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Equilibrium between gravity and electrostatic field

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Two dust particles each of mass 13 ug (10^-6) are floating on a gentle stream of air. what (equal) positive charge would each dust particle have to carry in order that their electrostatic repulsion should exactly balance their gravitational attraction?

What is the electrostatic potential energy of the two dust particles each carrying the charge you calculated above if they are 1.0 cm apart?

What is the gravitational potential energy of the two dust particles due to their mutual gravitational attraction, at the same separation of 1.0 cm?

Comment on the values that you obtained above, making reference to the conventions you used regarding the zeros of electrostatic and gravitational potential energy. What is the total potential energy of the system and how does the total potential energy of the system change as the separation of the particles is increased or decreased? What is the significance of this in terms of the forces acting on the particles?

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Solution Summary

This solution determines the equilibrium between gravity and an electrostatic field.

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