Figure 1.33 shows tracks of three charged particles in a uniform electrostatic field.
Question:

Figure 1.33 shows tracks of three charged particles in a uniform electrostatic field. Give the signs of the three charges. Which particle has the highest charge to mass ratio?

Solution:

Opposite charges attract each other and same charges repel each other. It can be observed that particles 1 and 2 both move towards the positively charged plate and repel away from the negatively charged plate. Hence, these two particles are negatively charged. It can also be observed that particle 3 moves towards the negatively charged plate and repels away from the positively charged plate. Hence, particle 3 is positively charged.

The charge to mass ratio (emf) is directly proportional to the displacement or amount of deflection for a given velocity. Since the deflection of particle 3 is the maximum, it has the highest charge to mass ratio.

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