# SF027 1

UNIT 1:Electrostatics
The study of electric
charges at rest, the
forces between them
and the electric fields
associated with them.
SF027 2
1.1 COULOMB’S LAW
LEARNING OUTCOMES:

a) State Coulomb’s Law

b) Sketch the force diagram and apply Coulomb’s Law for
a system of point charges
2 2
4 r
kQq
r
Qq
F
o
= =
tc
SF027 3
 There are two kinds of charges in
nature – positive and negative
charge.
Like charges repel.
Unlike charges attract.

 The magnitude of the force, F
between two point charges is
given by Coulomb’s Law.
Coulomb’s Law
• States – the magnitude of the electrostatic
(Coulomb/electric) force between two point
charges is proportional to the product of the
charges and inversely proportional to the
square of the distance between them.

+ +
r
2
q
1
q
F

F

SF027 5

Mathematically,

charges point o between tw distance : r
2
2 1
r
q kq
F =
2 - 2 9
C N m 10 x 0 . 9 k constant (Coulomb) tic electrosta : =
2
2 1
r
q q
F ·
where
force (Coulomb) tic electrosta of magnitude : F
charge of magnitude : ,
2 1
q q
+ +
r
2
q
1
q
F

F

Coulomb’s law
SF027 6

• Since

0
4
1
k
tc
=
, hence the Coulomb’s law can be written as
|
.
|

\
|
|
|
.
|

\
|
=
2
2 1
0
r
q q
4
1
F
tc
where
air) or (vacuum space free of ty permittivi :
0
c
) . (
2 1 2 12
0
m N C 10 x 85 8
÷ ÷ ÷
= c
+
r
-
2
q
1
q
F

F

• If q
1
and q
2
are charges of opposite sign, the
force (F) acting on each charge is attractive as
shown in figure below.
– This mean that F is directed towards the
neighbouring charge and will result in both
charges moving towards each other.

• If q
1
and q
2
are both positive or both negative
charges, the force (F) acting on each charge is
repulsive.
– This mean that F is directed away from the
neighbouring charge and will result in a
separation of the two charges if they are
free to move.

SF027 8

• The S.I. unit of charge is coulomb (C).

• Note :

– The sign of the charge can be ignored when substituting
into the Coulomb’s law equation.

– The sign of the charges is important in distinguishing the
direction of the electric force .

Example 1 :

Two point charges, q
1
=-20 nC and q
2
=90 nC,
are separated by a distance of 4.0 cm as
shown in figure below.

Find the magnitude and direction of
a. the electric force that q
1
exerts on q
2
.
b. the electric force that q
2
exerts on q
1
.
(Given Coulomb’s constant, k = 9.0 x 10
9
N m
2

C
-2
)

-
cm 0 4 .
+ 2
q
1
q
SF027 10

Solution: q
1
=2.0 x 10
-8
C, q
2
=9.0 x 10
-8
C, r=4.0 x 10
-2
m

2 1 F
12
charge on charge by force :

-
cm 0 4 .
+ 2
q
1
q
12
F

21
F

where
1 2 F
21
charge on charge by force :

SF027 11
a. By applying the Coulomb’s law equation :

b. By using the Coulomb’s law equation :

Conclusion :
– The magnitude of both forces is the same but opposite in direction
– obey the Newton’s third law.

– The characteristic of electric force exert on both charges is
attractive force.
2 2
8 8 9
12
10 x 4
10 x 0 9 10 x 0 2 10 x 0 9
F
) (
) . )( . )( . (
÷
÷ ÷
=

21 12
F F
 
÷ =
2
2 1
12
r
q kq
F =

N 10 x 0 1 F
2
12
÷
= .

Direction : to the left (q1)
2
1 2
21
r
q kq
F =

N 10 x 0 1 F
2
21
÷
= .

Direction : to the right (q2)
Example 2 :

Three point charges lie along the x-axis as
shown in figure below.

Calculate the magnitude and direction of the total
electric force exerted on q
2
.
(Given Coulomb’s constant, k = 9.0 x 10
9
N m
2

C
-2
)

C 4 q
2
=
C 2 q
1
=
-
+ +
C 6 q
3
=
cm 0 3 . cm 0 5 .
SF027 13
Solution: r
12
=3.0 x 10
-2
m, r
23
=5.0 x 10
-2
m

By applying the Coulomb’s law equation :
32
F

12
F

C 4 q
2
=
C 2 q
1
=
-
+ +
C 6 q
3
=
cm 0 3 . cm 0 5 .
2
12
2 1
12
r
q kq
F =

N 10 x 0 8 F
13
12
. =

Direction : to the right (q3)
SF027 14

And

Therefore, the total force exerted on q
2
is given by

2
23
3 2
32
r
q kq
F =

N 10 x 6 8 F
13
32
. =

Direction : to the right (q3)
32 12 2
F F F
  
+ =
N 10 x 6 16 F
13
2
. =

32 12 2
F F F
  
+ =
13 13
2
10 x 6 8 10 x 0 8 F . . + =

Direction : to the right (q3)
Example 3 :

Figure below shows the three point charges are
placed in the shape of triangular.

Determine the magnitude and direction of the
resultant electric force exerted on q
1
. Given q
1
=-
1.2 µC, q
2
=+3.7 µC, q
3
=-2.3 µC, r
12
=15 cm,
r
13
=10 cm, u=32° and k = 9.0 x 10
9
N m
2
C
-2
.

2
q
1
q
+
3
q
-
-
12
r
13
r
u
SF027 16
2
12
2 1
21
r
q kq
F =

Solution: q
1
=1.2x10
-6
C, q
2
=3.7x10
-6
C, q
3
=2.3x10
-6
C,
r
12
=15x10
-2
m, r
13
=10x10
-2
m

– By applying the Coulomb’s law equation :
Magnitude of F
21
:
N 78 1 F
21
. =

31
F

21
F

58
2
q
1
q
+
3
q
-
-
12
r
13
r
u
2 2
6 6 9
21
10 x 15
10 x 7 3 10 x 2 1 10 x 0 9
F
) (
) . )( . )( . (
÷
÷ ÷
=

SF027 17
Magnitude of F
31
:

• Construct a table to represents x and y-component for all
forces exerted on q
1
.

Vector sum the x-comp. and y-comp. :

2
13
3 1
31
r
q kq
F =

N 48 2 F
31
. =

Force x-component(N) y-component(N)
21
F

21
F

0
31
F

58 F
31
cos

58 F
31
sin ÷
N 09 3 58 F F F
31 21 x 1
. cos = + =
¿

 
N 10 2 58 F 0 F
31 y 1
. sin ÷ = ÷ =
¿

SF027 18
° =
° ÷ = =
¿
¿
8 . 325
2 . 34 tan
1
1
F
F
x
y
u
from the x-axis anticlockwise
N 78 3 F
1
. =

( ) ( )
2
y 1
2
x 1 1
F F F
¿ ¿
+ =

The magnitude of resultant electric force exerted on q
1
:
SF027 19

1. Two point charges are placed on the x-axis as follows :
Charge q
1
= +4.00 nC is located at x = 0.200 m, charge q
2
= +5.00 nC
is at x = -0.300 m. Find the magnitude and direction of the total
electric force exerted by these two charges on a negative point charge
q
3
= -6.00 nC that is placed at the origin. (Young & freedman,pg.829,no.21.20)
(Given c
0
=8.85 x 10
-12
C
2
N
-1
m
-2
)
Ans. : 2.4 µN to the right

EXERCISE
SF027 20
2. Four identical point charges (q = +10.0 µC) are located on the corners
of a rectangle as shown in figure below.

