# Physics 42 Practice Exam for Exam 1

(1) A total charge of +Q is distributed uniformly in a ring with radius R. A small piece of the ring at x=R that
contains charge +qo is removed from the ring (qo << Q), leaving a gap in the ring at x=R. What is the electric
field at point P, the center of the ring with the gap? Answer: C
use superposition: the electric field due to the entire ring = 0, the ring is composed of the point charge +qo
and the ring with the gap. So the E field due to the ring with the gap = - (E field due to the point charge)

1 (Q − qo ) ˆ 1 (Q − qo ) ˆ
(A) i (B) − i
4 πε o R 2 4 πε o R 2
1 qo ˆ 1 qo ˆ
(C) i (D) − i
4 πε o R 2 4 πε o R 2
€ (E) 0 € (F) none of the above

€ €

(2) Consider two point particles lying along the x axis separated by a distance d. These particles have charges
that are equal in magnitude but opposite in sign. Where can a third point charge be placed so the net force on it
is zero? Answer : C the 2 particles are a dipole, and the electric field due to a dipole is non-zero except at
inifinity. Therefore the net force on the third point charge can only be zero if it is placed at infinity.

(3) Consider the finite piece of wire with a uniformly distributed negative charge
shown to the right. What is the direction of the force on a positively charged ion
placed at point P? B

Let's look at the force due to three bits of charges: bit 1 at the top of the wire bit 2 in
the middle of the wire and bit 3 at the bottom of the wire.
The direction of these forces are along arrows A, C and D. However, the
distance between each bit of charge and point P increases as you move down the wire. So, F1 > F2 > F3 (where
F1 is the force due to bit 1), if you add up all the forces, they will point along arrow B (instead of C).

(4) Consider two pairs of points : Point A is at a distance r from a point charge and point B is at a distance r +
10 cm from the point charge. Point C is at a distance r' from the point charge and point D is at a distance r' + 10
cm from the point charge. Please compare the potential difference between the two pairs of points if r = 5r'.

(A) ΔVAB > ΔVCD (B) ΔVAB = ΔVCD (C) ΔVAB < ΔVCD

(The pair of points C-D are 5X closer to the point charge than the points AB. So, the electric field in the
neighborhood of CD is 5X stronger than the electric field at AB. The electric field is the rate of change of the
electric potential. So, the electric potential is changing faster at CD, i.e. ΔVAB < ΔVCD )