March 29, 2017

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The membrane that surrounds a certain type of living cell has a surface area of 2.13 x 10-9 m2 and a thickness of 1.94 x 10-8 m. Assume that the membrane behaves like a parallel plate capacitor and has a dielectric constant of 6.4.
(a) If the potential on the outer surface of the membrane is +57.2 mV greater than that on the inside surface, how much charge resides on the outer surface?
(b) If the charge in part (a) is due to K+ ions (charge +e), how many such ions are present on the outer surface?

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