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- Thread starter dwsmith
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- Jan 26, 2012

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Gravitational and Electrostatic force fields are both inverse square fields. In particular for gravity (known as Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation),How does electrostatic force vary between two objects if the distance is doubled?

I know with gravitational force as the distance doubles the force decreases by \(\frac{1}{4}\).

\[F_g = G\frac{m_1m_2}{d^2}\]

where $G$ is the gravitational constant, $m_1$ and $m_2$ are the masses of objects and $d$ is the distance between these two objects.

Likewise for electrostatic force (known as Coulomb's Law),

\[F_e = k_e\frac{|q_1q_2|}{d^2}\]

where $k_e$ is Coulomb's constant, $q_1$ and $q_2$ are the signed charges of the particles, and $d$ is the distance between these two particles.

So if the distance between any two particles/objects is doubled in either case, the force decreases by a factor of $\dfrac{1}{4}$.