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Electrostatics Sample Multiple Choice Test

1. A conducting sphere has a net charge of 4.8 1017 C. What is the approximate
number of excess electrons on the sphere?
A) 100
B) 200
C) 300
D) 400
E) 500
2. A charge Q exerts a 12 N force on another charge q. If the distance between the charges
is doubled, what is the magnitude of the force exerted on Q by q?
A) 3 N
B) 6 N
C) 24 N
D) 36 N
E) 48 N
3. At what separation will two charges, each of magnitude 6.0 C, exert a force of 1.4 N
on each other?
A) 5.1 106 m
B) 0.23 m
C) 0.48 m
D) 2.0 m
E) 40 m
4. Determine the ratio of the electrostatic force to the gravitational force between a proton
and an electron, FE/FG.
Note: k = 8.99 109 Nm2 /C2 ; G = 6.672 1011 Nm2 /kg2 ; me = 9.109 1031 kg; and
mp = 1.672 1027 kg.
A) 1.24 1023
B) 2.52 1029
C) 1.15 1031
D) 2.26 1039
E) 1.42 1058

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Use the following to answer question 55:


The figure shows an equilateral triangle ABC. A positive point charge +q is located at
each of the three vertices A, B, and C. Each side of the triangle is of length a. A point
charge Q (that may be positive or negative) is placed at the mid-point between B and C.

5. Is it possible to choose the value of Q (that is non-zero) such that the force on Q is zero?
Explain why or why not.
A) Yes, because the forces on Q are vectors and three vectors can add to zero.
B) No, because the forces on Q are vectors and three vectors can never add to zero.
C) Yes, because the electric force at the mid-point between B and C is zero whether a
charge is placed there or not.
D) No, because the forces on Q due to the charges at B and C point in the same direction.
E) No, because a fourth charge would be needed to cancel the force on Q due to the charge
at A.
6. At which point (or points) is the electric field zero N/C for the two point charges shown
on the x axis?

A)
B)
C)
D)

The electric field is never zero in the vicinity of these charges.


The electric field is zero somewhere on the x axis to the left of the +4q charge.
The electric field is zero somewhere on the x axis to the right of the 2q charge.
The electric field is zero somewhere on the x axis between the two charges, but this
point is nearer to the 2q charge.
E) The electric field is zero at two points along the x axis; one such point is to the right of
the 2q charge and the other is to the left of the +4q charge.

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7. An electron traveling horizontally enters a region where a uniform electric field is


directed upward. What is the direction of the force exerted on the electron once it has
entered the field?

A)
B)
C)
D)
E)

to the left
to the right
upward
downward
out of the page, toward the reader
Use the following to answer questions 58-59:
Five particles are shot from the left into a region that contains a uniform electric field.
The numbered lines show the paths taken by the five particles. A negatively charged
particle with a charge 3Q follows path 2 while it moves through this field. Do not
consider any effects due to gravity.

8.
A)
B)
C)
D)
E)

In which direction does the electric field point?


toward the top of the page
toward the left of the page
toward the right of the page
toward the bottom of the page
out of the page, toward the reader

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9.
A)
B)
C)
D)
E)

Which path would be followed by a charge +6Q?


path 1
path 2
path 3
path 4
path 5

Answer Key
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.

C
A
C
D
E
C
D
D
E

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