# Magnitude and Direction of a charge interaction

1. Aug 30, 2010

### themonk

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

What is the direction of the force $$\vec{F}$$ on the -10 nC charge in the figure? Give your answer as an angle measured cw from the +x-axis. Problem 26.39 in Physics for Scientists and Engineers Second Edition by Knight
Magnitude of the force is 4.3E-3 N

2. Relevant equations

As far as I know, this is the only relevant equations:

$$\vec{F}$$=$$k*q_{1}*q_{2}/d^{2}$$

3. The attempt at a solution
I already found the magnitude as listed above. But I need to find $$\theta$$ in the clockwise direction.

The force of A (being the -5 nC charge) I figured was direction -4.3E-4 $$\hat{j}$$ and -1.28E-3 $$\hat{i}$$ and the other charge had a force of -4.5E-3 I double checked with an answer from someone else (MasteringPhysics also said it was correct). I figured I would use a trigonometric function for the final part, ie the angle measured in the clockwise direction. In lab we used tangent, but was confused as to why (tangent is opposite over adjacent):

tan($$\theta$$)=4.07E-3/1.28E-3 ==> $$\theta$$=tan$$^{-1}$$(3.179)

which is 72.54 degrees. I added 180 to it to get 252.54, but apparently that is not correct (I don't completely understand the cw and ccw part).

Is there any line of thought that I should proceed with?

Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
2. Aug 31, 2010

ehild

3. Sep 1, 2010

### themonk

I can't edit the problem, but the x axis ($$\hat{i}$$) is left-right and the y axis ($$\hat{j}$$) would be up-down, if I am not mistaken. The origin would then be at the -10nC.

4. Sep 1, 2010

### ehild

In this case the force on the -10 nC charge from the -5 nC one has only y component, and that form the 15 nC charge has both x and y components. Check your calculation and text.

ehild