Day 95: Modeling the Electric Field of a Dipole in VPython


AP Physics C: This is a student created VPython program which visualizes the electric field around a dipole. I found that breaking this large programming task into smaller sub-tasks worked really well for students. Here was the flow:

VER.1: Write a program that uses a while loop to “drop” 16 spheres in a circle of radius 0.5 nm centered on the origin in the x-y plane

VER2: Put a charge q1=+e at the origin. Replace the spheres with arrows that show the magnitude and direction of the electic field due to q1 at those locations.

VER3: Make a dipole by moving q1 0.1 nm to the right of the origin and adding another charge q2=-e at a position 0.1 nm to the left of origin. Have the arrows now show the net electric field due to both charges. Add another circle of arrows in the x-z and y-z planes.

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About Frank Noschese

HS Physics Teacher constantly questioning my teaching.

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