In the course of performing several trials I determined that if you have 2 charged metal spheres (with the same amount of charge on them) and they are both positively charged, then the force of repulsion between them is changed by 1/4 each time you double the distance between them.
This experiment no doubt sounds very familiar as it has been done many times before.
I collected my data (16N@1.0cm, 4N@2.0cm, 1N@4.0cm, and 0.25N@8.0cm) and graphed it and of course I end up with a classic looking descending, concave looking graph which is the inverse square graph, I think.
Now I have been puzzling over this for quite a while and even asked my boss and some co-workers to help and even together we can not figure it out - the question is:
"manipulate the data so that the graph is a straight line graph"
The Attempt at a Solution
I have tried doubling the charge, halving the distance, square rooting the distance, etc.
It always seems to end up with the same shape.
I think I might be missing the fundamental lesson here. Hopefully someone here can offer some insight.