Kinetic Energy among a set of Point Charges

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

    A set of point charges is held in place at the vertices of an
    equilateral triangle of side 10.0 cm, as shown in the figure (a) .
    Find the maximum amount of total kinetic energy that will be
    produced when the charges are released from rest in the
    frictionless void of outer space.

    [​IMG]

    2. Relevant equations

    Unsure, but believe this one is paramount:

    V = k*(q/r)

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I'm using the formula V = k(q1)/r1 and the example in my textbook on page 590,
    which is for only 2 point charges within an isosceles triangle, simply adds the
    V1 + V2 to get Vtotal, so I assumed (probably incorrectly) that I could use
    this method with 3 charges within an equilateral triangle and simply added the
    V1 + V2 + V3 = 809.1 N*m/C. However, they want the answer in joules,
    so what if I was even correct in my method, what should be done to my
    answer in order to convert it to joules? Are N*m/C = Volts? Wouldn't that
    mean I would need to then multiply by the same charges I just multiplied by?
    And would I use each individual charge added together, or... what do I do with
    these Coulombs?
     
  2. jcsd
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