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B Creating an electric field with a battery

  1. Jun 22, 2016 #1
    If I attach a battery to two parallel plates to create an electric field between the plates, will the electric field last for the lifetime of the battery?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 22, 2016 #2


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    Yes. As long as the battery can maintain a potential difference between its terminals and as long as the terminals are attached to plates, there will be a potential difference between the plates, which is to say that there will be an electric field between the plates.
  4. Jun 22, 2016 #3
    You've been given the answer, but I'm just curious - were you thinking it might last less than the lifetime of the battery, or longer? A more complete understanding might be achieved if you want to share your doubt about the situation.
  5. Jun 23, 2016 #4
    The plates come attached standard, the battery terminals.
  6. Jun 23, 2016 #5

    If I was then to put a negative charge inside the electric field and move it towards the positive plate I assume the electric field is doing work on the negative charge. If it doesn't reach the plate and is only moved some distance toward the plate will the battery be slightly depleted, due to the work being carried out by the electric field?
  7. Jun 25, 2016 #6
    Correct. Some energy is extracted from the battery when negative charge moves from negative terminal to the positive terminal, even if the negative charge doesn't reach the positive plate. For example, when you attach a capacitor to the battery. Conversely, when you move negative charge from the positive terminal to the negative terminal (electrolysis) some of the work is converted to chemical energy stored in the battery.
  8. Jun 26, 2016 #7


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    hang on a minute , David

    The wording of the OP was that he placed the negative charge in the field and that he moved it
    Therefore it is him that is doing work on the negative charge and not the field

    it didn't say anything about the field moving the charge

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