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RUNNING HEAD: COULOMBS LAW

Lab#1: Coulombs Law


Nordiea Miller Younge
ID#20141497

Electricity and Magnetism


The Mico University College
Mr Thompson
September 17, 2016

Conservation of Charge
Title: Coulombs Law
Aim: To investigate how the distance between two charged spheres affect the angle of twist.
Apparatus:
1. PASCO Model ES-9070 Coulomb balance
2. Kilovolt power supply
3. Basic electrometer
4. Faradays ice cage
5. Fuel charge producers
6. Charging probes
7. Accessory kit
8. Support tubes
9. Conducting spheres
10. Copper rings

RUNNING HEAD: COULOMBS LAW

Theory:
Coulomb's law states that the electrical force between two charged objects is directly
proportional to the product of the quantity of charge on the objects and inversely proportional to
the square of the separation distance between the two objects.

Where F is the Coulomb force,


is a constant of proportionality, Q1 is the charge on one
sphere, Q2 is the charge on the other sphere, and r is the distance between the two.
According to Coulombs law, the force between two charges depends on two factors:
(1) linearly on the strength of each charge
(2) Inversely on the square of the distance between them. Mathematically this is written as
F q1q2
r2

Diagram showing the Coulombs Balance

Introduction:
Electric forces are dependent upon the charges causing the forces and the distance between them.
In this lab we set out to investigate how the distance between two charged spheres affect the
angle of twist and thus use the result to verify Coulombs law.

RUNNING HEAD: COULOMBS LAW

This experiment is similar to Coulomb original experiment; to perform this experiment a torsion
balance with two spheres, one of which was suspended was used; charges was induced on both
spheres. As one sphere was brought closer to the suspended sphere, the charge caused the
suspended sphere to turn away from the other charge. Coulombs law states that: force is
proportional to the product of the two charges and inversely proportional to the square of the
space between the two.

Procedure 1:
Charging each sphere and moving them to variable distances; recording the distance and
torsion angle.
1. The ground connection was connected from the far right port of the kilovolt power supply
around the back to the yellow ground port.
2. The second ground connection was connected from the back of the same port and clipped
to the Coulombs balance apparatus.
3. The sphere charging probe was connected to the positive power supply. (replay video for
precaution)
4. The kilovolt supply was adjusted to six kilovolt and turned on.
5. The sphere charging probe held at the extreme end was used to touch each spheres
separately and was then immediately turned off.
6. The charged sphere was slowly slid to a distance of twenty centimetres between the
centres of the two spheres. This created a repulsion force between the two spheres which
was compensated for by adjusting the torsion angle in order to balance the forces. The
torsion angle was adjusted until the alignment notches were realigned.
7. The distance was recorded.
8. The sliding sphere was reset to its maximum separation distance.
9. The charge was removed from each sphere by touching each sphere with the ground
connection. The table was also touched to remove excess charges.
10. The torsion angle was adjusted to zero.
11. Each sphere was recharged with the same voltage as before, the power supply was then
turned off and the sliding sphere was adjusted to 14 centimetres.
12. Steps 3-9 were repeated for each separation distances of 13, 10, 9, 7, 6 and 5centimetres
respectively and their results recorded.

Procedure 2
Force Vs Charge
The spheres were adjusted to the same distance of separation as in procedure1; the
procedure was started at 6 kilovolts but was variated for each distance of separation
thereafter.
1. Each sphere was touched individually then the kilovolt power supply was turned off. The
charged sphere was then slid to a fixed distance of ten centimetres. The repulsion of the
spheres to each other was noted.