The dimension of the rectangle are l = 60.0 cm and w = 15.0 cm.
Calculate the magnitude and direction of the resultant electric force
exerted on the charge at the lower left corner by the other three
charges. (Serway & Jewett, pg. 735, no. 57)
(Given c
0
=8.85 x 10
-12
C
2
N
-1
m
-2
)
Ans. : 40.9 N at 263° from positive x-axis.
q
l
+ +
+
+
w
q
q
q
EXERCISE
SF027 21
1.2 ELECTRIC FIELD
LEARNING OUTCOMES:
a) Define Electric Field
b) Define and use Electric Field Strength

c) Sketch the electric field lines of isolated point charge,
two charges and uniformly charged parallel plates
d) Sketch the electric field strength diagram and
determine electric field strength E for a system of
charges
o
q
F
E

=
1.2.1 Electric Field
• Definition – is defined as a region of
space around isolated charge
where an electric force is experienced if
a positive test charge placed in the
region.
• Electric field around charges can be
represented by drawing a series of lines.
These lines are called electric field lines
(lines of force).
• The direction of electric field is tangent to
the electric field line at each point.

SF027 23

• The electric field strength at a point,

Definition – is defined as the electric (electrostatic) force per unit
positive test charge that acts at that point in the same
direction as the force.

Mathematically,

E

E

0
q
F
E =
force electric the of magnitude : F
where
charge test of magnitude :
0
q
strength field electric the of magnitude : E
1.2.2 Electric Field strength
Electric field strength
• is a vector quantity.
• Its units are N C
-1
or V m
-1
.
Since

2
0
r
kqq
F =
, then the equation above can be written as
|
|
|
|
.
|

\
|
=
0
2
0
q
r
kqq
E
2
r
kq
E =
or
2
0
r 4
q
E
tc
=
charge point isolated of magnitude : q
charge point isolated and point e between th distance : r
where
SF027 25
1.2.3 Electric field lines

i. Single positive charge

ii. Single negative charge
(the lines point radially outward from
the charge)
toward the charge)
+q
-q
Field
direction
(a) Isolated point charge
(b) Two charges
i.) Two equal point charges of opposite sign, +q and -q
Field direction
(the lines are curved
and they are directed
from the positive
charge to the
negative charge.
+q +q
X
Field direction
(point X is neutral point )
 is defined as a point
(region) where the total
electric force is zero.
 It lies along the vertical
dash line.
ii.) Two equal positive charges, +q and + q
SF027 28
+2q -q
iii.) Two opposite unequal charges, +2q and –q

(note that twice as many lines
leave +2q as there are lines
entering –q, – number of lines is
proportional to magnitude of
charge.)
Field direction
(iv) Uniformly charged parallel
plates
 The lines go directly from
positive plate to the negative
plate.
 The field lines are parallel
and equally spaced in the
central region far from the
edges but fringe outward
near the edges. Thus, in the
central region, the electric
field has the same magnitude
at all points.
 The fringing of the field near
the edges can be ignored
because the separation of the
plates is small compared to
their size.
Two opposite charged parallel metal plates

The rules of drawing electric
field lines:

– The field lines indicate the direction of the electric
field (the field points in the direction tangent to
the field line at any point).
– The lines are drawn so that the magnitude of electric
field is proportional to the number of lines crossing
unit area perpendicular to the lines. The closer the
lines, the stronger the field.
– Electric field lines start on positive charges and
end on negative charges, and the number starting
or ending is proportional to the magnitude of the
charge.
– The field lines never cross because the electric field
don’t have two value at the same point.

SF027 31

(a) Two equal negative charges, -q and -q .

(b) Two unequal negative charges, -2q and -q.

-q
-q
-q
-2q
Exercise
1. Sketch electric field lines for the diagrams below:
SF027 32
• Note :
– The direction of electric field strength, E depends on sign of
isolated point charge.
– The direction of the electric force, F depends on the sign of
isolated point charge and test charge. For example
• A positive isolated point charge.
a. positive test charge

b. negative test charge

q
) ( ve q
0
+
E

F

r
q
) ( ve q
0
÷
E

F

r
SF027 33
• A negative isolated point charge.
a. positive test charge

b. negative test charge

– In the calculation of magnitude E, substitute the magnitude of
the charge only.
q
) ( ve q
0
+
E

F

r
q
) ( ve q
0
÷
E

F

r
Example 4 :

Two point charges, q
1
=1 C and q
2
=-4 C, are
placed 2 cm and 3 cm from the point A
respectively as shown in figure below.

Find
a. the magnitude and direction of the electric
field intensity at point A.
b. the total electric force exerted on q
0
=-4 C if
it is placed at point A.
(Given Coulomb’s constant, k = 9.0 x 10
9
N
m
2
C
-2
)

+ - 2
q
1
q
cm 2 cm 3
A
SF027 35
Solution: q
1
=1 C, q
2
=4 C, q
0
=4 C, r
1
=2x10
-2
m, r
2
=3x10
-2
m

a. By applying the equation of electric field strength, the magnitude of
E at point A.
Due to q
1
:

+ - 2
q
1
q
cm 2 cm 3
A
1 A
E

2 A
E

2 2
9
2
1
1
1 A
10 x 2
1 10 x 0 9
r
kq
E
) (
) )( . (
÷
= =
1 13
1 A
C N 10 x 25 2 E
÷
= .
Direction : to the right (q2)
SF027 36
Due to q
2
:

therefore the electric field strength at point A due to the charges is
given by

b. From the definition of the electric field strength,

thus the total electric force exerted on q
0
is given by
2 2
9
2
2
2
2 A
10 x 3
4 10 x 0 9
r
kq
E
) (
) )( . (
÷
= =
1 13
2 A
C N 10 x 4 E
÷
=
Direction : to the right (q2)
2 A 1 A A
E E E
  
+ =
0
A
A
q
F
E =
13 13
A
10 x 4 10 x 25 2 E + = .

1 13
A
C N 10 x 25 6 E
÷
= .

Direction : to the right (q2)
A 0 A
E q F =
N 10 x 5 2 F
14
A
. =
) . )( (
13
A
10 x 25 6 4 F =
Direction : to the left (q1)
SF027 37
EXERCISE
1. Find the magnitude of the electric field at point P due to the four
point charges as shown in the figure below if q=1 nC and d=1 cm.

2. Find the magnitude and direction of the electric field at the centre of
the square in figure below if q=1.0x10
-8
C and a= 5cm.
(Given c
0
=8.85 x 10
-12
C
2
N
-1
m
-2
)
Ans. : zero.
(Given c
0
=8.85 x 10
-12
C
2
N
-1
m
-2
)
(HRW. pg. 540.13)
Ans. : 1.02x10
5
N C
-1
,

upwards.
SF027 38
1.3 CHARGE IN A UNIFORM
ELECTRIC FIELD
LEARNING OUTCOMES:

a) Explain quantitatively with the aid of a
diagram the motion of charge in a uniform
electric field
SF027 39
• Consider a stationary particle of charge q
0
and mass m is placed in a
uniform electric field E, the electric force F
e
exerted on the charge is
given by

• Since only electric force exerted on the particle, thus this force
contributes the net force, F and causes the particle to accelerate.
• According to Newton’s second law, then the magnitude of the
acceleration of the particle is

• Because the electric field is uniform (constant in magnitude and
direction) then the acceleration of the particle is constant.
1.3. Motion of Charged Particles in a Uniform
Electric Field
E q F
0 e
=
ma F F
e
= =
ma E q
0
=
m
E q
a
0
=
(a) Stationary Charge
Positive stationary charge
E

e
F

a

-Consider a stationary particle of charge q0 and mass m is placed in a
uniform electric field E,

- Electric force F
e
exerted on the point charge, q0 is given by
E q F
0 e
=
Force experienced by charge is in the same direction as electric field,
E.
- q0 can be either positive or negative charge.

