Recitation Worksheet R Solutions

# Recitation Worksheet R Solutions - Worksheet R Coulomb's...

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Worksheet R: Coulomb’s force. Electric field. 1 . Two positive charges q and Q ( Q > q ) are held in place a distance d apart. Draw the electrostatic force exerted on each charge by the other. Two extra charges are added to the system as shown below. Two students discuss the force on charge q : Student 1: The net electric force on charge q is now three times as large as before, since there are now three positive charges exerting forces on it. Student 2: I don’t think so. The force from the Q charge on top will cancel with the force from the Q charge at the bottom, so the net electric force will be the same as before. Do you agree with either student? Explain. They are both wrong. Student 1 is forgetting that electric forces are vectors, so one cannot simply add the magnitudes of the forces. Direction matters. Student 2 seems to be more aware of the fact that forces are vectors, because he knows that two “opposing” forces can cancel out. But in this case, only the vertical components of the forces due to the top and bottom charges cancel out.

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Recitation Worksheet R Solutions - Worksheet R Coulomb's...

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