Question

(8c21p7) Two identical conducting spheres, fixed in place,
attract each other with an electrostatic force of -0.4171
*N* when separated by 50 *cm*, center-to-center. The
spheres are then connected by a thin conducting wire. When the wire
is removed, the spheres repel each other with an electrostatic
force of 0.0109 *N*. What were the initial charges on the
spheres? Since one is negative and you cannot tell which is
positive or negative, there are two solutions. Take the absolute
value of the charges and enter the smaller value here. Enter the
larger value here.

Answer #1

here,

let the charge on two sphere be q1 and q2

distance between the charges , d = 50 cm

d = 0.5 m

force = - 0.4171 N

k * q1 * q2 /d^2 = - 0.4171

9 * 10^9 * q2*q1/0.5^2 = - 0.4171 ...(1)

after touching , both the sphere has same charge q = (q1 + q2)/2 ...(2)

force between charges , f' = 0.0109 N

k * q^2/d^2 = 0.0109

9 * 10^9 *q^2/0.5^2 = 0.0109 ....(3)

solving the equation (1) , (2) and (3)

we get

q1 = - 2.92 * 10^-6 C and q2 = 3.97 * 10^-6 C

or

q1 = 3.97 * 10^-6 and q2 = - 2.92 * 10^-6 C

taking the absolute value

**the absolute value of the charges is 3.97 * 10^-6 , -
2.92 * 10^-6 C**

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