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Opposite Charges)

Problem: The figure below shows two charged particles with equal but opposite charges Q. The two particles

are a distance d from the origin. The point a is at the origin. Select the vector that is in the direction of the

total electric field at the point a?

(a)

(b)

-Q

a

+Q

(c)

(d)

(a) Vector (a)

(b-Answer) Vector (b)

(c) Vector (c)

(d) Vector (d)

(e) The electric field is zero at the origin.

Solution

(a) The electric field points toward negatively charged particles

and away from positively charged particles, so the electric field

due to the Q at point a points in the +x direction and the

electric field due to the +Q charge points in the +y direction.

-Q

x

+Q

(b) Add the vectors by placing the tail of one vector at the head of the second vector. The resultant is the vector

from the tail of the first vector to the head of the second vector as drawn to the right.

Total Points for Problem: 3 Points

from the Electric Field)

Problem: You are carrying out a sensitive experiment and do not wish the apparatus to be affected by external

electric fields. Which of the following will protect an apparatus from external fields?

Select One of the Following:

(a) wrapping the apparatus in plastic

(b) encasing the apparatus in a wood box

(c-Answer) wrapping the apparatus in aluminum foil

(d) surrounding the apparatus with magnets

(e) filling the apparatus with an inert gas

Solution

The electric field inside of a conductor is zero. Therefore, wrapping the container in aluminum foil will protect

the interior.

Total Points for Problem: 3 Points

Solution to Multiple-Choice Homework Problem 3.3(Comparison of Electric Field Magnitudes For Different Systems of Charges)

Problem: The figure to the right shows four systems of charged

particles labeled (a)-(d). Each system contains two charges. Systems (a) and (c) contain two positively charged particles with

charge +q. Systems (b) and (d) contain particles with equal but

opposite charge q. The particles are a distance d from the central point P in systems (c) and (d) and a distance 2d from the

central point in (a) and (b). Rank the magnitude of the electric

field, E, at the point P of the four systems.

Select One of the Following:

(a) +q

+q

(b) +q

-q

(c)

+q

+q

(d)

+q

-q

d

2d

(b) Ea = Eb < Ec = Ed

d

2d

(c) Ea = Ec < Eb = Ed

(d-Answer) Ea = Ec < Eb < Ed

(e) Ea < Eb < Ec < Ed

Solution

In system a and c, the symmetry of the system ensures that there is zero net electric field at the central point,

since the electric fields of the left and right point charge point in opposite directions. The net electric field at the

central point due to the charges in system d is greater than the net electric field at the central point due to the

charges in system b because the electric field due to a point charge falls off with the square of the distance from

the point charge.In situation b and d, the electric field of the charges add at point P , with the electric field of

both charges pointing to the right of the page. The relative magnitudes of the field is then Ea = Ec < Eb < Ed .

Total Points for Problem: 3 Points

to System of Charges)

2

Problem: The two infinite parallel planes to the right have equal

but opposite uniform charge densities, . A particle with charge

+q is placed between the planes. Rank the magnitude of the total

electric field due to the two planes and the point charge at the

four points labeled (a) through (d). The points are equidistant

from the +q particle.

a

(a-Answer) Ea < Eb = Ed < Ec

(b) Ea > Eb = Ec > Ed

+q

(d) Eb = Ed < Ea < Ec

(e) Ea = Eb = Ec = Ed

Solution

(a) Parallel Planes Produce Uniform Field: Between the plates: The infinite parallel planes produce a uniform

field. The field of the left plane points to the right of the page as does the field of the right plane. The total field

of the two planes points to the right of the page and has the same magnitude at the points a-d.

(b) Determine the Direction of the Field of the Point Charge: The electric field of the +q charge points

radially outward from the charge and has the direction of the force a positive test charge would experience if

placed at the point.

(c) Reason about the Addition of the Vectors: The fields point in the same direction at point (c) and

therefore add, so Ec is the largest. The fields are oppositely directed at point (a) and therefore cancel, so Ea is

the smallest. The fields are at right angles at points (b) and (d) and therefore the magnitudes at these points is

less than the magnitude at (c).

Total Points for Problem: 3 Points

Problem: A uniform electric field produces an acceleration (10m/s2 , 10m/s2 , 0) at (1m, 1m, 1m) for a 5C

charge of mass 10g. Write the electric field at all points in space. (Hint: it would be a good idea to know what

uniform means here).

Select One of the Following:

(a) (2 104 N/Cx, 2 104 N/Cy, z)

(d) (10N/C, 10N/C, 0)

Solution

~ and by Newtons Second Law, F~ = q E

~ = m~a. Solving gives

By definition of the electric field F~ = q E

~ = m ~a

E

q

3

~ = 10 10 kg (10m/s2 , 10m/s2 , 0)

E

5 106 C

= 2 104 N/C(1, 1, 0)

3

C

. Model

Problem: Lightning strikes the power lines, briefly transferring a linear charge density of 1.0 103 m

the power lines as a single infinite straight uniform line charge. Calculate the magnitude of the electric field at

the ground a distance of 5.0m from the wire.

(a) 3.6 105 N

C

C

C

(d) 7.2 105 N

C

(e) 3.5 108 N

C

Solution

The electric field of an infinite line charge is

~ =

|E|

C

1 103 m

N

||

= 3.6 106

=

2

C

12

20 r

C

2(8.85 10

Nm2 )(5m)

Opposite Charges)

Problem: The figure to the right shows two charged particles

with equal but opposite charges Q. The two particles are a

distance d apart and the negatively charged particle is a distance

d from the point a. What is the direction of the electric field at

the point a?

