Background/Summary
Electromagnetic
forces
exist
everywhere
in
nature,
and
are
governed
by
the
existence
of
positive
and
negative
charges
in
the
atmosphere.
The
relationship
between
positive
and
negative
charges
(a
lack
or
abundance
of
electrons,
respectively)
and
the
way
charges
move
relative
to
each
other
are
both
illustrated
by
electric
fields.
Major
Topics
Test
chargesopposites
attract
! !
Coulombs
Law,
! = ! !! ! !
Electric
fields
and
electric
field
lines
Motion
of
charged
particles
in
an
electric
field
Important
Vocabulary
Proton
=
+1.6e19
C,
mass
=
1.67e27
Electron=
1.6e19
C,
mass
=
9.11e31
Conductor
=
material
in
which
electrons
can
move
freely
Insulator
=
material
in
which
electrons
cannot
move
freely
Coulomb
=
SI
unit
of
charge
Coulomb
constant
! = 8.99!9 ! !! /! !
!! = 8.85! 12 ! ! /! !!
Electric
field
=
exists
in
space
around
a
charge
or
charged
object
(units
N/C)
Diagrams
Here
are
4
basic
scenarios
illustrating
the
behavior
of
positive
and
negative
charges
(F=force
on
test
charge,
E=direction
of
electric
field)
q
q0
q
q0
+

r
F
F
P
P
q
q
q0

+
r
E
r
E
P
P
Formulas
!! !!
!"
!
!
!"
!! !"
! = ! ! !! = !" !" = ! ! ! = ! ! = !
=!
! = =
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
! !
!
!
!
! = ! = ! =
!
!
!
Free
Response
Problems
(See
solutions
for
diagrams)
1. [Easy]
The
electron
and
proton
of
a
hydrogen
atom
are
separated
by
a
distance
of
approximately
5.3e11
m.
Find
the
magnitudes
of
the
electric
force
and
the
gravitational
force
between
the
two
particles.
2. [Medium]
A
ring
of
radius
a
carries
a
uniformly
distributed
positive
total
charge
Q.
Calculate
the
electric
field
due
to
the
ring
at
a
point
P
lying
a
distance
x
from
its
center
along
the
central
axis
perpendicular
to
the
plane
of
the
ring.
3. [Medium]
Point
P
is
at
the
origin,
as
shown
below,
and
is
the
center
of
curvature
of
the
charge
distribution.
a. On
the
dot
representing
point
P
below,
indicate
the
direction
of
the
electric
field
at
point
P
due
to
the
charge
Q.
b. Derive
an
expression
for
the
magnitude
of
the
electric
field
at
point
P.
Solutions:
1. ! = !
!^!
!.!!!! !.!"!!!" !
!.!!!!! !
= 8.2! 8 !
We
use
the
magnitude
of
the
charges
for
Coulombs
law
(otherwise
we
would
have
a
negative
force,
because
although
the
charges
of
a
proton
and
electron
are
of
the
same
magnitude,
an
electron
has
a
negative
charge),
and
find
the
force
of
attraction
between
the
proton
and
electron.
The
force
is
an
attractive
force
because
of
the
opposite
charges
of
the
proton
and
electron.
p
+
5.3e11
Hydrogen atom
!"
2. !! = ! ! ! , ! = ! ! + !! ! , cos ! = !
!" !
!"
!" = !"#$%& = ! !
=
! !"
! !
! ! + !! !
!"
!"
!"#
!=
!"
=
!"
=
!
!
!
! ! + !! !
! ! + !! !
! ! + !! !
dq
+
+
+
r
+
+
P
+
+
+
+
+
Using
the
Pythagorean
Theorem,
we
find
that
! = ! ! + !! ! ,
and
we
use
this
value
for
r
in
the
differential
equation
for
an
electric
field.
Since
we
are
only
using
the
cosine
(or
x)
component
of
each
dq
section
around
the
ring
(the
yvalues
cancel
each
other
out),
we
can
substitute
x/r
for
cosine
in
the
differential
equation.
Finally,
after
the
integration,
we
find
that
the
electric
field
at
point
P
relative
to
a
ring
of
equally
!"#
distributed
charge
can
be
expressed
as
! .
! ! !! ! !
3.
! =!=
!" =
2!
!"
!
!" =
!"#$%& =
! !"
!"#$
!!
!
2!"
2!"
! =
!"#$ !" =
!"#$ 4!
!
!
!!
!!
4
!!/!
2 2
! =
!"
!!!
!/!
Like
Problem
#2,
we
only
need
to
consider
the
cosine
(x)
components
of
the
electric
field
because
the
vertical
components
cancel
each
other
out.
Therefore,
since
we
are
integrating
with
respect
to
!"#$,
we
need
to
alter
dq
so
it
is
with
respect
to
the
angle
theta.
Plugging
everything
in
and
integrating
from
/4
to
/4
(equivalent
part
of
circle
over
which
charge
Q
is
distributed),
we
solve
for
the
magnitude
of
the
electric
field
at
point
P.