ProblemSolving Strategy
Coulomb’s Law
IDENTIFY
the relevant concepts:
Coulomb’s law comes into play whenever you
need to know the electric force acting between charged particles.
SET UP
the problem
using the following steps:
1.
Make a drawing showing the locations of the charged particles and label
each particle with its charge. This step is particularly important if more than two
charged particles are present.
2.
If three or more charges are present and they do not all lie on the same
line, set up an
xy
coordinate system.
3.
Often you will need to find the electric force on just one particle. If so,
identify that particle.
EXECUTE
the solution as follows:
1.
For each particle that exerts a force on the particle of interest, calculate
the magnitude of that force using Eq. (21.2).
2.
Sketch the electric force vectors acting on the particle(s) of interest due
to each of the other particles (that is, make a freebody diagram). Remember
that the force exerted by particle 1 on particle 2 points from particle 2 toward
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 Spring '11
 meyer
 Charge, Force, Electric charge, coulombs

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