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Electrostatics Worksheet

1 a. Describe the basic unit for measuring charge in terms of electron charge.

1 Coulomb = amount of charge on 6.25 x 1018 electrons

a. Calculate the force of gravitational attraction between the electrons. 5.5 x 10-65 N

b. Calculate the electrical force acting between them. Is this attractive or repulsive? 2.3 x 10-22 N repulsive

c. What is the ratio of electrical force to gravitational force? 4.2 x 1042 times larger than gravitation

3. A 1 μC is placed in a uniform electric field. This charge experiences an 8.0 x 10-6 N force to the south.

a. What is the magnitude and direction of the electric field? 8 N/C South

b. If this charge is moved 10 cm north, does it gain or lose potential energy? How much? Gains; 8 x 10-7 J

c. What is the potential difference between the two points in the field? 0.8 V

4. Define the following from memory – then check your notes for accuracy and completeness.

a. Gravitational potential energy: nrg gained (or lost) as objects move closer together (or further

apart) PE = mgh [J]

b. Electrical potential energy: nrg per unit charge [V or J/C]

c. Equipotential surface: surfaces with equal potential energy [V]

d. Potential difference: nrg gained (or lost) per unit charge as it moves in a field [V or J/C]

e. List units to measure each of the above. [in green above]

5. Consider a parallel plate capacitor with plates A and B connected to opposite terminals of a 12-V battery. The plates are

separated by a distance of 2 cm. See diagram below.

-12 V -9V -6V -3V 0V

a. Sketch in electric field lines. Indicate direction. How does the orientation of these

- + lines related to the equipotentials?

Z

- + In red

- X + b. If plate B is assigned a potential of 0 V, assign appropriate values to each equipotential

surface shown and to plate A. Label these on the diagram.

- +

- + c. How much potential energy is lost in moving a +2 C charge from plate B to plate A?

- + -24 J

- + d. Is energy lost or gained as an electron moves from point X to point Z in the field?

- Y + -19

How much? Answer in J and in eV. Lost; 9.6 x 10 J; 6 eV

- +

e. The electric field is defined as the force per unit charge (E = F/Q) or, in a uniform field, as the potential gradient (E = V/x). What is the electric

- Y?…at point X?

field strength at point +

600 V/m; 600 V/m

f. What is the magnitude and direction of the force exerted on a –5 μC charge at point Y?…at point X?…at point Z?

-0.003 N right (against field); all pts exert the same force b/c field is uniform

6. a. An electroscope can be charged by induction or conduction. Describe the difference between these two methods of charging

an electroscope:

Induction – Charge induced across material (NOT touching) – overall material remains

neutral

Conduction – Charge transferred through direct contact

b. How can one give an electroscope a residual negative charge?

By conduction w/ a negatively charged object (such as amber rubbed with fur).

7. Four objects A, B, C, and D react as follows:

A is repelled by C

D is attracted to both A and C

B is attracted to both A and C but not affected by D

A is attracted to an amber rod which has been rubbed with fur (amber rubbed w/ fur = negative)

B and D are also attracted to the charged amber rod

What is the residual charge on each of the four objects?

Positive Negative

A D*

C B* *

charged by induction positive & negative side (polar)

8. Two points in an electric field are located along a field line. A +1 C charge is moved 0.5 m west (from point A to B) along the

field line. A force of 10 N is required to move this charge.

B A

10 N required to move + charge

a. What is the potential difference between the two points in the field? 5V

b. What is the direction of the field? East [force was required to move positive charge against

field direction]

c. Which point, A or B, should be assigned the higher potential? B [field goes from high potential to low]

9. Two points in an electric field are assigned potentials as follows:

Point X = 5.0 V and Point Y = 7.0 V

a. If an electron is moved from point X to point Y, is electric potential gained or lost by the electron?

5V Field direction 7V (converted to KE)

b. How much energy is gained or lost? Give your answer in both Joules and electron-volts.

3.2 x 10-19 J; 2 eV

c. If the points are 10 cm apart, what is the potential gradient (electric field value) of the field between these points?

20 V/m

10. A proton experiences 8 x 10-20 N of force to the north when placed in a uniform electric field.

a. What is the magnitude and direction of the field? 0.5 N/C North

b. What force would an electron experience? -8 x 10-20 N South

c. What is the potential gradient of the field? 0.5 V/m North

d. How much energy will the proton lose as it moves 10 cm in the field? 8 x 10-21 J (only if moving North)

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