Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite

Edward F. Redish

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Changing the charges

The figure at the right shows a system of three positive point charges.   A list of 5 changes to the system are indicated below and labeled 1-5.   Each change is to be considered as a modification of the original situation.   (That is, the changes do not cumulate.)

For each change, indicate how the electric force vector on B and the electric field vector at the position of B will change.   (No explanations are required on this problem.) Select your answer (a-f) from the following list:

  1. This will only change the direction of the vector.
  2. This will only increase the magnitude of the vector.
  3. This will only decrease the magnitude of the vector.
  4. This will increase the magnitude of the vector and change its direction.
  5. This will decrease the magnitude of the vector and change its direction.
  6. This will not affect the vector.

Change Electric Force Vector, F Electric Field Vector, E
1. The charge on B is doubled    
2. The sign of the charge on B is changed to the opposite sign.    
3. The charges on A and C are doubled.    
4. The charge on A is doubled.    
5. The charge on every particle is halved.    

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Page last modified February 10, 2008: E40