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PHYS 102
Zaven Altounian

Phys 102 Alanna Houston January 8, 2008 - The magnitude of force is given by Coulomb’s Law: F = kQ1Q2/r^2 - Force is a vector - The magnitude is always a positive quantity. Do not use signs of the charges in this equation when calculating the magnitude of the force - The direction of the force is determined from “like charges repel and unlike charges attract.” - Example: Two fixed charges. Q1 = 3x10^-6 C and Q2 = -6x10^-6 C are separated by 3 m. Find the electric force (magnitude and direction) acting on Q1. o o To find the direction of the force, use: like charges repel and unlike charges attract o To find magnitude, use coulomb’s law: o o Do not include the signs of the charges when using Coulomb’s Law o What is the force acting on Q2? o The magnitude of F2 is 1.8x10^-2 N o The direction F2 is toward Q1 - If the charges are free, they will move toward each other Phys 102 Alanna Houston - - - The electrical force is much stronger than the gravitational force for atomic particles. Fg is neglected for such particles - What happens when there are more than two charges present? How is Coulomb’s law applied? o Use the superposition principle: The electric force on a given charge is the vector sum of the electric forces due to each charge Phys 102 Alanna Houston o - Example: Find the electric force acting on Q3
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