Magnitude of Electric Force Between Two Ions

In summary, the problem asks to find the magnitude of the electric force between a Na+ ion and a Cl- ion separated by .5 nm. The equation used is |F| = (kQq)/r^2, with designated charges of |Q| = |q| = 1.6 * 10^-19 C. However, there may be confusion with the correct number of charges to use, as suggested by the professor.
  • #1
tylerc1991
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Homework Statement


Find the magnitude of the electric force between a Na+ ion and a Cl- ion separated by .5 nm.


Homework Equations


|F| = (kQq)/r^2


The Attempt at a Solution


So the problem I am having with this question is this: my first attempt at a solution was to designate |Q| = |q| = 1.6 * 10^-19 C. After which I can just plug these into the equation. But after visiting my professor he told me to multiply Q by 10 (because there are 10 electrons in the Na+ ion) and likewise to multiply q by 18 (because Cl- has 18 electrons). This makes very little sense to me and I hope that someone can help me with this problem. By the way, the answer I originally obtained was 9.23 * 10^-10 N.
 
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  • #2
I think what your professor told you is incorrect.
A Na atom for example is neutral, it may have 11 electrons but it also has 11 protons.
Your Na+ ion has 10 electrons yes, but it also has 11 protons.

The only thing I can think of is maybe he wants you to do all the charges, so putting in 10 electrons and also 11 protons for Na+. Which of course is the same as just treating it as a single +e charge.
 

1. What is the magnitude of electric force?

The magnitude of electric force is a measure of the strength of the attraction or repulsion between two charged particles. It is directly proportional to the product of the charges and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.

2. How is the magnitude of electric force between two ions calculated?

The magnitude of electric force between two ions can be calculated using Coulomb's Law, which states that the force is equal to the product of the charges divided by the square of the distance between them multiplied by a constant known as the Coulomb's constant.

3. What factors affect the magnitude of electric force between two ions?

The magnitude of electric force between two ions is affected by the magnitude of the charges on the ions, the distance between them, and the medium in which they are located. It is also affected by the presence of other nearby ions or charged particles.

4. How does the magnitude of electric force change with distance?

The magnitude of electric force follows an inverse square relationship with distance. This means that as the distance between two ions increases, the force decreases by a factor of four. For example, if the distance between two ions is doubled, the force will decrease by a factor of four.

5. Why is the magnitude of electric force between two ions important?

The magnitude of electric force between two ions is important because it is responsible for many phenomena in nature, such as chemical bonding, electricity, and the functioning of electronic devices. It also plays a crucial role in understanding the behavior of atoms, molecules, and larger structures in the universe.

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