Superposition Principle (Force due to system of charges)

Charges exert force on each other.

If there are two charges, they will definitely apply some force on each other.

And the force is given as per Coulomb’s law.

But if the number of charges increases, the system becomes complex.

And if we analyze a single charge in the system, it will experience different forces due to these charges.

To remove this complication, the net force is taken into consideration.

And this will be the result of all the forces that are acting on due to other charges.

Calculating the net force:

Let’s consider different forces as shown here.

Since the force is a vector quantity, the net force can be represented like this.

This net response by more than one stimuli is the superposition principle.

Now, its time to define the superposition principle.

Superposition principle states that the combined effect of forces acting on a charge is equal to the sum of the effects of the individual forces.

Quick review

There exists a force between two charges given by Coulomb’s Law.

If there are a number of charges, then the superposition principle is applied.

According to the superposition principle, when two or more forces are acting on a particle, the resultant force is the vector sum of individual forces.

The End