-Q

a

(a) The electric field is zero.

(b-Answer) The electric field points in the positive x direction.

(c) The electric field points in the negative x direction.

(d) The electric field points in the positive y direction.

(e) The electric field points in the negative y direction.

Solution

+Q

x

(a) The electric field points toward negatively charged particles and away from positively charged particles, so

the electric field due to the Q at point a points in the +x direction and the electric field due to the +Q charge

points in the negative x direction.

(b) The point a is closer to the Q charge, so its field is stronger. Since electric fields obey the principle of

superposition, the total field at a points in the direction of the Q chargess field, which is in the +x direction.

Total Points for Problem: 3 Points

Problem:

Two infinite planes of charge are drawn to the

right. One infinite uniform plane of charge occupies the x y

plane with charge density, xy = 3.0C/m2 . Another infinite

uniform plane of charge occupies the y z plane with charge

density, yz = 2.0C/m2 . Compute the electric field at

~r0 = (1.0cm, 0, 1.0cm).

z

_

_

(a) 2.8 105 N

C z

3N

(b) 1.0 103 N

C x + 3.1 10 C z

5N

(c) 1.1 105 N

C x + 1.7 10 C z

+_ +

_

C x

5N

(e-Answer) 1.1 105 N

C x + 1.7 10 C z

Solution

Definitions

z

~ xy Electric Field at Point 0 for x y Plane

E

~ yz Electric Field at Point 0 from y z Plane

E

~ 0 Total Electric Field at Point 0

E

_

E0

Exy

_

Eyz

_

+

(a) Compute the Electric Field Due to the x y Plane: The electric field above an infinite plane of charge

in the x y plane is given by

~ xy = xy z.

E

20

~ xy =

E

3 106 C/m2

N

z = 1.7 105 z

C2

12

C

2(8.85 10

Nm2 )

(b) Compute the Electric Field Due to the y z Plane: The electric field to the right of an infinite plane

of charge in the y z plane is given by

~ yz = yz x.

E

20

~ yz =

E

N

2 106 C/m2

z = 1.1 105 x

C2

12

C

2(8.85 10

Nm2 )

5

(c) Use Linear Superposition: The total field at point ~r0 is the sum of the electric fields from the individual

planes,

~0 = E

~ xy + E

~ yz = 1.7 105 N z 1.1 105 N x.

E

C

C

Total Points for Problem: 3 Points

a Point Charge (Delete: Dup))

Problem: A +2nC point charge is at the point (1cm, 2cm, 3cm). Compute the electric field at a point P

at (2cm, 6cm, 2cm).

Select One of the Following:

3N

3N

(a-Answer) (2.4 103 N

C , 9.4 10 C , 2.4 10 C )

5N

5N

(b) (2.4 105 N

C , 9.4 10 C , 2.4 10 C )

3N

3N

(c) (2.4 103 N

C , 9.4 10 C , 2.4 10 C )

5N

5N

(d) (2.4 105 N

C , 9.4 10 C , 2.4 10 C )

4N

4N

(e) (2.4 104 N

C , 9.4 10 C , 2.4 10 C )

Solution

Definitions

y

~rQ = (1cm, 2cm, 3cm) Position of Q

~rP = (2cm, 6cm, 2cm) Position of P

~ QP = kq rQP Electic field of Q at P

E

rQP 2

q = 2nC Charge of Q

Q

rQP

P

Strategy: Find displacement vector and use Coulombs Law

(a) Find displacement vector: The displacement vector is ~rQP = ~rP ~rQ

~rQP

~rQP = (1cm, 4cm, 1cm)

(b) Find modulus: The modulus (magnitude) of the vector is its length:

p

(c) Find unit vector:

rQP

rx ry rz

rQP =

, ,

r r r

1 4 1

1cm 4cm 1cm

, ,

=

,

,

=

3 2cm 3 2cm 3 2cm

3 2 3 2 3 2

6

2

9 Nm

9

~ QP = kq rQP = (8.99 10 C2)(2.0 10 C) rQP

E

rQP 2

(0.03 2m)2

1 4 1

3N

~

EQP = (9.99 10 ) , ,

C 3 2 3 2 3 2

~ QP = (2.4 103 N , 9.4 103 N , 2.4 103 N )

E

C

C

C

Total Points for Problem: 3 Points

Problem: A pith ball with charge +1.5nC is fixed at the origin. A second +1.5nC pith ball floats vertically

above the first. Modelling both pith balls as point charges, compute the center-to-center separation of the two

pith balls. The mass of a pith ball is 6.0 105 kg. Note, the distance calculated may or may not be larger than

the radius of the pith ball.

Select One of the Following:

(a-Answer) 5.9 103 m

(b) 3.4 105 m

(d) 1.3m

(e) 150m

Solution

For a pith ball to float, the force of gravity mg must be balanced by the electric force on the charge q, therefore

using Coulombs law for the electric force

kq 2

mg = 2

d

where d is the center-to-center separation. Solve for d,

s

s

2

9 C)2

(8.99 109 Nm

kq 2

C2 )(1.5 10

= 5.9 103 m

d=

=

m

5

mg

(6.0 10 kg)(9.81 s2 )

Total Points for Problem: 3 Points

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