For positive charge:
= ma
E

e
F

a

For negative charge:
Force experienced by charge is in the opposite direction as
electric field, E.
Negative stationary charge
Consider a charge +q enters the uniform electric field with a velocity
perpendicular to direction of electric field lines.

The positive charge will be deflected and moves along a parabolic path towards
the negative plate . If the upper plate is positively-charged and the lower is
negatively-charged, then the electric field E will be directed downward.
The positive charge moves under the influence of the electric force which is at the
same direction as electric field lines

(b) Charge moving
perpendicularly to the field
E q F
0
=
F
e
= ma
y
SF027 43

The negative charge will deflected and moves along a parabolic
path towards the positive plate. The negative charge moves
under the influence of the electric force which is opposite
direction to the electric field lines.

E q F
0 e
=
Consider a charge -q enters the uniform electric field with a
velocity perpendicular to direction of electric field lines.
F
e
= ma
y
• The electric force on the positive
charge is in the same direction as to
its motion.
• The positive charge accelerates along
a straight line.
(c) Charge moving parallel to
the field
v
• The electric force on the negative
charge (eg. electron) is in the
opposite direction to its motion.
• The negative charge decelerates
along a straight line.
F
e
v
SF027 46

• Dynamic equilibrium means the charge moves with constant velocity.
• The positive charged particle will experiences the electric force F
E which

is downwards with magnitude qE and the magnetic force F
B which
is
upwards with magnitude Bqv (see fig. above).
• If the particle travels in a straight line with constant velocity hence the
electric and magnetic forces are equal in magnitude.

• Only particles with this constant speed can pass through without being
deflected by the fields.
E

v

+
++++++++++++++++++
÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷
X X X X X X
X X X X X X
X X X X X X
X X X X X X
B

v

+
v

+
B
F

E
F

(d) Charge in dynamic equilibrium
positive charged particle
for negative charged
particles.(eg:electron)
Dynamic equilibrium for negative charged particle
E

v

-
++++++++++++++++++
÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷
X X X X X X
X X X X X X
X X X X X X
X X X X X X
B

v

-
v

-
B
F

E
F

F
E
F
B
SF027 48
1.4 ELECTRIC POTENTIAL
OBJECTIVES:
a. Define Electric Potential
b. Define and sketch equipotential lines and surfaces of an isolated charge and a uniform
electric field
c. Use for a point charge and a system of charges.

d. Calculate potential difference between two points

e. Use for uniform E.

f. Deduce the change in potential energy between two points in electric field

g. Calculate potential energy of a system of point charges
r
Q
V
o
tc 4
=
d
V
E =
U A
|
|
.
|

\
|
+ + =
23
3 2
13
3 1
12
2 1
r
q q
r
q q
r
q q
k U
V q U A = A
0
BA
AB A B
W
V V V
q
= ÷ =
SF027 49
• Electric potential, V of a point in the electric field
Definition – is defined as the work done in bringing positive test
charge from infinity to that point in the electric field.
or

• Since
0
q
W
V
·
=
then the equation above can be written as
done work :
·
W
charge test :
0
q
where
0
0
q
r
kqq
V
|
.
|

\
|
=
or
r
q
V
o
tc 4
=
r
kq
V =
r
kqq
W
0
=
·
charge point : q
charge point the point with e between th distance : r
where
space free of ty permittivi :
0
c
) . (
2 1 2 12
0
m N C 10 x 85 8
÷ ÷ ÷
= c
SF027 50
• Electric potential is a scalar quantity, so the resultant electric potential
is equal to the algebraic sum of the individual potential.

• The S.I. unit for electric potential is the Volt (V) or J C
-1
.

• Note :
– The electric potential of a charge at infinity is ZERO .
– The electric potential energy of a positively charged particle
increases when it moves to a point of higher potential.

– The electric potential energy of a negatively charged particle
increases when it moves to a point of lower potential.

– Since charge q can be positive or negative, the
electric potential can also be positive or
negative.

– If the value of work done is negative – work
done by the electric force (system).

– If the value of work done is positive – work
done by the external force or on the
system.

– In the calculation of V, the sign of the charge
must be substituted in the equation of V.

SF027 52
1.4.2 Equipotential Surface
• Definition – is defined as a surface where all points on the surface
that have the same electric potential.
• Figures 3.9a and 3.9b are example of the equipotential surface.

– The dashed lines represent the equipotential surface (line).
– The equipotential surfaces (lines) always perpendicular to the
electric field lines passing through them.

Fig. 3.9a : a uniform electric field
produced by an infinite sheet of
charge
E

C
A
B
Fig. 3.9b:a point charge
E

C
A
B
SF027 53
• From the figures,
then the work done to bring a test charge from B to A is given by

EXERCISE:
At a certain distance from a point charge, the magnitude of the electric
field is 500 V m
-1
and the electric potential is -3.00 kV. Calculate
a. the distance to the charge.
b. the value of the charge. (Serway & Jewett,pg.788,no.17)
(Given c
0
=8.85 x 10
-12
C
2
N
-1
m
-2
)
Ans. : 6.00 m, -2.00 µC
C B A
V V V = =
0 W
BA
=
No work is done in moving a charge
along an equipotential surface.
0 0
( )
BA AB A B
W q V q V V = = ÷
SF027 54
1.4.3 Potential Difference
• Potential difference between two points in an electric field,
Definition – is defined as the work done in bringing a positive test
charge from a point to another point in the electric
field.
• From the figure 3.8a, the potential difference between point A and B,
V
AB
is given by
and
or
A. point to B point from
charge test positive bringing in done work :
BA
W
where
state) A(final point at potential electric :
A
V
state) B(initial point at potential electric :
B
V
charge test :
0
q
0
BA
AB
W
V
q
=
AB A B
V V V = ÷
0 0 0 0
( )
BA AB A B A B A B
W q V q V V q V q V U U = = ÷ = ÷ = ÷
SF027 55
• Note :
– If the positive test charge moving from point A to point B, thus the
potential difference between this points is given by

therefore

B. point A to point from
charge test positive bringing in done work :
AB
W
where
A point and B point between difference potential :
AB
V
BA AB
V V ÷ =
0
AB
BA B A
W
V V V
q
= ÷ =
BA
V
Example 5 :

Figure below shows a point A at distance 10 m
from the positive point charge, q=5C.

Calculate the electric potential at point A and
describe the meaning of the answer.
(Given Coulomb’s constant, k = 9.0 x 10
9
N m
2

C
-2
)

+
q
A
m 10
SF027 57

Solution: q=5 C, r=10 m
By applying the equation of the electric potential at a point,
) (
) )( . (
10
5 10 x 0 9
r
kq
V
9
A
= =
1 9
A
C J V 10 x 5 4 V
÷
= @ .
Meaning : 4.5 x 10
9
joule of work is done in bringing 1 C positive
charge from infinity to the point A.
Example 6 :

Two point charges, q
1
=+0.3 C and q
2
=-0.4 C are
separated by a distance of 6 m as shown in
figure below.

