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B Electric field lines

  1. Nov 9, 2016 #1
    Does a positive test charge follows along the path of electric field lines if it is free to do so? I mean the trajectory of the charge is along the electric field lines and the field lines are not necessarily straight.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 9, 2016 #2

    robphy

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    No. The positive test charge feels a force due to the field vector at that point. The charge's position gets updated and then feels another force at the new point, and so on.

    Example... given a parallel plate capacitor, the field lines between the plates are perpendicular to the plates and the field strength is constant.
    If a charged particle between the plates has a velocity initially parallel to the plate, that particle will follow a parabolic path.
     
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