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Proton and electron question

  1. Jun 8, 2005 #1
    I am studying Physics, which I can usually understand, but the chapter
    on Electricity is totally confusing to me. Can anyone help with this
    At different times, a proton and electron are placed equidistant from a
    point charge. How do the magnitudes and directions of the forces acting
    on them compare? Why?

  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 8, 2005 #2

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    If you put a charged particle in an electric field, what determines the direction of the force on that charged particle? Does it matter if the charge is positive or negative? How does the charge on the proton compare to the charge on the electron?
  4. Jun 8, 2005 #3
    well, obviously they will move in opposite directions due to equal but opposite charge. However, the proton, being much heavier, will move slower as teh same force on a particle with more inertia will have less effect.
  5. Jun 8, 2005 #4

    Andrew Mason

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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    The physical size (volume) of the charge does not matter. All charges act as though they were point charges located at their centres (the geometrical centre of charge, that is). What matters is the type of charge (+ or -) and the distance between the centres of the charges. Does that help you compare the direction and magnitude of the forces?

  6. Jun 8, 2005 #5
    The acceleration of a proton would be less than that of an electron, but that isnt what it is asking for.
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