Conceptual Physics (12th Edition)

Published by Addison-Wesley
ISBN 10: 0321909100
ISBN 13: 978-0-32190-910-7

Chapter 22 - Think and Explain: 85

Answer

The electron will have the greater speed when it collides.

Work Step by Step

The electric force on a charge q in an electric field E is given by qE. The charges on a proton and electron are equal in magnitude, so the forces they experience in this situation are equal. However, the electron, with its much smaller mass, will have a much greater acceleration, and be moving faster upon impact with the plate. This problem may also be analyzed in terms of energy, and the same conclusion is reached.
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