What does this symbol do?

Discussion in 'Math' started by Sparky49, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. Sparky49

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    834
    417
    Hi everyone,

    I'm on a train using my phone, so apologies if this seems blunt.

    I'm looking at Coulombs law, but I don't understand part of it when the denominator is r squared.

    The r on the numerator has a squiggle above, which I do not understand.

    Similar to the r in the vector form equation here;
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coulomb's_law#section_1

    Thanks,

    Sparky
     
  2. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
    2,428
    1,328
    Well, I think you pretty much answered your own question about the R with the "squiggle". It's actually called a circumflex, and it denotes a unit vector. People would often read it as R(hat) or R-hat. It is the same as r-r1.

    The d^2 in the denominator means that charge is inversely proportional to the distance squared.
     
    Sparky49 likes this.
  3. Sparky49

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    834
    417
    Thanks. V ety much. Gtov go losing signAL lol.
     
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