Activity 18 – Coulomb’s Law
Studio Physics I
The General Form of Coulomb’s Law
1.
The mathematical expression that describes Coulomb’s Law (in Prof. B.’s form) is
)
rˆ
(
r
q
q
4
1
F
2
2
1
0

ε
π
=
.
State what each variable in this expression stands for.
Hint: You can
simply call
0
4
1
k
ε
π
=
the constant of the electrostatic force and leave it at that until Physics 2.
(Don’t confuse k in the ideal spring equation with k for the electrostatic force, they are totally
different.
It should be clear from the context which is which.)
2.
If you did not already address this above, state precisely why the “–” sign is in the equation.
What does that mean for the force between two charges of like sign?
Opposite signs?
How does
the “–” sign relate to the direction of the unit vector in the statement of Coulomb’s Law?
3.
In what ways is Coulomb’s Law like Newton’s Law of Gravity?
In what ways is it
different?
(We are not concerned here with the size of the force, only the general behavior.)
4.
Consider the situation below where we have one point charge (A) of +4.0 C and another
This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.
View Full Document
This is the end of the preview.
Sign up
to
access the rest of the document.
 Spring '06
 Stoler
 Physics, Force, Electric charge, Fundamental physics concepts, point charge

Click to edit the document details