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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.

; the force is attractive

Part A

Consider two positively charged particles, one of charge


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

on particle 0 due to particle 1?

Express your answer (a vector) using any or all of ,


ANSWER:
=
Part B

(particle 1) fixed on the y-axis at

Correct

, , , and .

. What is the net

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?
Express your answer (a vector) using any or all of ,
ANSWER:
=

. 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: ,
ANSWER:

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

on particle 0 due solely to this charge?

Hint not displayed


Hint D.2 Vector components
Hint not displayed
Express your answer (a vector) using ,
ANSWER:
= 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

. Gold has an atomic mass of

and an atomic

How many protons are in the ring?


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

is placed at the origin of an xy-coordinate system, and a charge -1.99


= 3.98

. A third particle, of charge 6.05

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

Problem 21.68
Two identical spheres with mass

are hung from silk threads of length

, as shown in the figure

. Each sphere has the same charge, so


. The radius of
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

.)

Express your answer in terms of the variables ,


ANSWER:
=
Correct

and appropriate constants.