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Why is this the case..

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I would have thought it would have followed the E field?

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closed as too localized by akhmeteli, user1504, Waffle's Crazy Peanut, twistor59, Brandon Enright Jun 25 '13 at 5:10

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Just remember: "electrons swim upstream" –  Alfred Centauri Jun 19 '13 at 20:34
after which, they are inevitably all eaten by bears –  Jim Jun 19 '13 at 20:37
@Jim I should flag that comment for being funny :P On topic though: take a look at the Lorentz force wikipedia page and keep in mind that the charge $q = -e$ of an electron is negative. Edit: I see that I completely missed the fact that there was already a good answer to your question. You might want to accept that answer if it cleared up your confusion. ;) –  Wouter Jun 19 '13 at 20:54

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

An electric field, or rather, electric field lines radiate from positive charges and flow into negative charges. We all know that opposite charges attract, thus, for a fixed positive charge to attract a negative charge, the negative charge must be compelled to move in the opposite direction of the electric field lines. This is the convention we use. Based on that, it is not hard to see that the electron would accelerate leftward - against the direction of the electric field.

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Ahh.. E-field goes from positive to negative and since E = -q, it would do the opposite.. Stupid me.. Thank you :D –  user26022 Jun 19 '13 at 20:35

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