The Electric Force
Yes -- the electric force is like an invisible spring, but as the charges move farther apart, a weaker spring pulls them together.
Now see what happens when you give the electron a little "throw" as you set it down. To do
this, click-drag the mouse in any direction. The line shows the direction of the throw and
its length shows the speed.
Hey, if I start it off just right, the electron keeps looping around the proton and never
crashes into it.
You've just created an early model of an atom!
Does this mean that the electric force is somehow different when the electron starts with a
No, the force, or pull, depends only on where you put it, not on the velocity. But an
electron's motion depends on both the force on the electron and its velocity, which are often
in different directions. See what happens when you first click on the button "show force,"
and then put an electron down with a velocity in a different direction.