Direction of the electric field

In summary, the conversation discusses a problem with finding the direction of the electric field between two charges. The solution involves visualizing the direction of the field and using a positive test mass. The key to understanding the problem is to differentiate between the electric and magnetic fields.
  • #1
soopo
225
0

Homework Statement


The problem is as an attachment.


The Attempt at a Solution



The right answer is (a).
However, I do not understand why.

I draw two circles around the A and B. I let A's electric field go to anticlockwise direction, while that of B to clockwise direction.

I got the result that electric field points from D to C.
However, my answer is wrong.
 

Attachments

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  • #2
What do you mean anticlockwise and clockwise? The electrostatic field of a point charge points radially. If the charge is positive, it points outward radially. If the charge is negative, it points inward radially. The magnitude is proportional to q/r².
 
  • #3
dx said:
What do you mean anticlockwise and clockwise? The electrostatic field of a point charge points radially. If the charge is positive, it points outward radially. If the charge is negative, it points inward radially. The magnitude is proportional to q/r².

Thank you for your answer!

I got finally that the electric field is from A to B.
I had confused electric field apparently with Magnetic field.

The key in allowing me to understand the problem was to set a positive test mass between two charges.
 

1. What is the direction of the electric field?

The direction of the electric field is the direction in which a positive charge would move if placed in the field. This is also known as the direction of the force on a positive charge in the field.

2. How do you determine the direction of the electric field?

The direction of the electric field can be determined by the direction of the electric field lines. These lines always point in the direction of the field at any given point.

3. Is the direction of the electric field always the same?

No, the direction of the electric field can vary depending on the location and arrangement of charges. It can also change over time if the charges are moving.

4. Can the direction of the electric field be zero?

Yes, the direction of the electric field can be zero at certain points in space where the field is cancelled out by equal and opposite charges. This is known as an electric field null point.

5. How does the direction of the electric field affect the motion of charged particles?

The direction of the electric field determines the direction of the force on a charged particle, which in turn affects its motion. A positive charge will accelerate in the direction of the electric field, while a negative charge will accelerate in the opposite direction.

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