How Do You Calculate the Electric Field at the Origin with Three Charges?

In summary, the problem involves three charges, each with different magnitudes and signs, located at a distance d from the origin. The task is to determine the magnitude and direction of the electric field at the origin. Using the equation E = Σ kq/r2, the magnitudes of the three E vectors can be calculated. To find the resultant electric field, the components along the x and y axes must be added using the vector addition rule.
  • #1
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Homework Statement


Three charges q1=+2Q q2=-2Q q3=-4Q. are each a distance d from the origin. What is the magnitude and direction of the electric field at the origin.
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I'm getting confused by not having d specified as a number.

Homework Equations


E = Σ kq/r2

The Attempt at a Solution


I've determined the magnitudes of the three E vectors for each charge. I know I cannot algebraically sum them and that I have to use sin/cos to get their components however I don't know where to begin.
Thank you so much for your help!
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  • #2
Calculate the components along x and y axes. You know the angle already. Add them according to vector addition rule to get the resultant electric field.
 

Related to How Do You Calculate the Electric Field at the Origin with Three Charges?

What is an electric field?

An electric field is a physical phenomenon that is created by electrically charged particles. It is a vector field that describes the force that would be exerted on a positive test charge placed in the field.

How do you calculate the strength of an electric field?

The strength of an electric field can be calculated by dividing the force exerted on a test charge by the magnitude of the test charge. The formula is E = F/q, where E is the electric field strength, F is the force on the test charge, and q is the magnitude of the test charge.

What factors affect the strength of an electric field?

The strength of an electric field is affected by the magnitude of the source charge, the distance from the source charge, and the presence of other charges. The field strength increases as the source charge increases and decreases as the distance from the source charge increases.

What is the direction of an electric field?

The direction of an electric field is determined by the direction a positive test charge would move if placed in the field. It is always directed away from positive charges and towards negative charges.

How is an electric field different from an electric potential?

An electric field is a vector field that describes the force on a test charge, while electric potential is a scalar field that describes the potential energy per unit charge at a given point in space. In other words, the electric field tells us the direction and magnitude of the force, while electric potential tells us the potential energy per unit charge at a certain point.

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