Three small spheres with charge 2.00 mC are arranged in a line, with sphere 2 in the middle. Adjacent spheres are initially 8.0 cm apart. The spheres have masses m_1 = 20.0 g, m_2 = 85.0 g, and m_3 = 20.0 g. Their radii are much smaller than their separation. The three spheres are released from rest.
1. Find the acceleration of sphere 1 just after it is released?
2. What is the speed of sphere 1 when the spheres are far apart?
3. What is the speed of sphere 2 when the spheres are far apart?
4. What is the speed of sphere 3 when the spheres are far apart?
I understand that it is again a conservation of energy problem. I can calculate initial potential energy based on:
U = qV = qk(q_1/r_1 + q_2/r_1 + q_3/r_1)
I tried finding the electric field using this potential because of:
V = E*d with d = 0.08 m
Then I tried to find the Electrical force according to: F = q*E
Then I tried finding the acceleratoin given by: a = F/mass
I got 2.80 * 10^8 m/s^2 which is not the right answer.
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The solution is attached below in two files. the files are identical in content, only differ in format. The first is in MS Word XP Format, while the other is in Adobe pdf format. Therefore you can choose the format that is suitable to you.
The solution shows how you can find the speed and acceleration of charged spheres released from rest close to each other.