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MIT Physics 8.02 - Electricity & Magnetism

SECTION : Electrostatics      

SUBJECT: Attraction of Charges with Opposite Sign  

Two charges hang from pendulums whose supports can be moved closer or further apart by an external agent. The charges have opposite signs, and therefore attract. An external agent moves the supports (from which the two charges are suspended) together. The force of gravity is pulling the charges down, and the force of electrostatic attraction is pulling them together on the radial line joining them. The behavior of the electric fields in this situation is an example of an electrostatic tension transmitted parallel to the field. That tension tries to pull the two charges together in this situation.



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