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Electric force acting on an electron 
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#1
Feb2612, 06:37 PM

P: 7

An elctron moving through an electric field experiences an acceleration of 5.4 x 10^3 m/s^2. Find the electric force acting on the electron.
I think the equation F=ma may be used and maybe E=F/qsubo Do I need to use the fundamental charge to find an answer? using the fundamental charge of 1.60x10^19. My attempt at a solution is: F=ma F=(5.4x10^3)(1.60x10^19) F=86.4x10^16 N/C is that correct? The fundamental charge was not given in the question. Is this even the correct way to find the solution? 


#2
Feb2612, 07:40 PM

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P: 2,318

For a start, you were trying to find a force  so the units if the answer would be Newtons alone. I don't think you need the fundamental charge, but I do think you need the electron mass. 


#3
Feb2612, 07:51 PM

P: 7

Well, I'm finding the Electric Force which could also be E=F/q. Although, without any mass, I can't solve for F and put it into the equation. You were correct with the 8.64 x 10^16, I simply calculated it incorrectly.
So, is the way I went about solving this equation correct? 


#4
Feb2612, 08:11 PM

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P: 2,318

Electric force acting on an electron
F = ma seems a much better idea. 


#5
Feb2612, 08:16 PM

P: 7

I do not know the size of the Electric Field strength. :/ that's why I resorted to the fundamental charge of 1.60 x 10^19.



#6
Feb2612, 08:25 PM

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P: 2,318

Perhaps you were distracted by the word Electric in the original question. An electron may accelerate because is is near the Earth [we could expect 9.8 at best] due the effects of a Gravitational Field. It may accelerate because it is placed in an electric field. It may accelerate because it is moving through a magnetic field. The reason it accelerates in this case is presumably because of an appropriately sized Electric field; but form there F = ma is all you need. 


#7
Feb2612, 08:31 PM

P: 7

OH!!! That makes so much more sense! Thank you so much for explaining that! That was so helpful! I really appreciate it! :)



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