   Chapter 15.3, Problem 15.3QQ

Chapter
Section
Textbook Problem

A test charge of + 3 μC is at a point P where the electric field due to other charges is directed to the right and has a magnitude of 4 × 106 N/C. If the test charge is replaced with a charge of −3 μC, the electric field at P (a) has the same magnitude as before, but changes direction, (b) increases in magnitude and changes direction, (c) remains the same, or (d) decreases in magnitude and changes direction.

To determine

The electric field at a point P.

Explanation

The electric field at point P is due to the charges excluding the test charge. Hence, the magnitude or the sign of the test charge doesn’t alter the electric field.

Conclusion:

Electric field remains the same when the test charge is altered. However, the direction of force is changed when the 3μC charge is replaced by 3μC charge. Thus, option (c) is correct.

The electric field will be in the opposite direction only if the charges other than the test charge have opposite sign

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