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# Solutions to Electric Fields

Level 1
1. B. Electric field direction is given by the direction a positive charge will move if placed at that point. Potential is a
scalar: sub the values of charge (including the sign) and distance into the formula and add them up.

## 2. D. and . Solve for Q.

3. A. Forces by +Q charges on -q cancels out. The only electric force remaining is the repulsion by Q on q
charge which is directed.

4. D. V Q Potential is zero at infinity. V becomes increasingly more negative closer to the negative point
4 0 r
charge. V is inversely proportional to distance from the charge. Thus equipotential lines should be progressively
further apart at distances further from the charge.

## 5. C. Electric field at X is zero.

2
Resultant of EW and EY = 2 kq/r
A negative charge must be placed at Z to produce an E-field opp that of the resultant of EW and EY.
2 2
To find magnitude of Q, 2 kq/r =kQ/2r .

## 6. A. Change in EPE = Final EPE initial EPE

= = -20 J

-1
7. A. Magnitude = V/x = [(-100)-(-50)]/0.02 = 2500 V m . E field points from higher potential (-50V) to lower
potential (-100V).

8. B. The charged sphere has a weight that is not negligible compared to the electric force. Only in questions in
which the charged particle is an electron or proton, do we usually ignore the weight. Weight downwards and
electric force to the left resultant force (and hence acceleration) in the SW-direction.

9. B. Constant electric field strength constant force on any electric charge for all positions between the parallel
plates, since F = qE

## 10. C. Magnitude of E = dV/dx = magnitude of gradient of graph.

-19 3 -14
F = qE = 1.6 x 10 (3.5 x 10 )/0.040 = 1.4 x 10 N

## 11. C. E field points from higher potential to lower potential.

Magnitude of E = dV/dx taken around 0.40 m, so it approximates to
V/x = (-2.1 (-1.5))/(0.50 0.30) = 3.0 V m
-1

-1
12. A. Similar concept to question 11. Magnitude = dV/dx = [110-(70)] / (0.002) =20000 V m .

2 2

## Gain in KE of alpha particle = m v = q(2V) v = (4qV/m).

2

2
Sub V into this equation: v 4q 4q mpv 4(2e) uv 2
V v
m m 2qp 4u 2(e )

14. B. Work done by external agent is positive and potential energy of electron increases.

1
15. D. Work done by external agent = charge (Vf Vi) = -q (V2 V1) = q(V1- V2)

## 16. (ai) Electric field strength E V/d = 5.0 x 10 / 500 = 1.0 x 10 V m

6 4 -1
[1]

(aii) The extent of the cloud (the linear dimension) is many times more than its distance from the Earths surface,
so that the electric field between the cloud & the Earths surface may be regarded as uniform.
[1]

(bi) The charge carried by the drop must be opposite to the charge on the underside of the cloud, ie. positive, so
that an upward force due to the field could be present to counter the gravitational pull of the Earth.
[1]

(bii) Net force on the raindrop = 0, weight of raindrop = electric force on the drop
qE = mg [1]
= (4/3) (d/2) ..g = (4/3) (2x10 /2) .(1000)(9.81)
3 -3 3
mg
-12
q = mg/E = 4.11 x 10 C [1]

(biii) The air must be calm (which is unlikely to be the case!). There are no other forces on the drop. Upthrust, and
air resistance from the air are neglected. [1]

(c) For the same height, the charge on the cloud is proportional to the potential difference between the cloud and
the Earth. {QE V/d, Q V for the same d.}

## At the verge of breakdown V = 1500 MV,

-3
Q stored in the cloud = (1500/5)(475x10 ) = 142.5 C [1]
-6 6
Mean discharge current = Q/t = 142.5 /120 x 10 = 1.19 x 10 A [1]

## 17. (a) Loss in kinetic energy = gain in electric potential energy

= Final EPE initial EPE
= q (VZ VX)
-19
= (-1.60 x 10 ) (0 (100)) 1
-17
= 1.60 x 10 J 1

## (b) (i) Magnitude of field strength = |V/x|

= (300 100)/(0.024) 1
-1
= 8300 V m 1

## (c) F qE (1.60 1019 )(8333) 1.33 1015 N 1

1
Direction is upwards.

18. (a) An electric field of force is a region in space in which a charge would experience an electrostatic force.
(b)
+

+ --
--
+

2
(c) (i) As the electron moves rightwards towards the 50 V plate, its kinetic energy (EK) decreases while
its electric potential energy (EP) increases.
At the closest distance of approach, EK is minimum, while EP is maximum.
As it deflects to the + 50 V plate, its EK increases while its EP decreases.

