College Physics : Electric Field and Electric Potential

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for College Physics

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Example Questions

Example Question #2 : Electromagnetics

A charged particle traveling along the +x axis enters an electric field directed vertically upward along the +y-axis. If the charged particle experiences a force downward because of this field, what is the sign of the charge on this particle?

Possible Answers:

None of these

It is negative

It is positive

It is neutral

Correct answer:

It is negative


Positive charges in an electric field will experience an electric force that is in the same direction as the electric field. If the charge is negative, the force will be in the opposite direction of the electric field. Since the charged particle experiences a force which is opposite to the electric field, the sign of the charge must be negative.

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