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March 25, 2017

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The membrane that surrounds a certain type of living cell has a surface area of 4.9 x 10-9 m2 and a thickness of 1.2 x 10-8 m. Assume that the membrane behaves like a parallel plate capacitor and has a dielectric constant of 5.5. (a) The potential on the outer surface of the membrane is +61.4 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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