Biological macromolecules such as proteins may be positively, negatively, or neutrally charged depending on what amino acids are present. Some parts of a macromolecule may be positively charged while others are negatively charged, and this can affect the conformation – the shape of the macromolecule. Changes in the conformation may affect the function of a macromolecule. Two charged macromolecules (labelled 1 and 2) have charges q1 =+3.20 × 10-19 C and q2 =+12.8 × 10-19 C. They are separated by a distance of 60 nm.
a. How many elementary charges are missing from each macromolecule? Explain your reasoning.
b. What is the magnitude of the electrostatic force on macromolecule 1 from macromolecule 2?
c. Draw a diagram showing the direction of the force on macromolecule 1 due to macromolecule 2. Explain why the force is in the direction you determined.
d. Draw a diagram showing the electric field surrounding these charged macromolecules. Make sure to include arrows indicating the direction of the field.
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