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Math Help - magnitude of eletric field.

  1. #1
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    magnitude of eletric field.

    The inner and outer surfaces of a cell membrane carry a negative and positive charge, respectively. Because of these charges, a potential difference of about 0.060 V exists across the membrane.

    The thickness of the membrane is 9.00 x 10^-9 m. What is the magnitude of the electric field in the membrane?
    in V/m


    i believe the equation to be: E = V/r

    not sure why .060V / 9.00 x 10^-9 would not work???

    thanks for any help.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcmango View Post
    The inner and outer surfaces of a cell membrane carry a negative and positive charge, respectively. Because of these charges, a potential difference of about 0.060 V exists across the membrane.

    The thickness of the membrane is 9.00 x 10^-9 m. What is the magnitude of the electric field in the membrane?
    in V/m


    i believe the equation to be: E = V/r

    not sure why .060V / 9.00 x 10^-9 would not work???

    thanks for any help.
    I don't know why it doesn't work either. The space between the cell membranes work essentially like a capacitor, and the space is thin enough that, to a good approximation, we may regard these membranes as the plates of a parallel plate capacitor, which means you are using the correct formula. (Though I'd use a "d" instead of an "r." An "r" sounds too much like the radius of something.)

    -Dan
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  3. #3
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    okay it does work, i was using a negative in my scientific notation for the answer.
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