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Potential difference in a uniform electric field

  1. Mar 4, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    An insulating rod having linear
    charge density l 5 40.0 mC/m and
    linear mass density m 5 0.100 kg/m is
    released from rest in a uniform electric
    field E 5 100 V/m directed perpendicular
    to the rod (Fig. P25.9). (a) Determine
    the speed of the rod after it has
    traveled 2.00 m. (b) What If? How does
    your answer to part (a) change if the
    electric field is not perpendicular to the rod? Explain.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I solved part A and got .4 m/s, but I don;t understand conceptually part b. if the rod is not perpendicular to the electric field, why would its motion behave exactly as if it was perpendicular?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 4, 2013 #2


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    Homework Helper

    Imagine the rod as a stack of point charges along its length. There is dq charge on dL length. What force acts on that charge? What force acts on the rod? Does it depend on the orientation of the rod with respect to the electric field?

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