Calculate
a. the electric field strength and
b. the electric potential
at point A ( 3 m from the charge q
1
).
(Given Coulomb’s constant, k = 9.0 x 10
9
N m
2
C
-2
)

+ - 2
q
1
q
A
m 6
SF027 59

Solution: q
1
=+0.3 C, q
2
=-0.4 C

a. By applying the equation of electric field strength, the magnitude of
E at point A.
Due to q
1
:
+ - 2
q
1
q
A
m 3 r
1
= m 3 r
2
=
1 A
E

2 A
E

2
9
2
1
1
1 A
3
3 0 10 x 0 9
r
kq
E
) (
) . )( . (
= =
1 8
1 A
C N 10 x 3 E
÷
=
Direction : to the right (q2)
SF027 60
Due to q
2
:

therefore the electric field strength at point A due to the charges is
given by

b. By applying the equation of electric potential, the value of V at point
A is

2
9
2
2
2
2 A
3
4 0 10 x 0 9
r
kq
E
) (
) . )( . (
= =
1 8
2 A
C N 10 x 4 E
÷
=
Direction : to the right (q2)
2 A 1 A A
E E E
  
+ =
2 A 1 A A
V V V + =
8 8
A
10 x 4 10 x 3 E + =

1 8
A
C N 10 x 7 E
÷
=

Direction : to the right (q2)
|
|
.
|

\
|
+ = + =
2
2
1
1
2
2
1
1
A
r
q
r
q
k
r
kq
r
kq
V
( )
(
¸
(

¸

|
.
|

\
|
÷
+
|
.
|

\
|
=
3
4 0
3
3 0
10 x 0 9 V
9
A
. .
.
V 10 x 3 V
8
A
÷ =
Example 7 :

Two point charges, q
1
=+12 nC and q
2
=-12 nC
are separated by a distance of 8 cm as shown in
figure below.

Determine the electric potential at point P( 6 cm
from the charge q
2
).
(Given Coulomb’s constant, k = 9.0 x 10
9
N m
2
C
-2
)

1
q
+ -
2
q
P
m 8 c
m 6 c
SF027 62
Solution: q
1
=+12x10
-9
C, q
2
=-12x10
-9
C

1
q
+ -
2
q
P
m 10 x 8
2

÷
m 10 x 6 r
2
2

÷
=
m 10 x 10 r
2
1

÷
=
By applying the equation of electric potential, the value of
V at point P is

2 P 1 P P
V V V + =
|
|
.
|

\
|
+ = + =
2
2
1
1
2
2
1
1
P
r
q
r
q
k
r
kq
r
kq
V
V 720 V
P
÷ =
SF027 63

Exercise:
1. Four point charges are located at the corners of a square that is 8.0 cm
on a side. The charges, going in rotation around the square, are q, 2q, -
3q and 2q, where q = 4.8 µC as shown in figure below.

q
q 2
q 2
q 3 ÷
cm 8
Find the electric potential at the centre of the square.
(Given c0=8.85 x 10
-12
C
2
N
-1
m
-2
)
Ans. : 1.53 x 10
6
V.
Example 8 :

Two point charges q
1
=+2.40 nC and q
2
=-6.50 nC are
0.100 m apart. Point A is midway between them,
point B is 0.080 m from q
1
and 0.060 m from q
2
as
shown in figure below.

Find
a. the electric potential at point A,
b. the electric potential at point B,
c. the work done by the electric field on a charge of 2.5 nC that
travels from point B to point A.
(Young & freedman,pg.900,no.23.21)
1
q
+ -
2
q
B
A
m 060 . 0
m 080 . 0
m 050 . 0 m 050 . 0
SF027 65

(Given Coulomb’s constant, k = 9.0 x 10
9
N m
2
C
-2
)
Solution: q
1
=+2.40x10
-9
C, q
2
=-6.50x10
-9
C,
r
1A
=r
2A
=0.050 m, r
1B
=0.080 m , r
2B
=0.060 m
a. By applying the equation of electric potential, the value of V at point
A is

A 2 A 1 A
V V V + =
V 738 V
A
÷ =
A 2
2
A 1
1
A
r
kq
r
kq
V + =
1
q
+ -
2
q
B
A
m 060 . 0
m 080 . 0
m 050 . 0 m 050 . 0
SF027 66
b. By applying the equation of electric potential, the value of V at point
B is

c. Given q
0
=2.50x10
-9
C
The work done in bringing charge, q
0
from point B to point A is
given by

B 2 B 1 B
V V V + =
V 705 V
B
÷ =
B 2
2
B 1
1
B
r
kq
r
kq
V + =
J 10 x 25 8 W
8
BA
÷
÷ = .
) (
B A 0 BA
V V q W ÷ =
0 BA AB
W q V =
Example 9 :

A test charge q
0
=+2.3x10
-4
C is 5 cm from a point
charge q. A work done of +4 J is required to
overcome the electrostatic force to bring the test
charge q
0
to a distance 8 cm from charge q.
Calculate :
a. the potential difference between point 8 cm
and 5 cm from the point charge, q.
b. the value of charge q.
c. the magnitude of the electric field strength for
charge q
0
at point 5 cm from the charge q.
(Given Coulomb’s constant, k = 9.0 x 10
9
N m
2
C
-2
)

SF027 68
Solution: q
0
=+2.30x10
-4
C

a. Given W
AB
= +4J,
From the figure above, r
A
= 5x10
-2
m, r
B
= 8x10
-2
m
By applying the equation of potential difference, the value of V
BA
is

b. The electric potential at point A due to point charge, q :

) (
) (
2
9
A
A
10 x 5
q 10 x 9
r
kq
V
÷
= =
q 10 x 8 1 V
11
A
. =
q
B
A
m 10 x 5
2 ÷
m 10 x 8
2 ÷
÷
e
F

F

0
AB
BA
W
V
q
=
4
1.74 10
BA
V V = ×
SF027 69
The electric potential at point B due to point charge, q :

The potential difference between point A and B is

c. By using the equation of electric field strength, thus

C 10 x 58 2 q
7 ÷
÷ = .
q q x
11 11 4
10 8 . 1 10 125 . 1 10 74 . 1 × ÷ × =
2
A
A
r
kq
E =
and
1 5
A
C N 10 x 29 9 E
÷
= .
q 10 x 125 1
10 x 8
q 10 x 9
r
kq
V
11
2
9
B
B
.
) (
) (
= = =
÷
4
1.74 10
BA
V V = ×
BA B A
V V V = ÷
SF027 70
1.4.5 Relation Between V and E
• Consider a positive test charge, q
0
placed near a positive point
charge, q. To move q
0
towards q by a small displacement (Ar), work
done (AW) must be expended as shown in figure below .

• The work done by the external force F is given by
and

0 r F W cos A = A
V q W
0
A = A
e
F

F

Δr
q
+
0
q +
r
q
F
V
0
e
A ÷ = A
e
F F ÷ =
r F W
e
A ÷ = A
Since
then
r
V
E
A
A
÷ =
and E
q
F
0
e
=
r E V A ÷ = A
or
difference potential : V A
where
e) nt(distanc displaceme in change : r A
strength field electric : E
SF027 71
• In the limit when Ar approaches zero,

decreases in the direction of electric field.

