College Physics

11th Edition
Raymond A. Serway + 1 other
ISBN: 9781305952300



College Physics

11th Edition
Raymond A. Serway + 1 other
ISBN: 9781305952300
Textbook Problem

Two identical metal blocks resting on a frictionless horizontal surface are connected by a light metal spring having constant k = 100 N/m and unstretched length Li = 0.400 m as in Figure P15.14a. A charge Q is slowly placed on each block causing the spring to stretch to an equilibrium length L = 0.500 m as in Figure P15.14b. Determine the value of Q, modeling the blocks as charged particles.


To determine
The value of Q.


Given info: The spring constant (x) is 100 N/m. The unstretched length ( Li ) is 0.400m. The equilibrium length (L) is 0.500 m.

Formula to calculate the spring force is,

F=k(LLi) (I)

  • k is the spring constant.

From Coulomb’s Law,

F=keQ2L2 (II)

  • ke is the Coulomb constant.
  • Q is the charge.

The spring force equals the Coulomb force at equilibrium.

From Equations (I) and (II)


On Re-arranging,


Substitute 8

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