If two electrons are each m from a proton, as shown in Fig. E21.37, find the magnitude and direction of the net electric force they will exert on the proton.
Electrons are negatively charged, whereas the proton is positively charged. Let us have a look at the following figure to understand the direction of net electric force the electrons would exert on the proton.
Each electron will attract the proton along the directions shown above. Therefore, the net force on the proton will be directed midway between these two directions as shown above. The net force will make an angle of with the force along each electron direction.
The x-component of force by the first electron,
The x-component of force by the second electron
Therefore, the net force
Therefore, the net electric force is .