– is known as the electric potential gradient. It can be obtained
from the gradient of a V against r graph.

• An alternative unit for electric field strength, E is volts per meter where

• . The electric field produced by a pair of flat metal plates, one of which
is earthed and the other is at a potential of V is uniform. This can be
shown by equally spaced lines of force in figure 1.

dr
dV
E ÷ =
1 1
m V 1 C N 1
÷ ÷
=
dr
dV
|
.
|

\
|
A
A
÷ =
÷ A
r
V
E
0 r
limit
SF027 72

– The V against r graph for pair of flat metal plates can be shown in
figure 2.
– From the figure 2,
• The graph is a straight line with negative constant gradient,
thus
V +
Fig.1
d
0 V =
r
V
0
V
d
Fig. 2
) (
) (
0 d
V 0
Δr
ΔV
E
÷
÷
÷ = ÷ =
d
V
E = or
Ed V =
Uniform E
1.4.6 Changes in potential
energy , ∆ U
• Electric potential energy, U of a point
charge, q which is at a distance of r
from point charge,q is
U = qV
• If there is changes in potential energy
between 2 points in electric field,
∆ U = q ∆ V
SF027 74
1.4.7 Electric Potential Energy of System of
point charges
• The electric potential energy of the system of point charges is the work
done to bring all the charges from infinity to the points where the
charges are placed.

• In the system of charges, suppose there were originally no charges at the
points A, B and C as in the figure above.
C
q3
B
q2
A
q1
r12
r23
r13
SF027 75
To set up the system,
- The charge q
1
is brought from infinity and placed at point A. Since there
where originally no charges, the charge q
1
doesn’t experience any electric
force when it is brought from infinity, F
e
= 0
Work done,

- With the charge q
1
fixed at the point A, an electric field is produced. Hence
the work done to bring the charge q
2
from infinity to the point B which is at
the distance of r
12
from charge q
1
is,

Work done,

- With the charge q
1
fixed at point A and q
2
fixed at point B, the electric
potential at point C,

0 = =
A A
U W
12
2 1
r
q kq
U W
B B
= =
23
2
13
1
r
kq
r
kq
V
C
+ =
SF027 76
- Hence the work done to bring charge q
3
from infinity to the point C is

Work done,

- Therefore, the electric potential energy of the system,

|
|
.
|

\
|
+ = = =
23
2
13
1
3 3
r
kq
r
kq
q V q U W
C C C
3 2 1
U U U U + + =
(
¸
(

¸

|
|
.
|

\
|
+ + + =
23
2
13
1
3
12
2 1
0
r
q
r
q
kq
r
q kq
23
3 2
13
3 1
12
2 1
r
q kq
r
q kq
r
q kq
+ + =
|
|
.
|

\
|
+ + =
23
3 2
13
3 1
12
2 1
r
q q
r
q q
r
q q
k U

1.1 COULOMB’S LAW
LEARNING OUTCOMES: a) State Coulomb’s Law

Qq kQq F  2 2 4 o r r

b) Sketch the force diagram and apply Coulomb’s Law for a system of point charges

SF027

2

 There are two kinds of charges in nature – positive and negative charge. Like charges repel. Unlike charges attract.  The magnitude of the force, F between two point charges is given by Coulomb’s Law.

SF027

3

 F q1 + q2 +  F r .Coulomb’s Law • States – the magnitude of the electrostatic (Coulomb/electric) force between two point charges is proportional to the product of the charges and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.

0 x 10 9 N m2 C . q2 : magnitude of charge r : distance between tw o point charges k : electrosta tic (Coulomb) constant  9.Mathematically. Coulomb’s law q1 +  F q2 +  F r q1q2 F 2 r kq1q2 F 2 r where F : magnitude of electrosta tic (Coulomb) force q1 .2 SF027 5 .

• Since k 1 40 .85 x10 12 C 2 N 1 m 2 )   F q1 F q2 + r SF027 6 . hence the Coulomb’s law can be written as where  1  q1q2  F   4  r 2    0    0 : permittivi ty of free space (vacuum or air) ( 0  8.

If q1 and q2 are both positive or both negative charges. – This mean that F is directed towards the neighbouring charge and will result in both charges moving towards each other.• If q1 and q2 are charges of opposite sign. – This mean that F is directed away from the neighbouring charge and will result in a separation of the two charges if they are free to move. the force (F) acting on each charge is repulsive. • . the force (F) acting on each charge is attractive as shown in figure below.

I.• The S. – The sign of the charges is important in distinguishing the direction of the electric force . unit of charge is coulomb (C). • Note : – The sign of the charge can be ignored when substituting into the Coulomb’s law equation. SF027 8 .

0 cm + q2 Find the magnitude and direction of a.Example 1 : Two point charges. (Given Coulomb’s constant.0 cm as shown in figure below. the electric force that q2 exerts on q1. k = 9. q1 4.0 x 109 N m2 C-2) . q1=-20 nC and q2=90 nC. are separated by a distance of 4. the electric force that q1 exerts on q2. b.

0 cm  F12 : force by charge 1 on charge 2  F21 : force by charge 2 on charge 1 SF027 10 .Solution: q1=2. q2=9.0 x 10-8 C.0 x 10-2 m q1 where  F21  F12 + q2 4.0 x 10-8 C. r=4.

a. 11 F12   F21 SF027 . By using the Coulomb’s law equation :  kq2 q1 F21  2 r  F21  1.0 x10 8 ) F12  (4 x10 2 ) 2  F12  1. By applying the Coulomb’s law equation :  kq1q2 F12  2 r  (9.0 x10 9 )( 2.0 x10 2 N Direction : to the left (q1) b.   – The characteristic of electric force exert on both charges is attractive force.0 x10 2 N Direction : to the right (q2) Conclusion : – The magnitude of both forces is the same but opposite in direction – obey the Newton’s third law.0 x10 8 )(9.

(Given Coulomb’s constant. k = 9.0 cm 3.0 x 109 N m2 C-2) .Example 2 : Three point charges lie along the x-axis as shown in figure below.0 cm Calculate the magnitude and direction of the total electric force exerted on q2. q1  2 C + q2  4 C + q3  6 C 5.

r23=5.0 x 10-2 m.0 cm q3  6 C - 3.0 x10 13 N Direction : to the right (q3) SF027 13 .0 x 10-2 m By applying the Coulomb’s law equation : q1  2 C +  q2  4 C F12 + F32 5.Solution: r12=3.0 cm  kq1q2 F12  2 r12  F12  8.

6 x10 13 N Direction : to the right (q3) Therefore. the total force exerted on q2 is given by    F2  F12  F32    F2  F12  F32  F2  8.6 x1013  F2  16.0 x1013  8.And  kq2 q3 F32  2 r23  F32  8.6 x10 13 N SF027 Direction : to the right (q3) 14 .

Given q1=1. q3=-2. . r13=10 cm.2 C. q2=+3.7 C.3 C.Example 3 : Figure below shows the three point charges are placed in the shape of triangular.0 x 109 N m2 C-2. =32 and k = 9. r12=15 cm. q3 - r13  q1 - r12 q2 + Determine the magnitude and direction of the resultant electric force exerted on q1.

