1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data Two identical conducting spheres, fixed in place, attract each other with an electrostatic force of 0.108N when their center-to-center separation is 50 cm. The spheres are then connected by a thin conducting wire. When the wire is removed, the spheres repel each other with an electrostatic force of 0.0360N. Of the initial charges on the spheres, with a positive net charge, what was the negative charge on one of them and the positive on the other before they were connected? 2. Relevant equations F = kqqr^-2 3. The attempt at a solution First I noted that the charges must be equal after being connected. I called this charge q3. Then (.25)0.036 = k(q3)^2 .009 = k(q3)^2 1x10^-6 = q^3 Since some charge n was removed from q1 and given to q2 for this to happen, q1 - n = `1x10^-6 q2 + n = 1x10^-6 Suggesting that q1 + q2 = 2x10^-6. With that in mind, since 0.108(.25) = k(q1)(q2), (q1)(q2) = 3x10^-12 Substituting results in the quadratic 0 = -(q2)^2 + (2x10^-6)(q2) - (3x10^-12) which has no real solution. Thoughts?