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# POGIL: The Electric Force We have already seen evidence of the property of charge through attractions and repulsions

between objects. In this POGIL we will investigate Coulombs Law. It describes how the quantity of charge and on each object and the distance between objects affects the electric force. Charge and Coulombs Law In the diagram below, we see two charges, labeled q1 and q2, separated by a distance d.

q1 d

q2

There are two types of charges: positive and negative. The amount of charge on an object is measured in units of Coulombs, abbreviated C. To give you a feeling for what a Coulomb is, consider these quantities: the charge on a proton is extremely small, at +1.601019 C the charge on an electron is equal but opposite to that of a proton, 1.601019 C the typical amount of charge you receive from an electrostatic shock (like touching a doorknob) is around 1106 C (0.000001 C) the amount of charge received from a bolt of lightning is around 1 C to 10 C The direction of the electric force between two charges is determined by the sign of the charges according to this simple rule: Like charges repel, opposite charges attract. The magnitude of the electric force F between two charges is directly proportional to the product of the charges q1 and q2 and inversely proportional to the square of the distance d between the charges. This relationship is summed up by the equation

k is a constant of proportionality equal to approximately 9109 N-m2/C2. This equation is known as Coulombs Law. 1. The diagram below shows a +2 C charge and a +4 C charge separated by a distance of 1 m.

+2 C 1m

+4 C

(a) On each charge above, draw an arrow indicating the direction of the force on each charge. (b) Determine the magnitude of the force on the +2 C charge.

(c) Which charge exerts the greater force on the other? Justify your answer.

## 2. The diagram below shows a 1 C charge and a +4 C charge separated by a distance of 2 m.

1 C 2m

+4 C

(a) On each charge above, draw an arrow indicating the direction of the force on each charge. (b) Determine the magnitude of the force on the 1 C charge.

## (c) Determine the magnitude of the force on the +4 C charge.

3. The diagram below shows a 0.01 C charge and a 0.03 C charge separated by a distance of 0.001 m.

0.01 C 0.001 m

0.03 C

(a) On each charge above, draw an arrow indicating the direction of the force on each charge. (b) Determine the magnitude of the force on the 0.01 C charge.

## (c) Determine the magnitude of the force on the 0.03 C charge.

4. In the diagram below, we see two charges, labeled q1 and q2, separated by a distance d. The two charges are attracted to each other with 10 N of force.

q1 d

q2

(a) Do the two charges have the same sign or opposite signs? How do you know?

(b) If we double the amount of charge on q1, what is the magnitude of the force between the charges?

(c) If we double the amount of charge on q2, what is the magnitude of the force between the charges?

(d) If we triple the amount of charge on q1, what is the magnitude of the force between the charges?

(e) If we double the distance between the charges, what is the magnitude of the force between the charges?

(f) If we triple the distance between the charges, what is the magnitude of the force between the charges?

(g) Suppose we allow the charges to accelerate toward each other due to their electric attraction. Will the force between the charges increase, decrease, or remain constant? Justify your answer.

5. Why is the electric force noticeable for macroscopic and microscopic objects, whereas gravity is noticeable for macroscopic objects only?

Problems 6. In the hydrogen atom, an electron orbits around a single proton with an average orbital radius of 51011 m. The mass of the electron is 9.111031 kg. (a) Is the electric force between the electron and proton attractive or repulsive?

## (d) What is the acceleration of the electron?

(e) What causes the electron to follow a curved path around the proton instead of a straight-line path?