0 x10 9 )(1.Solution: q1=1. q2=3. r13=10x10-2 m q3   r13 F21 +  r 12 q1  58 q2 F31 – By applying the Coulomb’s law equation : Magnitude of F21:  kq1q2 F21  2 r12  (9.7 x10 6 ) F21  (15 x10 2 ) 2  F21  1.3x10-6 C. r12=15x10-2 m. q3=2.2 x10 6 )(3.7x10-6 C.78 N SF027 16 .2x10-6 C.

09 N   F1 y  0  F31 sin 58   2. :   F1 x  F21  F31 cos 58   3.48 N • Construct a table to represents x and y-component for all forces exerted on q1.10 N  SF027 17 .Magnitude of F31:  kq1q3 F31  2 r13  F31  2. Force x-component(N) y-component(N)   F21 F21 0     F31 cos 58  F31 sin 58  F31 Vector sum the x-comp. and y-comp.

78 N 1y 1x  34.The magnitude of resultant electric force exerted on q1 :  325.2 from the x-axis anticlockwise SF027 18 .8 F tan   F  2 2 F1   F1 x    F1 y   F1  3.

00 nC that is placed at the origin. Find the magnitude and direction of the total electric force exerted by these two charges on a negative point charge q3 = -6.829.no.00 nC is located at x = 0. : 2.85 x 10-12 C2 N-1 m-2) Ans.4 N to the right SF027 19 .00 nC is at x = -0.20) (Given 0=8. (Young & freedman.200 m.pg.EXERCISE 1. Two point charges are placed on the x-axis as follows : Charge q1 = +4.300 m.21. charge q2 = +5.

Calculate the magnitude and direction of the resultant electric force exerted on the charge at the lower left corner by the other three charges. 735. q + + q w q+ l +q The dimension of the rectangle are l = 60.0 C) are located on the corners of a rectangle as shown in figure below.9 N at 263 from positive x-axis. : 40. (Serway & Jewett. pg.0 cm.85 x 10-12 C2 N-1 m-2) Ans.0 cm and w = 15. Four identical point charges (q = +10. SF027 20 . no.EXERCISE 2. 57) (Given 0=8.

two charges and uniformly charged parallel plates d) Sketch the electric field strength diagram and determine electric field strength E for a system of charges SF027 21 .1.2 ELECTRIC FIELD LEARNING OUTCOMES: a) Define Electric Field b) Define and use Electric Field Strength   F E qo c) Sketch the electric field lines of isolated point charge.

. • Electric field around charges can be represented by drawing a series of lines.2. These lines are called electric field lines (lines of force). • The direction of electric field is tangent to the electric field line at each point.1.1 Electric Field • Definition – is defined as a region of space around isolated charge where an electric force is experienced if a positive test charge placed in the region.

where E : magnitude of the electric field strength F : magnitude of the electric force q0 : magnitude of test charge SF027 23 . F E q0 Mathematically.2 Electric Field strength • The electric field strength at a point.2.1.  E  E Definition – is defined as the electric (electrostatic) force per unit positive test charge that acts at that point in the same direction as the force.

Electric field strength • is a vector quantity. then the equation above can be written as  kqq0  2 E  r  q0   where kq E 2 r or E q 40 r 2 q : magnitude of isolated point charge r : distance between th e point and isolated point charge . • Its units are N C-1 or V m-1. Since kqq0 F 2 r       .

Single negative charge Field direction -q +q (the lines point radially outward from the charge) (the lines point radially inward toward the charge) SF027 25 . Single positive charge ii.2.1.3 Electric field lines (a) Isolated point charge i.

+q and -q Field direction (the lines are curved and they are directed from the positive charge to the negative charge.(b) Two charges i.) Two equal point charges of opposite sign. .

+q and + q +q X Field direction +q (point X is neutral point )  is defined as a point (region) where the total electric force is zero. It lies along the vertical dash line.) Two equal positive charges.  .ii.

) SF027 28 . +2q and –q Field direction -q +2q (note that twice as many lines leave +2q as there are lines entering –q. – number of lines is proportional to magnitude of charge.iii.) Two opposite unequal charges.

  Two opposite charged parallel metal plates . Thus. in the central region.(iv) Uniformly charged parallel plates  The lines go directly from positive plate to the negative plate. The field lines are parallel and equally spaced in the central region far from the edges but fringe outward near the edges. The fringing of the field near the edges can be ignored because the separation of the plates is small compared to their size. the electric field has the same magnitude at all points.

the stronger the field. The closer the lines. Electric field lines start on positive charges and end on negative charges. – – – . The field lines never cross because the electric field don’t have two value at the same point. The lines are drawn so that the magnitude of electric field is proportional to the number of lines crossing unit area perpendicular to the lines.The rules of drawing electric field lines: – The field lines indicate the direction of the electric field (the field points in the direction tangent to the field line at any point). and the number starting or ending is proportional to the magnitude of the charge.

-2q SF027 -q 31 . -q and -q .Exercise 1. -q -q (b) Two unequal negative charges. -2q and -q. Sketch electric field lines for the diagrams below: (a) Two equal negative charges.

E depends on sign of isolated point charge. – The direction of the electric force. negative test charge q0 (ve) E  F  r  F q SF027 q0 (ve)  E 32 r . F depends on the sign of isolated point charge and test charge. For example • A positive isolated point charge. a.• Note : – The direction of electric field strength. positive test charge q b.

• A negative isolated point charge. positive test charge  F q b. substitute the magnitude of the charge only. negative test charge  E q0 (ve) r  F q0 (ve) q r –  E In the calculation of magnitude E. a. 33 SF027 .

q1=1 C and q2=-4 C. are placed 2 cm and 3 cm from the point A respectively as shown in figure below. b.0 x 109 N m2 C-2) .q2 Find a. the total electric force exerted on q0=-4 C if it is placed at point A. (Given Coulomb’s constant. k = 9. the magnitude and direction of the electric field intensity at point A. q1 + 2 cm A 3 cm .Example 4 : Two point charges.

the magnitude of E at point A.q2 kq1 (9.0 x10 9 )(1) E A1  2  r1 (2 x10  2 ) 2 E A1  2.25 x1013 N C 1 SF027 Direction : to the right (q2) 35 .Solution: q1=1 C. Due to q1 : q1 + 2 cm A 3 cm   E A2 E A1 . r1=2x10-2 m. q2=4 C. r2=3x10-2 m a. q0=4 C. By applying the equation of electric field strength.

0 x10 9 )(4) E A2  2  r2 (3 x10  2 ) 2 E A2  4 x1013 N C 1 Direction : to the right (q2) therefore the electric field strength at point A due to the charges is given by    E A  E A1  E A2  E A  2.25 x1013  4 x1013  E A  6.5 x1014 N Direction : to the left (q1) SF027 36 . From the definition of the electric field strength. FA  q0 E A thus the total electric force exerted on q0 is given by FA  (4)(6.25 x1013 ) FA  2.Due to q2 : kq2 (9.25 x1013 N C 1 Direction : to the right (q2) FA EA  q0 b.

EXERCISE
1. Find the magnitude of the electric field at point P due to the four point charges as shown in the figure below if q=1 nC and d=1 cm. (Given 0=8.85 x 10-12 C2 N-1 m-2) Ans. : zero.

2.

Find the magnitude and direction of the electric field at the centre of the square in figure below if q=1.0x10-8 C and a= 5cm. (Given 0=8.85 x 10-12 C2 N-1 m-2)
(HRW. pg. 540.13)

Ans. : 1.02x105 N C-1, upwards.

