The bodies get charged. Differently. The most common way of charging a body is to rub. If you rub a plastic comb with your hair, the comb attains electrons from the hair; now, if we get tiny pieces of paper close to the comb, it attracts the pieces like a magnet attracting iron fillings. This is because the electrons on the comb attract the positive charge on the paper. This is the force of charges in action.
How to calculate the magnitude of the force between two charges?
We can find the force between any two charges by Coulomb’s law. Coulomb’s law states that two charged bodies will attract or repel each other with a force that is proportional to the product of their charges and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them,
Let’s get an equation out of this,
Where F is the force of attraction or repulsion depending upon the charges,
k is the coulomb’s constant, for air, it is 9×109 N m2 C-2. Q1 and Q2 are the magnitudes of two charges
d is the distance between the two charges,
This is only applicable for two charged particles, how will we find a force on one charge due to multiple charges?
Let’s consider three charges Q1, Q2, and Q3.
We could get the net force acting on a charge by calculating the vector sum of all the forces acting on the charge, this is called the superposition theorem.
Considering the above example of 3 point charges Qa, Qb and Qc with a position vector of r1, r2 and r3. Then the force experienced by one charge due to the other charges is given by,
This can be written as,
By applying this to our current situation of 3 point charges we will get,
This is a combination of the coulombs law and the superposition theorem, and any electro static force can be derived using coulombs law and the superposition theorem this way.
- The force acting on a charge is directly proportional to the magnitude of the charge and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.
- The force acting on a point charge due to multiple charges is given by the vector sum of all individual forces acting on the charges.
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