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When a positively charged particle exerts an inward force on another particle P, what will be the charge of P?
  1. positive
  2. negative
  3. neutral
  4. cannot be determined
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Solution Video

OpenStax College Physics for AP® Courses Solution, Chapter 18, Problem 35 (Test Prep for AP® Courses) (1:14)

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Video Transcript
This is College Physics Answers with Shaun Dychko. We have a positively charged particle here and it exerts an attractive force on another particle P. Now that could happen in one of two scenarios. Suppose particle P was negatively charged, that would cause an inward force or force of attraction, certainly because they're oppositely charged. But it could also happen in a different scenario. Consider a different drawing. We have a positively charged particle here and now suppose this particle P is neutral. Well, if it is a conducting particle then it will have an induced polarization and the negative charges on it will move to the side closest to the positively charged particle and the other side will become positive. This will result in an attractive force or force inwards towards the positive charge. In this scenario the particle P is neutral and in this scenario, particle P is negative. So, none of those fit any of these options except for D, 'Cannot be determined.'