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1.3 CHARGE IN A UNIFORM ELECTRIC FIELD
LEARNING OUTCOMES: a) Explain quantitatively with the aid of a diagram the motion of charge in a uniform electric field

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1.3. Motion of Charged Particles in a Uniform Electric Field
Fe  q0 E

Consider a stationary particle of charge q0 and mass m is placed in a uniform electric field E, the electric force Fe exerted on the charge is given by

Since only electric force exerted on the particle, thus this force contributes the net force, F and causes the particle to accelerate. According to Newton’s second law, then the magnitude of the acceleration of the particle is

F  Fe  ma q0 E  ma
q0 E a m

Because the electric field is uniform (constant in magnitude and direction) then the acceleration of the particle is constant.

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39

For positive charge:  E  a  Fe Positive stationary charge Force experienced by charge is in the same direction as electric field.Electric force Fe exerted on the point charge. E. q0 is given by Fe  q0 E = ma - q0 can be either positive or negative charge. . .(a) Stationary Charge -Consider a stationary particle of charge q0 and mass m is placed in a uniform electric field E.

For negative charge: Force experienced by charge is in the opposite direction as electric field.  E  a  Fe Negative stationary charge . E.

If the upper plate is positively-charged and the lower is negatively-charged.(b) Charge moving perpendicularly to the field Consider a charge +q enters the uniform electric field with a velocity perpendicular to direction of electric field lines. F  q0 E = may The positive charge will be deflected and moves along a parabolic path towards the negative plate . then the electric field E will be directed downward. The positive charge moves under the influence of the electric force which is at the same direction as electric field lines Fe .

The negative charge moves under the influence of the electric force which is opposite direction to the electric field lines.Fe Consider a charge -q enters the uniform electric field with a velocity perpendicular to direction of electric field lines. 43 . Fe  q0 E = may SF027 The negative charge will deflected and moves along a parabolic path towards the positive plate.

• The positive charge accelerates along a straight line.(c) Charge moving parallel to the field • The electric force on the positive charge is in the same direction as to its motion. v .

Fe v . electron) is in the opposite direction to its motion. • The negative charge decelerates along a straight line.How about negative charge? • The electric force on the negative charge (eg.

If the particle travels in a straight line with constant velocity hence the electric and magnetic forces are equal in magnitude. • SF027 • .(d) Charge in dynamic equilibrium  FB X X X X X   X X X X X   v X X  X X  v X X X X X X B   v  X E X X  X FE  positive charged particle • • Dynamic equilibrium means the charge moves with constant velocity. Only particles with this constant speed can pass through without being 46 deflected by the fields. The positive charged particle will experiences the electric force FE which is downwards with magnitude qE and the magnetic force FB which is upwards with magnitude Bqv (see fig. above).

(eg:electron)  FB X   FE X X X X X X X X X X X X - -  v X X  v X X X X X X B -  v  FE  X E X X FB  Dynamic equilibrium for negative charged particle .for negative charged particles.

Define Electric Potential b.4 ELECTRIC POTENTIAL OBJECTIVES: a. V 4 o r d. Calculate potential energy of a system of point charges SF027  q1q2 q1q3 q2 q3  U  k  r  r  r   13 23   12 48 . f. Deduce the change in potential energy U  qV g. Calculate potential difference between two points VAB e. Define and sketch equipotential lines and surfaces of an isolated charge and a uniform electric field Q c.1. Use for a point charge and a system of charges. Use WBA  VA  VB  q0 U between two points in electric field V E d for uniform E.

or where • W W : work done  V q0 : test charge q0 kqq0 Since W  then the equation above can be written as  r  kqq0     r  V q0 kq or V  q V 4o r r where r : distance between th e point with the point charge q : point charge 0 : permittivi ty of free space ( 0  8. V of a point in the electric field Definition – is defined as the work done in bringing positive test charge from infinity to that point in the electric field.85 x10 12 C 2 N 1 m 2 ) 49 SF027 .• Electric potential.

– The electric potential energy of a negatively charged particle increases when it moves to a point of lower potential. • The S. SF027 50 .• Electric potential is a scalar quantity. unit for electric potential is the Volt (V) or J C-1. so the resultant electric potential is equal to the algebraic sum of the individual potential.I. • Note : – The electric potential of a charge at infinity is ZERO . – The electric potential energy of a positively charged particle increases when it moves to a point of higher potential.

the sign of the charge must be substituted in the equation of V. the electric potential can also be positive or negative. – If the value of work done is positive – work done by the external force or on the system. – If the value of work done is negative – work done by the electric force (system). – In the calculation of V.– Since charge q can be positive or negative. .

52 .9b:a point charge B Fig.9b are example of the equipotential surface. The equipotential surfaces (lines) always perpendicular to the electric field lines passing through them.4.9a : a uniform electric field produced by an infinite sheet of charge – – SF027 The dashed lines represent the equipotential surface (line). 3. 1. 3.9a and 3.• • Definition – is defined as a surface where all points on the surface that have the same electric potential. Figures 3.2 Equipotential Surface A C  E A  E B C Fig.

the magnitude of the electric field is 500 V m-1 and the electric potential is -3.85 x 10-12 C2 N-1 m-2) Ans.• From the figures.no.788. EXERCISE: At a certain distance from a point charge. (Serway & Jewett.17) (Given 0=8. the distance to the charge. the value of the charge. V  V  V A B C then the work done to bring a test charge from B to A is given by WBA  q0VAB  q0 (VA  VB ) WBA  0 No work is done in moving a charge along an equipotential surface. b. -2. Calculate a.00 kV.pg. : 6.00 m.00 C SF027 53 .

4. From the figure 3. Definition – is defined as the work done in bringing a positive test charge from a point to another point in the electric field.3 Potential Difference • Potential difference between two points in an electric field. the potential difference between point A and B.8a.1. VAB is given by WBA VAB  and VAB  VA  VB • q0 or WBA  q0VAB  q0 (VA  VB )  q0VA  q0VB  U A  U B where W : work done in bringing positive test charge from point B to point A. VA : electric potential at point A(final state) VB : electric potential at point B(initial state) q0 : test charge BA 54 SF027 .

VBA : potential difference between point B and point A VAB therefore VAB  VBA SF027 55 . thus the potential difference between this points is given by VBA  VB  VA  where WAB q0 WAB : work done in bringing positive test charge from point A to point B.• Note : – If the positive test charge moving from point A to point B.

k = 9.Example 5 : Figure below shows a point A at distance 10 m from the positive point charge. (Given Coulomb’s constant. q+ 10 m A Calculate the electric potential at point A and describe the meaning of the answer.0 x 109 N m2 C-2) . q=5C.

SF027 57 .5 x 109 joule of work is done in bringing 1 C positive charge from infinity to the point A. kq (9. r=10 m By applying the equation of the electric potential at a point.Solution: q=5 C.5 x10 9 V @ J C 1 Meaning : 4.0 x10 9 )(5) VA   r (10) VA  4.

(Given Coulomb’s constant. the electric field strength and b.0 x 109 N m2 C-2) . k = 9. q1 + A 6m .Example 6 : Two point charges.q2 Calculate a. the electric potential at point A ( 3 m from the charge q1). q1=+0.3 C and q2=-0.4 C are separated by a distance of 6 m as shown in figure below.

q2 E A2 kq1 (9.4 C a.3 C.3) E A1  2  r1 (3) 2 E A1  3 x10 8 N C 1 Direction : to the right (q2) SF027 59 . Due to q1 : q1 + A r1  3 m  E A1 r2  3 m  . the magnitude of E at point A.0 x10 9 )(0.Solution: q1=+0. By applying the equation of electric field strength. q2=-0.

