally confused. I do not know which direction to draw the vectors pointing. Please help. Thank you in advance.
 
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  • #2
If you're trying to find the vector of charge C, then you need to find out which direction the other 2 charges are pulling on it, not which way charge C is pulling the other two.
 
  • #3
So the resultant is to the left?
 
  • #4
DrKARMA said:
So the resultant is to the left?

If opposite charges attract, then charge C is attracted towards charge B, correct?
And it also is attracted towards charge A.
Since both A and B are to the left of C, I'd say that is correct. It should have a vector left and a little down.
 
  • #5
Alright thanks. I think I get it now
 

1. How do electrical charges attract each other?

Electrical charges attract each other through the electromagnetic force. This force is mediated by the exchange of virtual particles called photons between the charged particles. The strength of the attraction depends on the magnitude of the charges and the distance between them.

2. What causes electrical charges to repel each other?

Electrical charges repel each other due to the same electromagnetic force that causes attraction. However, in this case, the charges have the same sign (+ or -) and this results in a repulsive force. This repulsion becomes stronger as the charges get closer together.

3. How does the distance between charged particles affect their attraction/repulsion?

The distance between charged particles affects their attraction/repulsion because the strength of the electromagnetic force decreases as the distance between the particles increases. This means that the closer the particles are, the stronger the attraction or repulsion will be, and vice versa.

4. What is the relationship between the magnitude of charges and their attraction/repulsion?

The magnitude of charges directly affects their attraction/repulsion. The larger the magnitude of the charges, the stronger the attraction or repulsion will be. This is because larger charges have a greater influence on the surrounding electric field, resulting in a stronger force.

5. Can electrical charges attract and repel each other at the same time?

Yes, it is possible for electrical charges to attract and repel each other at the same time. This can happen when there are multiple charged particles involved, with some attracting and others repelling each other. The overall force between the particles will be a combination of these individual attractions and repulsions.

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