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Question

# Two charges 5 × 10−8 C and −3 × 10−8 C are located 16 cm apart. At what point(s) on the line joining the two charges is the electric potential zero? Take the potential at infinity to be zero.

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Solution

## There are two charges, Distance between the two charges, d = 16 cm = 0.16 m Consider a point P on the line joining the two charges, as shown in the given figure. r = Distance of point P from charge q1 Let the electric potential (V) at point P be zero. Potential at point P is the sum of potentials caused by charges q1 and q2 respectively. Where, = Permittivity of free space For V = 0, equation (i) reduces to Therefore, the potential is zero at a distance of 10 cm from the positive charge between the charges. Suppose point P is outside the system of two charges at a distance s from the negative charge, where potential is zero, as shown in the following figure. For this arrangement, potential is given by, For V = 0, equation (ii) reduces to Therefore, the potential is zero at a distance of 40 cm from the positive charge outside the system of charges.

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