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Homework Help: Motion of a charged particle in an uniform electric field

  1. Oct 1, 2016 #1


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    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Imagine a particle with charge +Q moving with constant horizontal velocity passing perpendicular to electric field between two parallel plates. The length of the plates is L.

    Therefore, is the time spent in the field (well, between the plates), simply the length/horizontal component of velocity or will the vertical component (due to acceleration in vertical direction in field) also play a role?

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I thought this would exactly like an object thrown horizontally in the gravitational field of the earth-->until it hits the surface, how far it travels horizontally is only determined by the horizontal component of its velocity, not its vertical acceleration. Therefore, I though the same would be true for the instance involving the electric field I just provided.

    I would appreciate your clarification (if I am correct) or help (if I am wrong!); thanks a lot in advance!
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 1, 2016 #2


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    Modeling the problem as if it were projectile motion under gravity is appropriate. It is also true that the horizontal distance traveled depends on the horizontal velocity and (don't forget) the time of flight. The problem is asking about the time of flight. What does that depend on and how?
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