# Electric field with reference to voltage

Angello90
If E=-∇V, does it mean that negative voltage emits positive electric field, and positive v negative ef?

## Answers and Replies

Gold Member
It's basically a matter of definition.
I think you can look at it this way: The field between a positive plate and a negative plate is said to be directed towards the negative plate (the direction in which a positive charge would move) but the positive plate has a positive potential with respect to the negative plate i.e. voltage increases in the opposite direction to the direction of the force on a positive charge.

Angello90
you see I have this question where youre give an equation for potential deference of 10-5z^2, so E= -10z right?, anyway there is a field on one side of the slab (slab is the material with a charge) and it asks about EF on both sides, ie what is EF on right hand side and left hand side. As a hint there is "watch the sign" statement. So I am really confused Staff Emeritus
If E=-∇V, does it mean that negative voltage emits positive electric field, and positive v negative ef?

That is not what the Grad means! It is the CHANGE in potential over a distance, i.e. a gradient. In 1 dimension, it is E = -dV/dx.

Zz.

Angello90
Yeah and d(10-5z^2)/dz=-10z, am I correct?

Gold Member
Uh?

If you want a simple explanation for the sign, the field points towards the negative side and away from the positive. i.e. a negative slope as distance towards the positive increases - hence the negative sign.
Note. A field isn't "emitted".

Angello90
Ok thanks a lot sophiecentaur, and yeah i know field isnt emitted, thats why i used "emitted" not emmited;) thanks guys

It was terminology I was referring to - not spelling 