Repulsion of Charged Pith Balls

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Two equally charged pith balls of equal mass are separated by a distance , due to their mutual electrostatic repulsion. Each ball hangs on a string of length from a common point, making an angle with the horizontal. The value of the angle , the charge , and the tension of the string are calculated.

Contributed by: Enrique Zeleny (March 2011)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA


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Details

By trigonometry, the angle is equal to , the value of the charge is , and the tension is , where is the acceleration of gravity and is the constant in Coulomb's law.



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