(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); 1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

Calculate how much work it takes to make a square of side length A with point charges (all of charge q) at each vertex.

2. Relevant equations

3. The attempt at a solution

I know one way to do it. (find the difference in potential for each point and then go from there to find the work).

But I have two other ways that I'm not sure if they'll work or not.

First way

Since you'll have to do more work each time to overcome the newly added charges, can you just find the work it takes to place one charge and then multiply by six? (Because for each charge you have to do that much more work. i.e, 1 charge is 1W, 2 charges is 2W, 3 charges is 3W, so total charge would be (3*2*1)W=6W.... or would it be (3+2+1)W=6W?).

Second Way

Can I just find the potential at the center of the finished square and use that final potential to find work?

Also, am I correct in assuming that because there are initially no charges (and no surroundings to speak of) the first charges needs 0 work?

Thanks!!!

**Physics Forums | Science Articles, Homework Help, Discussion**

The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

# Homework Help: Making a square with point charges (alternative solutions)

**Physics Forums | Science Articles, Homework Help, Discussion**