# Magnitude and direction of the Electrostatic Force

In summary, the magnitude of the electrostatic force acting on the charge at the origin, due to the presence of three identical charges of 2.0 uC on the x-axis, is 0.18 N. The direction of this force is to the left, as all three charges repel each other, causing the charge at the origin to want to move in that direction.

## Homework Statement

3 identical charges of 2.0 uC are placed on the x-axis. The first charge is at the origin, the second to the right at x = 50cm, and the third is at the 100 cm mark. What are the magnitude and direction of the electrostatic force which acts on the charge at the origin?

F = k Q1Q2/r^2

## The Attempt at a Solution

F12 = (9.0e9 * 2.0e-6 * 2.0e-6) / 1m^2 = .036N

F13 = (9.0e9 * 2.oe-6 * 2.0e-6) / 0.5m^2 = .144 N

Magnitude = .036 + .144 = .18 N

Direction = I have no clue. If they are all identical wouldn't they all repel each? Wouldn't that make the overall direction to the left since each charge repels the charge at the origin.

Thanks for the help!

Last edited:

## Homework Statement

3 identical charges of 2.0 uC are placed on the x-axis. The first charge is at the origin, the second to the right at x = 50cm, and the third is at the 100 cm mark. What are the magnitude and direction of the electrostatic force which acts on the charge at the origin?

F = k Q1Q2/r^2

## The Attempt at a Solution

F12 = (9.0e9 * 2.0e-6 * 2.0e-6) / 1m^2 = .036N

F13 = (9.0e9 * 2.oe-6 * 2.0e-6) / 0.5m^2 = .144 N

Magnitude = .036 + .144 = .18 N

Direction = I have no clue. If they are all identical wouldn't they all repel each? What would that say about the direction?

Thanks for the help!

Hi wrenegade, welcome to Physics Forums.

If they all repel each other, in what direction is the charge at the origin going to want to move? What then is the direction of the net force on it?

gneill said:
Hi wrenegade, welcome to Physics Forums.

If they all repel each other, in what direction is the charge at the origin going to want to move? What then is the direction of the net force on it?

The charge on the origin would want to move left, correct? Making left the overall direction of the net force.

The charge on the origin would want to move left, correct? Making left the overall direction of the net force.

Sounds good

gneill said:
Sounds good

Thank you very much!

## What is the electrostatic force?

The electrostatic force, also known as the Coulomb force, is an attractive or repulsive force between two charged particles due to their electric charges. It is one of the fundamental forces of nature and is responsible for many phenomena in our daily lives, such as static electricity and lightning.

## How is the magnitude of the electrostatic force calculated?

The magnitude of the electrostatic force between two charged particles is calculated using Coulomb's law, which states that the force is proportional to the product of the charges and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. The equation for Coulomb's law is F = k(q1q2/r^2), where F is the force, q1 and q2 are the charges of the two particles, r is the distance between them, and k is the Coulomb constant.

## What factors affect the magnitude of the electrostatic force?

The magnitude of the electrostatic force is affected by the charges of the particles and the distance between them. As the charges increase, the force also increases. However, as the distance between the particles increases, the force decreases. The medium between the particles can also affect the magnitude of the electrostatic force.

## Does the electrostatic force have a direction?

Yes, the electrostatic force has a direction that is determined by the charges of the particles. Like charges repel each other, so the force will be in the opposite direction of the charges. On the other hand, opposite charges attract each other, so the force will be in the direction of the charges.

## How is the direction of the electrostatic force represented?

The direction of the electrostatic force is represented by an arrow pointing from the positive charge to the negative charge. This arrow is known as the electric field vector, and it shows the direction in which a positive test charge would move if placed in the electric field created by the two charged particles.

• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
10
Views
532
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
6
Views
1K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
5
Views
1K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
4
Views
1K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
3
Views
2K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
1
Views
2K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
1
Views
1K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
6
Views
2K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
1
Views
6K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
6
Views
9K