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Question about net electric field between two charges

  1. Dec 6, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A charge +Q exists at a point and directly west of this point a charge -Q exists. What is the direction of the net electric field at the midway point?

    I'm studying old finals for my exam and this question keeps popping up in various forms. The answer is always directed toward the negative charge. To me the answer should be zero if say Q=1.0C.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 6, 2012 #2

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    Ask yourself:
    What's the direction of the field from the negative charge at the midpoint?
    What's the direction of the field from the positive charge at the midpoint?
     
  4. Dec 6, 2012 #3
    Draw a diagram and put in the directions of the electric fields of the 2 charges at the midway point.
    Would these 2 fields add to zero?
     
  5. Dec 6, 2012 #4
    Ah yes that make sense. I got hung up on "net" and thinking of the charges numerically rather than visualizing their electric field lines. Thanks for the quick reply!
     
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