## (ii) By conservation of energy,

Loss in EK = Gain in EP
m(v sin ) = qV
2

6 2

V = 44.64 V

E = V /x
100 44.64
3

2.0 10 x
x = 8.9 x 104 m

## Closest distance of approach, x = (1.0 x 103) (8.9 x 104) = 1.1 x 104 m

Alternative method:
V
F q ma
x
1.6 1019 100
a 31 3
8.78 1015 m s2
9.11 10 2.0 10
At the closest distance of approach, horizontal component of velocity = 0
(Using v = u + 2as) : 0 = [(5.6 x 10 ) sin 45] + 2 (8.78 x 10 ) x
2 2 6 2 15

x= 8.9 x 104 m
x = (1.0 x 103) (8.9 x 104) = 1.1 x 104 m

(iii)
EP

0
Displacement, d

3
19. (a)(i) Distance from each corner of square to centre of square is
1
s 6.0 2 6.0 2 4.24 m
2
q 6.0 x 10 -9
Electric field strength at O due to charge A is given by E
4 o s 2 4(3.142)(8.85 x 10 -12 ) (4.24 2 )
E A 3.0 N C-1

(a)(ii)
A B
ED
EB
EA
O
EC

D C

## Resultant field magnitude at O is

EB E D 2 E A EC 2
= (1.0 1.5) 2 (3.0 5.0) 2
8.4 N C
-1

Q1 = - 10 nC
(b)

r = 2.0 m

Q3 = 3.0 nC Q2 = 2.0 nC

## Initial total EPE of system is

Ui
1
Q1Q2 Q2 Q3 Q3Q1
4 0 r
Total final EPE after Q3 has been removed to infinity is
Uf
1
Q1Q2
4 0 r
Work done to remove Q3 to infinity = change in total EPE
W U f Ui

W
1
Q2 Q3 Q3Q1
4 0 r

=
1
-12
4(3.142)(8.85 x 10 )(2.0)

6.0 x 10-18 30 x 10-18 1.1 x 10-7 J

4
20. (a) They are both positive and equal in magnitude [1] because the electric potential decreases with distance from
both charges [1] and the equipotential lines are symmetrical about the perpendicular bisector of the line joining
the two charges. [1]

(b)

## (c) work done from A to D = q ( VD VA )

= 0.50 (40 - 10)
= 15 J

-19 -19
21. (a) 2 x 1.6x10 = 3.20 x 10 C

## (b) mass of oil drop = V = 4/3 (1.00 x 10 / 2) x 900

-6 3
-16
= 4.71 x 10 kg
F = ma q E m g = 0
[1]
-16 -19
E = m g / q = 4.71x10 x 9.81 / 3.20x10
4 -1
= 1.44 x 10 N C

(c) E = V / d
4
V = 1.44x10 x 0.050 = 720 V
V is at lower potencial than earth:
0 V = 720 V = 720 V

(d) (1) upthrust: Upthrust is negligible because the density of oil is much higher than the density of air.
(2) air resistance: There is no air resistance because the oil drop is stationary.

## 22. (a) Use = 57.5 N

(b) It represents the work done and hence the gain in electric potential as P1 moves from infinity to a distance of
-15
2.0 10 m away from P2.

(c) There is a loss of mass when fusin occurs. By Einsteins mass-energy equivalence principle, this is
manifested as kinetic energy of the product. There could also be gamma radiation produced.

23. (a) The electric field is equal to the negative of the potential gradient E dV .
dr
(b)

5
24. (a) (i) sphere is positively charged [1] because the electric field lines are pointing away from the sphere. [1]

(ii) the field lines appear to radiate from the centre of the sphere. OR the lines are normal to the surface of the
sphere.
(b) Arrow drawn tangent to the field line at A, directed away from the sphere.
-9 -12
(c) (i) V = (0.76 10 ) / (4 8.85 10 0.024)
= 285 V
(ii) Negative charge will be induced on the inside of the box. The
potential calculated in (c)(i) is the potential around an isolated point
charge. Since there is an induced negative charge nearby the
positively charged sphere, the resultant potential around the sphere
would be less than that calculated in (c)(i).

(d) Gravitational force between any masses is always attractive. Thus the
field lines around the lead sphere will always be directed towards the
lead sphere, not away from the sphere as shown in Fig 4.1

(e) Note: Equipotential lines must be perpendicular to the E field lines. As the
E field lines continue to spread outwards, the spacing indicates the E
field strength is weaker. Thus equipotential lines should be spaced
further apart at greater distances from the sphere.

## 24b) direction of force on the charge

should be towards the sphere and
tangential to the field line. This is
because the charge is an electron and
hence the force should be in opposite
direction to the field line.
Level 2

1. C. The charges attract each other with a force that is proportional to Qb.Qa.

As A and B are conductors, charges Qa and Qb can move and are drawn closer than the distance d due to
mutual attraction.

## 2. A. Closer field lines implies larger E-field strength.

3. B. .

Resultant is [ ] = 4.80 V

4. (a) Electric Field Strength at a point in space is the force per unit positive charge on a small positive [1]
test charge placed at that point.

