# Electric field, potential, and Charge Displacement

I am confused about an electron ( or any negative charge) moving in a uniform E field. If the electron moves in the opposite direction of the electric field, and the E field points in the direction of greatest decrease in potential, then it seems like the electron is moving in the direction of increasing potential.

I know this is wrong, and I must be missing a negative sign somewhere. Can someone please correct me?

Thank you

Andrew Mason
Homework Helper
I am confused about an electron ( or any negative charge) moving in a uniform E field. If the electron moves in the opposite direction of the electric field, and the E field points in the direction of greatest decrease in potential, then it seems like the electron is moving in the direction of increasing potential.

I know this is wrong, and I must be missing a negative sign somewhere. Can someone please correct me?
No correction needed. This is right. Potential at a point in an electric field is defined as the potential energy per unit (positive) charge at that point compared to a unit charge at infinity (E = 0).

So an electron always moves in the direction of increasing potential energy per unit positive charge (ie. increasing potential), which is the same direction of decreasing potential energy per unit negative charge.

AM