In this experiment, we are going to begin with the simplest charge distribution, a point charge. You will investigate the symmetry of the field. In other words, you will investigate what you can change without changing the strength or direction of the electric field of a point charge. You will also take data on the radial dependence of the electric field.
In Part II, you will work with two slightly more complicated charge distributions. You will find that the dipole and quadrupole field drop off more rapidly than that of the point charge. Lastly, in Part III, you will review the concept of mechanical work in terms of forces. An important concept to recall is that a force perpendicular to a displacement can do no work; it cannot change the energy of an object so acted upon.
While completing the experiment Charges and Fields, make sure to keep the following guiding questions in mind:
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