RUNNING HEAD: COULOMBS LAW

2. The torsion knob was used to adjust the spheres so that the notches were again aligned.
3. The first measurement was then recorded.
4. The spheres were move to maximum separation and the torsion knob was turned back to
zero degrees.
5. The spheres were both grounded to remove the charges.
6. The volt was adjusted to 5 kilovolts, this charge was then placed onto each sphere, the
kilovolt power supply was turned off and the charged sphere was slid back to ten
centimetres.
7. The difference in the torsion angle needed to balance the forces was noted.
8. Steps 1-6 were repeated for 4, 3, and 2 kilovolts respectively. The spheres maximum
separation distance was reset and the charges removed from each sphere after each
procedure.
Results:
TABLE 1: TWIST ANGLE VS DISTANCE
DISTANCE (m)
0.20
0.14
0.10
0.09
0.08
0.07
0.06
0.05

TWIST ANGLE ()
11
34
72
84
110
125
155
200

TABLE 2: TWIST ANGLE VS VOLTAGE


VOLTAGE (kV)
6
5
4
3
2

TWIST ANGLE ()
72
50
29
17
10

TABLE 3: TWIST ANGLE VS 1/R2


1/m2
51.020
100.00
123.457

TWIST ANGLE ()
34
72
84

RUNNING HEAD: COULOMBS LAW


156.250
204.082
297.778
400.000

110
125
155
400

Data Analysis
Please see graphs attached.
According to Coulombs law, the force between two point charges is directly proportional to the
product of the charge and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.
The results of the data collected from measuring the angle of twist versus the distance, produced
a curve when plotted. This curve proves that force is inversely proportional to the square of the
distance, hence proving the dependence of 1/R2 in Coulombs law.
The second graph represents the data collected from the angle of twist vs the voltage, when
plotted also resulted in a parabolic graph. It shows that as the charge is decreased the force
decreased as well, this clearly show a direct relationship between the charge and the force, thus
verifying Coulombs law the force between two point charges is directly proportional to the
product of the charge.
Graph 3 represent the manipulation of the data collected in table 1: from the data collected it can
be seen that as one variable increases, this cause a decrease in the other; i.e. as the distance
decreased, the angle of twist/ force increased; the manipulation of this data produced a linear
graph which validates the inverse square law.
During the experiment it was noted that as the spheres are brought closer together, they repelled
each other, this is due to the fact that they are both negatively charged which caused a repulsion
force (like charges repel each other). This pattern shows clearly the relationship between
electrostatic forces and distance. Careful observation during this experiment showed that the
electrostatic forces between the two point charges (the spheres) varied inversely with the square
of the distance of separation between them; the amount by which the electrostatic force is
changed is the inverse of the square of the amount by which the separation distance is changed.
This relates directly to the inverse square law F=1/R2 which states that force is inversely
proportional to the distance squared.
The results of this lab satisfy Coulombs law which states that: the electrical force between two
charged objects is directly proportional to the product of the quality of charge on the objects and
inversely proportional to the square of the distance of separation between the two objects, this
statement is represented by:
F= k x Q1+Q2
R2
Precautions
1. Checks were made during assembly of the Torsion balance to ensure that nothing was

RUNNING HEAD: COULOMBS LAW

shifted out of alignment when attaching the slide assembly.


2. Checks were also made to ensure that nothing shifted due to air currents.
3. The spheres were adjusted until they both touch to ensure that they were aligned
horizontally and vertically.
4. A ground wire was clipped to the coulombs balance apparatus to prevent extra charges
from being built up on the apparatus as this could interfere with the experiment results.
5. The charging probe was held near the end of the handle while the spheres were being
charged; this was done to prevent charges from being induced in the experimenter which
could interfere with the experiment.
6. When charging the spheres, the power supply was turned on, the spheres were then
charged and the power supply was immediately turned off. This was done to prevent
leakage of currents which can affect the torsion balance.
7. The ground connection was used to touch the table to remove excess charges from the
work area.
8. The spheres were grounded after each measurement to remove the charges; they were
then recharged before each measurement to ensure accurate measurement.
9. The sliding sphere was reset to its maximum separation distance and the torsion angle
adjusted to zero, this was also done to ensure accuracy.
10. Multiple trials were done for each distance of separation to reassure continuity between
measurements, the angle was also adjusted to ensure proper alignment.
Conclusion
A Coulomb balance was used to determine how the distance between two charged spheres affect
the angle of twist in other words how the distance between two charged spheres affects the force.
The results of the data collected corroborates Coulombs Law
The law is thus validated.