1.3.6 Dynamic visualization of the interaction between two charged particles

Let us now consider a system made up of two charges, to show the interaction between them. First by means of the field lines

Start the simulation to dynamically visualize the interaction.

The system consists of two identical positive charges. The field lines seem to belong separately to one charge or the other, but let us take into account that the field which is plotted is the total field, due to both charges.

Next, let us look at the interaction between two charges of opposite sign and the same magnitude, forming a system known as a dipole

Load another experiment


Start the experiment to see it dynamically.

In this case, the same number of field lines begin at the positive charge and end at the negative one, because both charges are of the same magnitude. The field seems now to belong to both charges as a whole. It should be noticed, however, that the situation is exactly the same as when the two charges are of the same sign.

We show the system with the two charges of same sign again, but in terms of an equipotential surface.

Load another experiment

set desiredPotentialValue = 47000.0


Start the simulation to see it dynamically.

We approach now the interaction from a new perspective. When the two charges are close to each other, so that the interaction is strong, the equipotential surface encloses (embraces) the two charges. When they separate far away, and then the interaction is weak, the equipotential surface breaks up in two sheets, each enclosing independently one of he interacting charges. Nevertheless, this situation is a special case, associated to the system of two identical charges.