Electric Field for the circular path of a positively charged particle

  • #1
Homework Statement:
If a positively charged particle follows a circular path as shown below what will the electric field be out of the options below.
Relevant Equations:
No equations. this is supposedly intuition.
Here is picture. Answers is A.
Screen Shot 2019-08-29 at 21.56.26.png



My attempt was that I thought if i were to place a positive test charge then it would go from top to bottom if there was a positive charge in the center it was avoiding and a positively charged particle at the top, but an electron at the bottom so it would avoid the positively charged particles and head for the electron thus the electric field would look like B and thats exactly how a positively charged particle would also do so.

But then the answer was A and i got thinking to how in circular motion there is centripetal force towards center, but honestly since this is electric fields i feel weird to correlate these and don't feel so correct.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
hilbert2
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A force that keeps an object on a circular path with constant speed is always directed towards the center of the circle, no matter whether it's gravitational or electromagnetic. In more advanced electromagnetic theory it will also be considered that the charged particle will radiate off energy and spiral down to the center of the orbit.
 
  • #3
A force that keeps an object on a circular path with constant speed is always directed towards the center of the circle, no matter whether it's gravitational or electromagnetic. In more advanced electromagnetic theory it will also be considered that the charged particle will radiate off energy and spiral down to the center of the orbit.

how i visualize fields is with a positive test charge, so in this environment wherever the test charge goes is the electric field lines.. if the electric field lines show positive test charges going towards that one area where it looks like they're attracted to a negative then in reality won't the positively charged particle do the exact same thing? That is why I thought it was B because electric field lines and positively charged particle will act similarily.
 
  • #4
hilbert2
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The field lines tell the direction of force, not the direction of velocity.
 

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