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Electric Fields

  1. Aug 5, 2005 #1
    I'm trying to understand the concept of the Electric Field. Is it a force itself? Or its some abstract piece of energy that generates a force?

    I don't really get how its different from a force. Isn't it referred to as a "force field"?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 5, 2005 #2


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    As far as I know, it's not exactly a force.
    An E-field is defined as followed:
    [tex]\vec E \equiv \mathop {\lim }\limits_{q_0 \to 0} \frac{{\vec F}}{{q_0 }}[/tex]

    Here is [itex]q_0[/itex] a test charge and [itex]\vec F[/itex] the electric force.
    Therefore, an E-field is a force per charge so in N/C.

    Since I didn't really know how to explain you this further, here's a quote from the Wikipedia: "an electric field or E-field is an effect produced by an electric charge that exerts a force on charged objects in its vicinity.".

    Hope that helps :smile:
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2005
  4. Aug 6, 2005 #3
    Scroll down to the Why do we need fields in physics entry. The answers to your questions are all in it

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