March 12th, 2016, 04:03 PM  #1 
Senior Member Joined: Nov 2015 From: United States of America Posts: 165 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, 06:40 PM  #2 
Math Team Joined: Jul 2011 From: Texas Posts: 2,737 Thanks: 1387 
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, 06:47 PM  #3  
Senior Member Joined: Nov 2015 From: United States of America Posts: 165 Thanks: 21 Math Focus: Calculus and Physics  Quote:
 

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attraction, force, ions 
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