Figure 2.34 shows a charge array known as an electric quadrupole. For a point on the axis of the quadrupole, obtain the dependence of potential on r for r/a >> 1, and contrast your results with that due to an electric dipole, and an electric monopole (i.e., a single charge).
Four charges of same magnitude are placed at points X, Y, Y, and Z respectively, as shown in the following figure.
A point is located at P, which is r distance away from point Y.
The system of charges forms an electric quadrupole.
It can be considered that the system of the electric quadrupole has three charges.
Charge +q placed at point X
Charge −2q placed at point Y
Charge +q placed at point Z
XY = YZ = a
YP = r
PX = r + a
PZ = r − a
Electrostatic potential caused by the system of three charges at point P is given by,
`therefore a/r `<<1
`a^2/r^2`is taken as negligible.
It can be inferred that potential, `Vprop1/r^3`
However, it is known that for a dipole, `Vprop1/r^3`
And, for a monopole, `Vprop1/r^3`