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Electrostatics Practice Problems for AP Physics B & C

based on 5 ratings
By — McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Feb 12, 2011

Review the following concepts if necessary:

Problems

Multiple Choice:

Questions 1 and 2

Two identical positive charges Q are separated by a distance a, as shown above.

  1. What is the electric field at a point halfway between the two charges?
    1. kQ/a2
    2. 2kQ/a2
    3. zero
    4. kQQ/a2
    5. 2kQ/a2
  2. What is the electric potential at a point halfway between the two charges?
    1. kQ/a2
    2. 2kQ/a2
    3. zero
    4. 4kQ/a2
    5. 8kQ/a2
  3. Questions 3 and 4

    The diagram above shows two parallel metal plates that are separated by distance d. The potential difference between the plates is V. Point A is twice as far from the negative plate as is point B.

  4. Which of the following statements about the electric potential between the plates is correct?
    1. The electric potential is the same at points A and B.
    2. The electric potential is two times larger at A than at B.
    3. The electric potential is two times larger at B than at A.
    4. The electric potential is four times larger at A than at B.
    5. The electric potential is four times larger at B than at A.
  5. Which of the following statements about the electric field between the plates is correct?
    1. The electric field is the same at points A and B.
    2. The electric field is two times larger at A than at B.
    3. The electric field is two times larger at B than at A.
    4. The electric field is four times larger at A than at B.
    5. The electric field is four times larger at B than at A.
  6. This problem is for AP Physics C students only:

  7. A very long cylindrical conductor is surrounded by a very long cylindrical conducting shell, as shown above. A length L of the inner conductor carries positive charge Q. The same length L of the outer shell carries total charge –3Q. How much charge is distributed on a length L of the outside surface of the outer shell?
    1. none
    2. Q
    3. –2Q
    4. –3Q
    5. –4Q

Free Response:

  1. Two conducting metal spheres of different radii, as shown above, each have charge –Q.
    1. Consider one of the spheres. Is the charge on that sphere likely to clump together or to spread out? Explain briefly.
    2. Is charge more likely to stay inside the metal spheres or on the surface of the metal spheres? Explain briefly.
    3. If the two spheres are connected by a metal wire, will charge flow from the big sphere to the little sphere, or from the little sphere to the big sphere? Explain briefly.
    4. Which of the following two statements is correct? Explain briefly.
      1. If the two spheres are connected by a metal wire, charge will stop flowing when the electric field at the surface of each sphere is the same.
      2. If the two spheres are connected by a metal wire, charge will stop flowing when the electric potential at the surface of each sphere is the same.
    5. Explain how the correct statement you chose from part (d) is consistent with your answer to (c).
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