Repulsion of Charged Pith Balls

Initializing live version
Download to Desktop

Requires a Wolfram Notebook System

Interact on desktop, mobile and cloud with the free Wolfram Player or other Wolfram Language products.

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



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.

Feedback (field required)
Email (field required) Name
Occupation Organization
Note: Your message & contact information may be shared with the author of any specific Demonstration for which you give feedback.