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Coulomb's Law Example # 2
Three stationary point charges are arranged at the corners of a right triangle, as shown in the lecture. Given the distance between them and knowing the electric charge on each one, we would like to determine the net electrostatic force on one of these point charges as a result of the other two. To solve this problem, we must apply the principle of superposition, which states that the net electrostatic force is equal to the vector sum of the forces due to the other point charges. Using Coulomb's equation, we can calculate net force acting along each axis. We can then determine the magnitude of net force by taking the square root of the sum of the squares of the x and y component forces. To determine the direction of the electrostatic force, we need to take the inverse tangent function of the ratio of the y component force to the x component force.
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