The potential energy of two charges interacting is given by Coulomb's Law. This states that energy is related to the charges and the distance between them where

$\overline{){\mathbf{E\alpha}}\frac{{\mathbf{q}}_{\mathbf{1}}{\mathbf{q}}_{\mathbf{2}}}{\mathbf{\epsilon r}}}$

q_{1} and q_{2} are the charges of the ions

r is the distance between charges

ε is the dielectric constant which for vacuum (gas phase) is simply equal to one

According to Coulomb's Law, which pair of charged particles has the lowest potential energy?

a. a particle with a 1– charge separated by 150 pm from a particle with a 2+ charge

b. a particle with a 1– charge separated by 150 pm from a particle with a 1+ charge

c. a particle with a 1– charge separated by 100 pm from a particle with a 3+ charge

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