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InvisibleLetto
Load Universeinto Cannon. Aimat Brain. Fire.
Registered: 12/13/02
Posts: 2,321
Right Hand Rule
    #3033713 - 08/21/04 08:11 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Okay, school just started and I haven't had time to pick up my books and my memory isn't working...

The question is: At location A there is an electric field in the direction shown by the orange arrow. (vertical arrow) If a proton is placed at location A, what is the direction of the electric force on the proton?

I know it's perpendicular to the arrow, and I'm supposed to use my right hand, but I can't remember which side of my hand is supposed to represent protons when I point my thumb in the direction of the electric field. My memory says the back of my hand, but for some reason it makes sense if the "p"alm matched with "p"rotons.

I've tried searching google, but even when I search "electric field right hand rule" all I get are magnetic and electro magnetic pages. I appreciate any help.


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OfflineBufferOverflow
A bit short of abyte

Registered: 06/30/04
Posts: 55
Loc: Texas
Last seen: 8 years, 20 hours
Re: Right Hand Rule [Re: Letto]
    #3036012 - 08/22/04 01:14 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Your memory has definitely confused some concepts. The answer lies in the definition of a "field". No doubt this is the reason for putting all this stuff into books.

Take a charge, q, and put it at some point in space. The electric field, E, at this point is equal to the electrical force exerted on the charge divided by the charge: E = F/q

Note that a force is a vector; thus, E is one as well. By convention, the direction of E, is taken as the direction that a + charge would tend to move if it were placed in E.

Think you can answer your question now?

I'm sure the right-hand rule can be used for many things, but I always remember it in the context of describing the direction of the magnetic field generated by a current flowing through a wire.


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InvisibleLetto
Load Universeinto Cannon. Aimat Brain. Fire.
Registered: 12/13/02
Posts: 2,321
Re: Right Hand Rule [Re: BufferOverflow]
    #3037498 - 08/22/04 09:51 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Thanks for the help. I was confusing magnetic fields and electric fields.


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