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What is the electric force acting on the charge at the origin?

  1. Jan 23, 2012 #1
    1. Consider three charges q1 = 4.3 nC, q2 = 6.6 nC, and q3 = -2.3 nC, arranged in a triangle as shown below.

    (a) What is the electric force acting on the charge at the origin?
    N, ° counterclockwise from the negative x-axis

    (b) What is the net electric field at the position of the charge at the origin?
    N/C, ° counterclockwise from the negative x-axi
    picture of problem
    http://www.webassign.net/holtphys/p16-38alt.gif

    2. Relevant equations
    F=kQ1Q2/r^2


    3. The attempt at a solution
    a) What is the electric force acting on the charge at the origin?
    1.1739e-5 N, 270 ° counterclockwise from the negative x-axis

    (b) What is the net electric field at the position of the charge at the origin?
    4.3e12 N/C, 270 ° counterclockwise from the negative x-axis
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data



    2. Relevant equations



    3. The attempt at a solution
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 24, 2012 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    p16-38alt.gif

    You have to show your working and your reasoning or we cannot help you.
    The procedure is to work out the force vectors for each charge and add them.
    (Hint: pythagoras)

    270 degrees looks a bit odd to me. That would be pointing along the +y axis.
    reality-check: q1 is repulsed by q2 and attracted to q3 so the force points down and to the right ... so the angle should be less than 90 degrees.

    Your equations are more carefully written like this:
    [tex]\vec{F}_{a,b}=\frac{kq_aq_b}{r_{b,a}^2}\hat{r}_{b,a}\qquad \vec{F}=q\vec{E}[/tex]
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
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