# Electric Displacement Vector D and Magnetic Intensity Vector H in Electromagnetism?

• Arawn
In summary, the conversation discusses the meanings and physical explanations of the electric displacement vector D and the magnetic intensity vector H. These vectors represent the "imposed" or "external" fields in the presence of matter, while the electric field vector E and the magnetic flux density vector B represent the real fields including the contributions from matter. The premitivity represents the polarization of the material and the permeability represents the magnitization of the material.
Arawn
I can understand what the electric field vector E and the magnetic flux density vector B mean, but what exactly are the meanings of the two other vectors, the electric displacement vector D and the magnetic intensity vector H? What are their physical explanations?

When mattter is present Maxwell's equations take on a more simple form when E is replaced by D and B replaced by H - a form similar to the vacuum equations. The premitivity represents the polarization of the material and the permeability represents the magnitization of the material.

Pete

To elaborate a little:
Most types of matter have a tendency to align themselves with or against magnetic and electric fields in their vicinity, thus increasing or decreasing those fields. To a good approximation, you can often use D and H to represent the "imposed" or "external" fields, and E and B to be the real fields which will include the contributions from the matter.

Thanks for the replies! Things you told sound sensible, and I think I'm having a bit better understanding now.

## 1. What is an electromagnetic vector?

An electromagnetic vector is a mathematical representation of the electric and magnetic fields in a given space. It contains information about the direction and strength of these fields.

## 2. How are electromagnetic vectors used in science?

Electromagnetic vectors are used in a variety of scientific fields, including physics, engineering, and astronomy. They are used to understand and predict the behavior of electric and magnetic fields, and are essential for studying electromagnetic phenomena such as light, electricity, and magnetism.

## 3. What is the difference between an electric and magnetic vector?

An electric vector represents the strength and direction of an electric field, which is created by the presence of electric charges. A magnetic vector represents the strength and direction of a magnetic field, which is created by moving electric charges or magnetic materials.

## 4. How are electromagnetic vectors related to electromagnetic waves?

Electromagnetic vectors are an important component of electromagnetic waves, which are a form of energy that travels through space. The electric and magnetic vectors are perpendicular to each other and oscillate in a synchronized manner, creating the electromagnetic wave.

## 5. Can electromagnetic vectors be manipulated?

Yes, electromagnetic vectors can be manipulated by applying external forces such as electric or magnetic fields. This allows scientists and engineers to control and harness electromagnetic energy for various applications, such as in electronics, telecommunications, and medical imaging.

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