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Posted by on Friday, August 31, 2007 at 7:54pm.

A charge of -3.00 µC is fixed at the center of a compass. Two additional charges are fixed on the circle of the compass (radius = 0.135 m). The charges on the circle are -3.20 µC at the position due north and +5.00 µC at the position due east. What is the magnitude and direction of the net electrostatic force acting on the charge at the center? Specify the direction relative to due east (0°).


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Physics - Bobpursley, Thursday, August 30, 2007 at 1:52am
assume the charges don't move. Work this as a vector problem. Find the force S due to the center charge and the N charge, and the Force E due to the center charge and the E charge. Add those as vectors

  • Physics - , Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 8:43pm

    Use Coulombs' Law:
    ***(q1 and q2 are the absolute values--so the sign is positive even if the given value is negative)
    ***K is the constant: 8.99 x 10^9N*m^2/C^2
    ***r is the radius

    The question wants you to find the net force acting on the center particle--so Fnet= Force on center by the particle due east + the force on the center by the particle due north

    Use Coulomb's Law to find the individual forces that the particles exert: (change uC to C for the equation)

    Force on center by East= 8.99x10^9 (3.0x10^-6)(5.0x10^-6)/(0.135)^2
    ***There is no Y component for this force
    *** The center charge is - and the east charge is + so the particles attract and the east charge has a force in the negative direction

    Force on center by North: 8.99x10^9 (3.0x10^-6)(3.20x10^-6)/ (0.135)^2
    ***There is no X component for this force
    ***Like charges repel, so the force will be away from the center in the positive y direction.

    Now, use A^2+B^2=C^2 to solve for C (this will be the vector sum of the forces) A=Force on center by North and B=Force on center by East (The answers you obtain from the two previous equations)

    C will be your answer. (I don't have a calculator)

    Direction: tan^-1 (opposite or y vector/adjacent or x vector)

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