Last Updated
May. 14, 2007

Boosted Coulomb Scattering

a)coulomb scattering at gamma=1

b)coulomb scattering at gamma=3

c)coulomb scattering at gamma=7

Scattering trajectories of a slowly moving electric charge by a) a stationary charged particle, b) a charged particle moving at v=0.94 times the speed of light, and c) a charged particle moving at v=0.99 times the speed of light. The red lines indicate the electric field in each case. With the moving particle going along the z axis, the coordinate u=z- v t, so this particle is always at u=0. The charges are not held fixed here. At large relative velocities the Coulomb field acts like a shock wave. Figure taken from How Black Holes Form in High Energy Collisions.

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John Terning,

revised May '07