(b) (i) The bottom plate should be negative relative to the top plate. [1]

When the bottom plate is negative relative to the top, the electric field between the plates is
directed from the top to bottom plate. In this field, the proton will experience a force that is
directed from the top to the bottom plate, causing it to undergo projectile motion and
change direction as shown. [1]

## (ii) Angle is angle BAC.

Due to the electric force acting perpendicularly from the top to bottom plate, the proton path [1]
will be parabolic and symmetrical and
angle BCA = angle BAC
o o
Since angle ABC is 90 , must be 45 .
6
Lower plate

B C

Outgoing proton
direction
A

## (iii) Component of velocity parallel to the plates: v cos

Time taken to travel from entrance to exit,
x
t [1]
v cos
(iv) Using kinematics equation v u a t and taking the SE (i.e. from top to bottom plate) as the
positive direction,

v sin v sin a t
2v sin [1]
a
t
Substituting t from above, we get
2v 2 sin cos v 2
a since 45o [1]
x x
(v) eE ma
ma
E [1]
e
m v2

ex
2K

ex
(c) Qq
Coulombs Law, F [1]
4 o r2
where F is the electric force between two point charges Q and q, o is a constant representing the
[1]
permittivity of free space, and r is the distance separating the two point charges.

## (d) (i) 1. Force between the electron and positron,

e2
F [1]
4 o r 2

Acceleration,

a
F

1.60 10 19 2

1 [1]

m 4 o 1.30 10 10
2
9.11 10 31
[1]
1.50 10 22 m s-2
7
1.30 1010
2. radius, r 6.50 10 11 m [1]
2
v2
3. Centripetal acceleration a [1]
r

22 11 5
m s 1 [1]

2 r 1.30 10 10
T [1]
v 9.858 10 5
4.14 10 16 s [1]

## (d) (ii) Method 1:

e2
Electric potential energy of the system is given by [1]
4 o r
If the distance between the charges is reduced, the electric potential energy will decrease [1]
(become more negative).

Method 2:
The two charges are unlike, thus they experience attractive force. When radius decreases, [1]
negative work is done by external agent.

## Thus, loss in electric potential energy. [1]

J04/P4/Q4
5. a) The electric field causes the electron in the atom to experience an electric force in the direction opposite
the electric force on the nucleus in the atom since the electron and nucleus are oppositely charged. [2]
When the field is sufficiently strong, the forces are sufficient to free the electrons from the nucleus (or do
work against the electrostatic attraction) and the air becomes conducting due to the presence of mobile
electrons and ions formed. [1]

## b) Calculate, for the charged sphere when a spark is about to occur,

(i) E Q [1]
4 0 r 2
Q
20 103 102 [1]
4 0 0.212
Q 9.8 106 C [1]

(ii) V Q
4 0 r
9.8 106
V 4.2 105 V
4 0 0.21
c) Any one of this reason:

1. The sphere may not be perfectly circular since its may be rough (not smooth) causing variations in
-1
local electric field strength along the surface. Sharper points may reach E>20 kV cm before the
other parts of the sphere does.

2. The air may be humid, and thus loses its insulating property at a lower electric field strength
-1
E < 20 kV cm .

8
J05/P2/Q6
6. (a) (i) E field lines point from P to Q [1], at least 4 lines equally spaced.[1]

3 -1

## (b) (i) correct direction as shown below [1]

3 -15 -12
(ii) F = qE = 2.0 x 10 x 1.2 x 10 = 2.4 x 10 N. [2]

## (iii) couple = force on one charge x perpendicular separation between charges

-12 -3 o
= 2.4 x 10 x 2.5 x 10 x sin 35 [1]
-15
= 3.4 x 10 N m. [1]

(iv) The dust particle rotates to align itself with the field [1] with the positive end closer to plate Q and
negative end closer to plate P [1].

7. (a) Electric field strength is equal to the negative of the potential gradient, E dV .
dr
[1 mark for potential gradient, 1 mark for correct sign or discussing direction]
2 2 2
(b) Area under the graph = 21.2 cm (2 marks for ans within +/- 0.4 cm , 1 mark for ans within +/- 0.8 cm ).
2 -2 3
1.0 cm 1.0 x 10 x 2.5 x 10 = 25 V. [1]
Therefore pd = 21.2 x 25 = 530 V [1]

## (c) 1 mv 2 qV = q x (area under E-r graph)

2
1
(9.11 1031 )v 2 (1.6 1019 )(530)
2
7 -1
v = 1.37 x 10 m s .

(d) (i) d = 0 cm. (where E is the greatest, so that force on the electron F=qE will be the greatest)

(ii) Acceleration decreases to reach a minimum at d = 4 cm [1], and then increases to reach a value less
than the initial acceleration. (a = F/m = qE/m, so acceleration is proportional to the E field strength) [1]