Simple Harmonic Motion of an Electric Dipole

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This Demonstration shows how an electric dipole undergoes simple harmonic motion in the presence of an electric field.

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With the small angle approximation , the differential equation for this motion is , where is the dipole moment—defined as the charge times the separation between the two point charges—and is the magnitude of the electric field. Solving this equation gives the resulting motion.

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Contributed by: Anand Prasanna (May 2012)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA


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