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# Assignment 1: Coulomb's Law

## Due: 8:00am on Wednesday, January 11, 2012

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## Coulomb's Law Tutorial

Learning Goal: To understand how to calculate forces between charged particles, particularly the dependence on
the sign of the charges and the distance between them.
Coulomb's law describes the force that two charged particles exert on each other (by Newton's third law, those two
forces must be equal and opposite). The force
exerted by particle 2 (with charge ) on particle 1 (with charge
) is proportional to the charge of each particle and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between
them:

where

and

is the unit vector pointing from particle 2 to particle 1. The force vector will be parallel or

## antiparallel to the direction of , parallel if the product

and antiparallel if
if the charges are of opposite sign and repulsive if the charges are of the same sign.

Part A

## Consider two positively charged particles, one of charge

(particle 0) fixed at the origin, and another of charge
force

=
Part B

Correct

, , , and .

## Now add a third, negatively charged, particle, whose charge is

(particle 2). Particle 2 fixed on the y-axis at position
particle 1 and particle 2?
=

## . What is the new net force on particle 0, from

,

, , , and .

Correct

Part C
Particle 0 experiences a repulsion from particle 1 and an attraction toward particle 2. For certain values of
, the repulsion and attraction should balance each other, resulting in no net force. For what ratio
no net force on particle 0?
Express your answer in terms of any or all of the following variables: ,

and

is there

=
Correct
Part D

## Now add a fourth charged particle, particle 3, with positive

charge , fixed in the yz-plane at
. What is the net force
Hint D.1 Find the magnitude of force from particle 3

## Hint not displayed

Hint D.2 Vector components
Hint not displayed
= Correct

## , , , and . Include only the force caused by particle 3.

Exercise 21.4
You have a pure (24-karat) gold ring with mass
number of
Part A

and an atomic

## How many protons are in the ring?

4.271024
=
Correct
Part B
What is their total positive charge?
6.83105
= Correct
Part C
If the ring carries no net charge, how many electrons are in it?
4.271024
=
Correct

Exercise 21.22
Two point charges are placed on the x-axis as follows: charge
= 5.00
Part A

is at

-0.296

= 4.05

is located at

0.197

, and charge

What is the magnitude of the total force exerted by these two charges on a negative point charge
that is placed at the origin?
2.55106
= Correct

= -6.00

Part B
What is the direction of the total force exerted by these two charges on a negative point charge
is placed at the origin?
to the + direction
to the - direction
perpendicular to the -axis
the force is zero

= -6.00

that

Correct

Problem 21.66
A charge 4.97
positive x-axis at
= 3.01
.
Part A

= 3.98

is placed on the

## is now placed at the point

= 3.98

Find the x-component of the total force exerted on the third charge by the other two.
8.66105
= Correct
Part B
Find the y-component of the total force exerted on the third charge by the other two.
5.40105
= Correct
Part C
Find the magnitude of the total force acting on the third charge.
1.02104
= Correct
Part D
Find the direction of the total force acting on the third charge.
-0.557
= Correct
between and +x-axis

Problem 21.68
Two identical spheres with mass

## . Each sphere has the same charge, so

each sphere is very small compared to the distance between the spheres, so they may be treated as point charges.
Part A

Suppose that the angle is small, and find the equilibrium separation between the spheres (Hint: If is small,
then

.)