March 12th, 2016, 05:03 PM  #1 
Senior Member Joined: Nov 2015 From: United States of America Posts: 162 Thanks: 21 Math Focus: Calculus and Physics  Force of Attraction between ions
I got a very interesting questions on my mock general chemistry exam on Friday. It says "If you double the distance between two ions the force of attraction between them is multiplied by what?" I went with 2. The correct answer is 1/4. I would love to know why I am totally wrong? I would think the two ions would be trying harder to stay together, and therefore the force would double. But 1/4 does not make any sense to me. Thanks! 
March 12th, 2016, 07:40 PM  #2 
Math Team Joined: Jul 2011 From: Texas Posts: 2,656 Thanks: 1327 
Elecctrostatic force follows the inverse square law, it is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between the two charges. $F \, \alpha \, \dfrac{1}{d^2}$ double the distance, $d$ ... $\dfrac{1}{(2d)^2} = \dfrac{1}{4d^2} = \dfrac{1}{4} \cdot \dfrac{1}{d^2} \, \alpha \, \dfrac{1}{4} \cdot F$ 
March 12th, 2016, 07:47 PM  #3  
Senior Member Joined: Nov 2015 From: United States of America Posts: 162 Thanks: 21 Math Focus: Calculus and Physics  Quote:
 

Tags 
attraction, force, ions 
Thread Tools  
Display Modes  

Similar Threads  
Thread  Thread Starter  Forum  Replies  Last Post 
Hydrostatic force on a triangular tank (force on one end & work req'd to pump out)?  leo255  Calculus  1  December 16th, 2014 08:48 PM 
What forms 2 ions?  girlbadatmath  Physics  5  November 19th, 2014 11:34 AM 
Chemistry  ions, should be a pretty easy question  mathslog  Chemistry  1  August 28th, 2012 04:16 PM 