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Chapter 23

Electric Fields
23.1 Properties of Electric Charges
23.3 Coulombs Law
23.4 The Electric Field
23.6 Electric Field Lines
23.7 Motion of Charged Particles
in a Uniform Electric Field
Nadiah Alenazi

Properties of Electric Charges 23.1

There are two kinds of
electric charges in

Like charges repel one

another and Unlike
charges attract one
Electric charge is
Charge is quantized
e = 1.6 x 10-19 C
N is some integer

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Coulombs Law 23.3

From Coulombs experiments, we can
generalize the following properties of the
electric force between two stationary charged
The electric force
is inversely proportional to the square of the
separation r between the particles and directed
along the line joining them.
is proportional to the product of the charges q1
and q2 on the two particles.
is attractive if the charges are of opposite sign and
repulsive if the charges have the same sign.
Nadiah Alenazi

Consider two electric charges: q1

and q2
The electric force F between these
two charges separated by a distance
r is given by Coulombs Law
The constant ke is called Coulombs
is the permittivity of
free space

4 0

where 0 8.85 10



The smallest unit of

charge e is the charge on
an electron (-e) or a
proton (+e) and has a
magnitude e = 1.6 x 10-19
Nadiah Alenazi

Example 23.1 The Hydrogen Atom

The electron and proton of a hydrogen
atom are separated (on the average)
by a distance of approximately 5.3 x
10-11 m. Find the magnitudes of the
electric force.

Nadiah Alenazi

When dealing with Coulombs

law, you must remember that
force is a vector quantity
The law expressed in vector
form for the electric force
exerted by a charge q1 on a
second charge q2, written F12,

where r is a unit vector directed from q1 toward q2

The electric force exerted by q2 on q1 is

equal in magnitude to the force exerted
by q1 on q2 and in the opposite direction;
that is, F21= -F12.
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When more than two charges are present,

the force between any pair of them is
given by Equation
Therefore, the resultant force on any one
of them equals the vector sum of the
forces exerted by the various individual
For example, if four charges are present,
then the resultant force exerted by
particles 2, 3, and 4 on particle 1 is

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Double one of the charges

force doubles

Change sign of one of the charges

force changes direction

Change sign of both charges

force stays the same

Double the distance between charges

force four times weaker

Double both charges

force four times stronger
Nadiah Alenazi

Three point charges are aligned
along the x axis as shown. Find the
electric force at the charge 3nC.

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Example 23.2 Find the Resultant Force

Consider three
point charges
located at the
corners of a right
triangle, where
q1=q3= 5.0C, q2=
2.0 C, and a=
0.10 m. Find the
resultant force
exerted on q3.
Nadiah Alenazi


Nadiah Alenazi


Nadiah Alenazi