By applying the equation of electric potential.4) E A2  2  r2 (3) 2 E A2  4 x10 8 N C 1 Direction : to the right (q2) E A  E A1  E A2  E A  3 x10 8  4 x10 8  E A  7 x10 8 N C 1 Direction : to the right (q2) b. the value of V at point A is therefore the electric field strength at point A due to the charges is given by    VA  VA1  VA2  q1 q2  kq1 kq2 VA    k   r r1 r2 r2   1  9  0.0 x10     3   3  VA  3 x10 8 V 60 SF027 .0 x10 9 )(0.3    0.4  VA  9.Due to q2 : kq2 (9.

P 6 cm q1 + 8 cm .q2 Determine the electric potential at point P( 6 cm from the charge q2). k = 9. q1=+12 nC and q2=-12 nC are separated by a distance of 8 cm as shown in figure below.Example 7 : Two point charges.0 x 109 N m2 C-2) . (Given Coulomb’s constant.

the value of V at point P is VP  VP1  VP 2  q1 q2  kq1 kq2 VP    k   r r1 r2 r2   1  VP  720 V SF027 62 . q2=-12x10-9 C P r1  10 x10 2 m + r2  6 x10 2 m q1 8 x10 m 2 q2 By applying the equation of electric potential.Solution: q1=+12x10-9 C.

0 cm on a side. are q.Exercise: 1.85 x 10-12 C2 N-1 m-2) Ans. (Given  =8.53 x 106 V. q 8 cm 2q 2q  3q Find the electric potential at the centre of the square. 3q and 2q. Four point charges are located at the corners of a square that is 8. 0 SF027 63 . 2q. : 1. where q = 4. going in rotation around the square.8 C as shown in figure below. The charges.

B 0.pg. point B is 0.080 m 0.no. c.5 nC that travels from point B to point A. Point A is midway between them.40 nC and q2=-6. the work done by the electric field on a charge of 2.50 nC are 0. b.060 m from q2 as shown in figure below.21) q1 + - q2 .050 m 0. the electric potential at point B.050 m Find a. the electric potential at point A.23.080 m from q1 and 0.Example 8 : Two point charges q1=+2.100 m apart. (Young & freedman.900.060 m A 0.

0 x 109 N m2 C-2) Solution: q1=+2.B 0. r1A=r2A=0.050 m 0. q2=-6.050 m q2 (Given Coulomb’s constant.060 m a. r1B=0.50x10-9 C.080 m 0. k = 9.050 m.080 m . the value of V at point A is SF027 VA  V1 A  V2 A kq1 kq2 VA   r1 A r2 A VA  738 V 65 . r2B=0.40x10-9 C. By applying the equation of electric potential.060 m A q1 + 0.

By applying the equation of electric potential. the value of V at point B is V  V V B 1B 2B kq1 kq2 VB   r1B r2 B VB  705 V c. Given q0=2.25 x10 8 J SF027 66 .b. q0 from point B to point A is given by W qV BA WBA  q0 (VA  VB ) WBA  8.50x10-9 C 0 AB The work done in bringing charge.

k = 9.3x10-4 C is 5 cm from a point charge q. c. A work done of +4 J is required to overcome the electrostatic force to bring the test charge q0 to a distance 8 cm from charge q. (Given Coulomb’s constant.Example 9 : A test charge q0=+2. b. q.0 x 109 N m2 C-2) . the potential difference between point 8 cm and 5 cm from the point charge. Calculate : a. the value of charge q. the magnitude of the electric field strength for charge q0 at point 5 cm from the charge q.

Solution: q0=+2. rA= 5x10-2 m. From the figure above. The electric potential at point A due to point charge. the value of VBA is VBA  WAB q0 VBA  1.8 x1011 q SF027 68 . q : kq (9 x10 9 )q VA   rA (5 x10 2 ) VA  1.74 104 V b. Given WAB=   Fe C A  F B 5 x10 2 m 8 x10 2 m +4J.30x10-4 q a. rB= 8x10-2 m By applying the equation of potential difference.

125 x10 11 q rB (8 x10 2 ) The potential difference between point A and B is VBA  VB  VA and VBA  1.29 x10 5 N C 1 SF027 69 .125 1011 q  1.74 104 V 1. thus kq EA  2 rA E A  9.74 x104  1.58 x10 7 C c.8 1011 q q  2. By using the equation of electric field strength.The electric potential at point B due to point charge. q : kq (9 x10 9 )q VB    1.

1.4.5 Relation Between V and E • Consider a positive test charge. q+ •  F Δr W  Fr cos 0  and F   Fe W   Fe r Fe W  q0 V then V   r q0  q0  Fe The work done by the external force F is given by Since where Fe and E q0 V V  Er or E   r SF027 V : potential difference r : change in displaceme nt(distanc e) E : electric field strength 70 . To move q0 towards q by a small displacement (r). q. q0 placed near a positive point charge. work done (W) must be expended as shown in figure below .

It can be obtained dr from the gradient of a V against r graph. E is volts per meter where 1 N C 1  1 V m 1 • . The electric field produced by a pair of flat metal plates. • An alternative unit for electric field strength.• In the limit when r approaches zero.  V  E  limit    r 0  r  dV E dr – The negative sign indicates that the value of electric potential decreases in the direction of electric field. This can be shown by equally spaced lines of force in figure 1. dV – is known as the electric potential gradient. SF027 71 . one of which is earthed and the other is at a potential of V is uniform.

1 – 0 Fig. 2 d r – The V against r graph for pair of flat metal plates can be shown in figure 2. From the figure 2. • The graph is a straight line with negative constant gradient.d V V 0 V V Fig. thus SF027 ΔV (0  V ) E  Δr (d  0) V or V  Ed E d Uniform E 72 .

4.6 Changes in potential energy . U of a point charge.q is U = qV • If there is changes in potential energy between 2 points in electric field. q which is at a distance of r from point charge.1. ∆ U • Electric potential energy. ∆U=q∆V .

r13 A C q3 r23 r12 B q1 q2 • In the system of charges.4. 74 SF027 .7 Electric Potential Energy of System of point charges • The electric potential energy of the system of point charges is the work done to bring all the charges from infinity to the points where the charges are placed. B and C as in the figure above.1. suppose there were originally no charges at the points A.

To set up the system. SF027 kq1 kq2 VC   r13 r23 75 . Fe = 0 Work done. the electric potential at point C. kq1q2 WB  U B  r12 - With the charge q1 fixed at point A and q2 fixed at point B. Hence the work done to bring the charge q2 from infinity to the point B which is at the distance of r12 from charge q1 is. the charge q1 doesn’t experience any electric force when it is brought from infinity. Since there where originally no charges. The charge q1 is brought from infinity and placed at point A. Work done. WA  U A  0 - With the charge q1 fixed at the point A. an electric field is produced.

- Hence the work done to bring charge q3 from infinity to the point C is Work done. the electric potential energy of the system. U  U1  U 2  U 3  q1 q2  kq1q2   0  kq3   r  r   r12 23    13  kq1q2 kq1q3 kq2 q3    r12 r13 r23  q1q2 q1q3 q2 q3  U  k  r  r  r   13 23   12 SF027 76 .  kq1 kq2  WC  U C  q3VC  q3  r  r   23   13 - Therefore.