Electrostatics of a Linear System of Three Charged Particles

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This Demonstration explores the electrostatics of a one-dimensional system of three charged particles, labeled , and .


Use the sliders to vary the charges (in microcoulombs, C) and positions (in meters, m) of the particles. Check "plot net force" to graph the net electric force (in newtons, N) on the the "target particle" due to the charges and . Check "plot net field" to graph the net electric field (in meganewtons per coulomb, MN/C) created by and at the location of particle . Check the "show data at " box to display a table of the values of (force on due to ), (force on due to ), (net force on ), (field that produces at ), (field that produces at ) and (the net electric field at ). Check "show equilibrium data" to show the equilibrium position of the target particle.

When only one finite equilibrium position is found, forces and fields are also reported in the equilibrium table. Use the upper-left figure to monitor the magnitude/direction of the individual forces on and the upper-right figure to monitor the magnitude/direction of the individual fields at (in both figures, the longest arrow corresponds to the force/field with the largest intensity, but the arrows are not to scale).


Contributed by: Whasington Silvestre  (January 2023)
(Murray State University, Austin Peay State University, University of Puerto Rico, Autonomous University of Santo Domingo)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA



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