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Why does horizontal velocity of electron slow down when moving in an electric field?

  1. Sep 20, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    This is from "Special Relativity" by A.P. French. Chapter 1.

    "An electron is moving with speed 0.5c in the x direction enters a region of space where there is a uniform electric field in the y direction. Show that the x component of the velocity of the particle must decrease. "


    3. The attempt at a solution

    1. Is it because there is acceleration in the y-direction, the electron will emit radiation, hence losing energy/mass? But what has this got to do with relativity?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 20, 2012 #2

    SammyS

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    Re: Why does horizontal velocity of electron slow down when moving in an electric fie

    I don't think that's what the author is getting at. Suppose the acceleration is small enough so that you can ignore energy lost via radiation.

    Look at what happens classically.
     
  4. Sep 21, 2012 #3
    Re: Why does horizontal velocity of electron slow down when moving in an electric fie

    Well..the acceleration is only in the y-direction so the x-component of the velocity remains unchanged while the vertical velocity is increasing?
     
  5. Sep 21, 2012 #4
    Re: Why does horizontal velocity of electron slow down when moving in an electric fie

    it's an electric field. Ask yourself this "Is the acceleration always only in the y direction?"
     
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