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Homework Help: Potential energy of electricity

  1. Oct 19, 2015 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    I don't understand the answer to part b
    Screenshot (41).png

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Screenshot (42).png
    The solution guide skipped too many steps. How was this derived? If the 5th charge is in the middle, it will be equidistant (about ##\frac {b\sqrt {2}}{2}##) from each of the other four charges. Did they add up all of the potential energies or do something different? SImply put, I need to see the steps that led to this final answer. Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 19, 2015 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    They added all the potential energies resulting from the new charge's proximity to the existing four charges. Your distance value is good. So just sum the four contributions.
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