Hire a tutor

How does an electric field affect a moving charge?

An electric field can exert a force on a moving charge, altering its motion.

When a charged particle moves through an electric field, it experiences a force that is perpendicular to both the direction of motion and the direction of the electric field. This force can cause the particle to change direction, speed up or slow down, or even come to a stop. The magnitude of the force is proportional to the charge of the particle and the strength of the electric field.

If the electric field is uniform, the particle will move in a straight line with constant speed. However, if the electric field is non-uniform, the particle will experience a net force that causes it to accelerate. The resulting motion can be complex, with the particle following a curved path or even spiralling towards or away from the source of the electric field.

The interaction between electric fields and moving charges is fundamental to many areas of physics, including electronics, electromagnetism, and particle physics. Understanding the behaviour of charged particles in electric fields is crucial for designing and operating devices such as electric motors, generators, and particle accelerators.

Study and Practice for Free

Trusted by 100,000+ Students Worldwide

Achieve Top Grades in your Exams with our Free Resources.

Practice Questions, Study Notes, and Past Exam Papers for all Subjects!

Need help from an expert?

4.92/5 based on480 reviews

The world’s top online tutoring provider trusted by students, parents, and schools globally.

Related Physics a-level Answers

    Read All Answers
    Loading...