Two fixed charges are shown in black. Drag the small green test charge around the screen and observe the relationship between the force vector and the field lines. Are there any locations where the particle is on a field line and the force vector is not tangent to that line?
Like charges Unlike charges
No - Correct!

Click here to return to the original set-up. Make a prediction in the box below of how the particle will move in response to the field when you click on "play". Specifically, mention how the path it will travel relates to the displayed field lines when it starts from rest. You must make a prediction before the simulation will play.

Key: d

Play the simulation. Was your prediction correct or not? Reset the animation and move the particle to some other starting points and run the animation. Describe in general the relationship between the path of the particle and the field lines.



Physlet problem authored by Scott Bonham.