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Homework Help: Electrostatic force of attraction between two particles

  1. Jun 24, 2009 #1
    The homework problem reads as follows:

    A proton and an electron are held in place on the x axis. The proton is at x=-d, while the electron is at x=+d. They are released simultaneously, and the only force that affects their motions is the electrostatic force of attraction that each applies to the other. Which particle reaches the origin first?

    2. Relevant equations

    Newtons second law

    3. The attempt at a solution

    Without any provided numbers, wont they reach the origin at the same time?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 24, 2009 #2
    im not an expert so im not 100% sure but.....


    the forces acting on each other is equal but the masses are different.

    the proton, which has a bigger mass, will have a slower acceleration

    the electron, which has a smaller mass, will have a faster acceleration.

    in my conclusion, i think the electron will reach the origin first. please correct me if im wrong
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2009
  4. Jun 24, 2009 #3


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    Homework Helper

    Welcome to PF.

    It would seem that kyrax has grasped the situation correctly.

  5. Jun 24, 2009 #4
    Thanks for your help guys!
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