Amusing Problems
The Electrostatic Induction
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It is Friday night and Dr. J's classroom is full of eager young students. Yes, it's the weekly meeting of the Wizards of Oz, a club for bright preteens interested in science. This particular night is even more special because new members will be officially received into the club. Dr. J had been attracted to the group over a year ago and, after rubbing shoulders with the youngsters, his interest was sparked. His attitude grew more positive over the following months when he saw the tremendous potential associated with their capacity to learn. Being charged with the responsibility of this induction ceremony, Dr. J has decided to use electrostatics as the theme of the evening. Each student is given an experiment to run in order to demonstrate the skills necessary for membership. Having left his patches of wool at home by mistake, Dr. J instructs everyone to use Tripod as their charge cloth. The fur only flies once as Tripod is rubbed the wrong way. (He takes a negative view of his role.) Perhaps the toughest experiment is the one given to the incoming president. Having been told to weigh the pros and cons of pith balls, he has charged two of them equally. They are 3 cm apart and are repelling each other with a force of 4 x 10
^{-5}
N.
What is the weight of the excess electrons on one of the balls?
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