Two small positively charged spheres have a combined charge of #5.0×10^-5 C#. If each sphere is repelled from the other by an electrostatic force of 1.0N when the spheres are 2.0m apart, what is the charge on each sphere?
We are are not given the values of the individual charges; let them be q1 and q2. The condition on the combined charge of the spheres gives us:
The next condition concerns the electrostatic force, and so it involves Coulomb’s Law. Both charges are positive because their sum is positive and they repel each other, thus
Now we have two equations for the two unknowns q1 and q2.
Use a quadratic formula