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Coulomb's law vs Electric Field

  1. Oct 4, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    I just wanted to make sure I understood the difference between the two.
    Coulombs law is the force between two charges. Two charges that are physical(maybe not the right word) located on some axes. We can use the equation
    F=k(q1 * q2 * r(hat))/r^2

    r^2=|r| = |x-x'|
    where r hat equal= r/|r|= (x-x')/|x-x')|

    if we only have one charge and we want to know what the force would be at some random point q. We know that F=qE(x). So, F/q=E(x). which would give us
    E(x)=k(q1* r(hat))/r^2

    They both calculate the force, coulombs is the force between two charges and the electric field is the force a some point q. (q would be a field point.)
    As the distance grows on both the force gets weaker and weaker.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 4, 2016 #2
    I know that you can sum the forces with Coulombs Law but can you sum up the electric fields?
  4. Oct 4, 2016 #3

    David Lewis

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    A coulomb is a unit of measure (quantity of electricity).
    Force is a physical quantity.
    An electric field models the network of electrostatic forces charged bodies would exert on each other.
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