# Help with negative charges in an electric field.

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How can a negative charge move towards a position of a higher electric potential from lower potential but lose electric potential energy?

From my understanding, I understand that for a positive charge, it must lose potential energy from the electric field as work is done by the electric force in the direction of the E-field as seen in the diagram. This can be seen as it moves from high electrical potential energy to low potential energy. However, for a negative charge, it would do work up this electric field. I do not understand how it can do work and as the diagram suggests gain electrical potential energy as it moves up to a higher potential energy.

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PeroK
Homework Helper
Gold Member
Potential in Electrostatics is not the same thing as potential energy. Your argument essentially shows this.

The direction of the force on negative and positive charges is opposite. The formulation of potential energy in the two cases, therefore, must be different for the same electric field.

Ibix
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