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Net torque, electric dipole confusion

  1. Apr 5, 2013 #1
    Hello all,

    I am so confused on why a net torque on a dipole in a uniform electric field would not be equal to zero. Wouldn't one end rotate clockwise, the other counterclockwise and cancel out to zero?

    Thanks.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 5, 2013 #2

    Doc Al

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Since each pole has an opposite charge and thus feels an opposite force, each tends to turn in the same direction. The net force cancels, but the torque does not.
     
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