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A +3.0 nC charge is at x=0 cm and a -1.0 nC charge is at x=4 cm. At what point or points on the x-axis is the electric potential zero?

  • Physics -

    Wherever 3/|x| - 1/|4-x| = 0 , the electric potential is zero.

    |x| is the distance from the +3 nC charge and |4-x| is the distance from the -1 nC charge.

    To omit the absolute value | | signs and solve algebraically, you need to write and solve separate equations for x<0, 0<x<4 and x>4

    For 0<x<4,
    3/x - 1/(4-x) = 0
    3/x = 1/(4-x)
    12 - 3x = x
    x = 3

    See if there are solutions in the other regions.

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