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Homework Help: Magnetic Fields and Resistance

  1. Mar 26, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A 2.60-N metal bar, 1.50 m long and having a resistance of 10.0 ohms, rests horizontally on conducting wires connecting it to the circuit shown in the figure . The bar is in a uniform, horizontal, 1.60-T magnetic field and is not attached to the wires in the circuit.

    What is the acceleration of the bar just after the switch S is closed?

    2. Relevant equations
    Rseries=sum of R

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I found the resistance of the parallel resistors(the bar and the 10ohm resistor) to be 5ohms
    Then the Req=5ohms+25ohms=30ohms

    Use that and the given voltage to find I.

    Use I to find Voltage of the bar.

    And then we can find I using the voltage(20V) and resistance of bar.



    I get a=8.29 m*s^-2 but Mastering Physics says it's wrong. Where have I gone wrong?
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 26, 2012 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Hi kimberlyann9, Welcome to Physics Forums.

    Question: Why do you subtract the force due to gravity here? The bar is resting horizontally on the wire "rails", so it's supported. What is the direction of the force on the bar due to the magnetic field?
  4. Mar 26, 2012 #3
    The diagram shows a VERTICAL magnetic field, not a horizontal field. This could be why you think you need to subtract mg.
    Also did you notice the WEIGHT of the bar (2.60N) is given, you will need mass to use in the F =ma equation
  5. Mar 26, 2012 #4
    Thanks guys I figured it out.
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