« · »

Java Security Update: Oracle has updated the security settings needed to run Physlets.
Click here for help on updating Java and setting Java security.

Exploration 23.2: Field Lines and Trajectories

Please wait for the animation to completely load.

The animation shows two fixed charges and a test charge (position is given in meters and time is given in seconds). The electric field lines due to the fixed charges and the force vector on the test charge are shown. The test charge will move under the action of the electric field when the animation is played. Restart.

  1. Using Configuration A, drag the test charge to the approximate position of (-0.8 m, 0 m). Write down a prediction for the path the charge will follow after being released at this point. After you have made your prediction, play the animation. Was your prediction correct? If not, what caused your error?
  2. Reset the applet and then drag the test charge to the approximate position of (1 m, 0.35 m). As before, write down a prediction for the path the charge will follow after being released. If your prediction was incorrect, explain the flaw in your reasoning.
  3. Repeat using Configuration B with the charge being released from the point (-0.5 m, 0.5 m).
  4. Repeat using Configuration B with the charge being released from the point (0 m, 1.3 m).

Download PDF Worksheet

Exploration authored by Melissa Dancy.

The OSP Network:
Open Source Physics - Tracker - EJS Modeling
Physlet Physics
Physlet Quantum Physics