Electric field, potential, and Charge Displacement

In summary: PERE'S LAW - An electric current in a wire produces a magnetic field around it. The strength of the magnetic field is directly proportional to the current and inversely proportional to the distance from the wire.In summary, An electric current in a wire produces a magnetic field around it. The strength of the magnetic field is directly proportional to the current and inversely proportional to the distance from the wire.
  • #1
teroenza
195
5
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
 
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  • #2
teroenza said:
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
 

1. What is an electric field?

An electric field is a force field created by electrically charged particles, such as protons and electrons. It describes the direction and strength of the force that a charged particle would experience if placed in that field.

2. How is electric potential different from electric field?

Electric potential is the amount of work needed to move a unit of positive charge from a reference point to a specific point in an electric field. It is a scalar quantity, meaning it has magnitude but no direction. Electric field, on the other hand, is a vector quantity that describes both magnitude and direction of the force experienced by a charged particle in an electric field.

3. What is charge displacement?

Charge displacement is the movement of electric charge within a material or substance. This can occur due to the presence of an electric field, causing the charges to rearrange themselves within the material. This displacement of charge can result in the material becoming polarized, meaning one end has a net positive charge and the other has a net negative charge.

4. How are electric field, potential, and charge displacement related?

Electric field and potential are directly related to each other, as the strength of the electric field at a point in space is proportional to the rate of change of electric potential at that point. Charge displacement, on the other hand, is influenced by the electric field and potential of the surrounding space. As the electric field and potential change, the charges within a material will also experience a displacement.

5. How is the strength of an electric field calculated?

The strength of an electric field is calculated by dividing the force experienced by a charged particle in the field by the magnitude of the charge. This is represented by the equation E = F/q, where E is the electric field strength, F is the force, and q is the charge. The unit of electric field strength is newtons per coulomb (N/C).

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