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Electric Field Help Please

  1. Mar 6, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    The figure below shows five protons that are launched in a uniform electric field E (green). The magnitude and direction of the launch velocities are indicated. Rank the protons according to the magnitude of their accelerations due to the field, greatest first. Justify.

    https://canvas.ewu.edu/courses/1017106/files/35335813/preview
    2. Relevant equations
    E=k(Q/r^2)
    –e = –1.60 * 10–19 C.
    E=F/Q
    F=k((Qxq)/(r^2))
    F=ma

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Well I know that the charge of proton is the positive value of the charge of electron. I also feel like I know which equations are needed, but I'm not sure about if for instance proton d is moving at 5m/s after it is going against the electric field? That means the acceleration must be pretty great to go against the uniform electric field. I'm not sure, I feel lost and can't meet with teacher until after its due. Any help appreciated
     

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 6, 2016 #2
    Not sure how to allow the image to be seen so I attached pdf
     
  4. Mar 6, 2016 #3

    gneill

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    Hi Philip KP. Welcome to Physics Forums.

    You can upload various formats of image files such as jpeg or giff and insert them as full images in the body of your post (see the options next to the individual image icon associated with the attached file).

    For your posted problem, what determines the magnitude of the acceleration of a charge in an electric field? Does the formula depend on velocity?
     
  5. Mar 6, 2016 #4

    berkeman

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    Welcome to the PF.

    Hmm, that's a pretty confusing question (at least for me). The acceleration in a uniform E field is independent of any initial velocity. It just depends on the magnitude and direction of the E-field, and the charge and mass of the object.

    You've correctly re-stated the problem, so I'm not sure what they are really asking. The velocities will certainly be different as the protons are accelerated by the field, but their accelerations will be the same. Maybe try answering the question about ranking their velocities, and see if that might be what they are asking. Can you submit your answer electronically to see if it's right? How many tries do you have?

    EDIT -- beaten out by gneill again! :smile:
     
  6. Mar 6, 2016 #5
    It's not electronic unfortunately. Good old fashion paper turn in. I guess I do know the mass of protons though is 1.67x10^-27 kg. I also understand the strength of the electric field depends on how close it is to the charge.
     
  7. Mar 6, 2016 #6

    berkeman

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    No, the field that the protons are launched into is specified as a uniform electric field. The field from each of the protons depends on the distance from the proton, but that doesn't enter into the force calculation for the force on the protons due to the uniform electric field that they are launched into.
     
  8. Mar 6, 2016 #7
    Ok so the equations involving "r" (distance) are irrelevant
     
  9. Mar 6, 2016 #8
    Would kinetic energy come into play here? Since we know the velocity and mass of protons?
    KE=(1/2)mv^2
     
  10. Mar 6, 2016 #8

    berkeman

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    In this case, yes. If the E-field were not uniform, and were caused by some charge somewhere, then the distance r would be important.

    You can get a uniform E-field between the plates of a capacitor, for example.

    I still don't know what this problem could be asking, though. Unless they want you to rank the velocities instead of accelerations. I suppose it could be a trick question -- the answer is that all of the protons experience the same acceleration in the uniform E-field, and then say what happens to the vector velocities and rank them instead...?
     
  11. Mar 6, 2016 #9

    berkeman

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    Maybe. Certainly you could rank the KEs as a function of time, but that doesn't seem to be what they are asking for...
     
  12. Mar 6, 2016 #10
    Ugh yeah my professor likes to give more conceptual questions sometimes so there might not be hard calculations to do but instead just a rule or law I need to be explaining
     
  13. Mar 6, 2016 #11

    berkeman

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    So it might indeed be a trick question. Since you are handing in the paper version, you could say "they all have the same acceleration in the uniform E-field" and explain why. Then rank their velocities versus time just in case that's what they meant to ask...
     
  14. Mar 6, 2016 #12
    So uniform electric field causes their acceleration to be the same...even if they have same mass and moving at different velocities?
     
  15. Mar 6, 2016 #13

    berkeman

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    You tell me... What is the equation for the force on a charged particle in a uniform electric field E, related to the particle's charge and its mass...
     
  16. Mar 6, 2016 #14

    berkeman

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    And what is the related equation for the acceleration of the particle in that situation...
     
  17. Mar 6, 2016 #15
    I'm trying to find where it talks about uniform electric fields in my book but they are don't have anything saying "uniform". But I think the equation for force on a charge is F=Q x E
    And the only equation I can think of for acceleration and force is F=ma
     
  18. Mar 6, 2016 #16

    berkeman

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    Yes. And so what would the resulting acceleration be? :smile:
     
  19. Mar 6, 2016 #17
    F=ma=Q x E?
    m(same for all protons) x a(what we need to find) = [ Q(which is same for all protons) x E (which is uniform)]

    So we need to find the force
     
  20. Mar 6, 2016 #18
    So I cheated a bit and googled how to find acceleration from velocity of proton and got this on Yahoo
    F = Qvb
    (Q- charge of proton = 1.6 x 10 ^-19 C (constant))
    (v- velocity of proton) We know their velocities
    (b-magnetic field) We know the E is uniform

    F=ma We find force from equation above
    (Electromagnetic force acting on proton)
    (m- mass of proton = 1.67 x an^-27 kg (constant))
    (a - acceleration of proton) We need to find this

    combine the two formulas:
    a = Qvb/m

    I don't know if magnetic field is same as electric field
     
  21. Mar 6, 2016 #19
    Since F=Q x E but E is uniform does that mean F=Q??
     
  22. Mar 6, 2016 #20

    berkeman

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    There is no magnetic B field specified in this problem...
     
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