Electric Flux Questions (about the definition)

• AlphaLearner
In summary, electric flux is defined as the electric field passing per unit area perpendicular to electric field lines, and is represented by the formula Φ = ∫ E⋅dA. Similarly, pressure is defined as the force acting per unit area perpendicular to the direction of force, and is represented by the formula P = F/A. However, while both quantities are defined as vector quantities acting per unit area, electric flux is represented as a product while pressure is represented as a quotient. This may seem counterintuitive since the word "per" usually suggests division, but in this case, electric flux is the field times the area.
AlphaLearner
I can say that Electric Flux is Electric field passing per unit area perpendicular to electric field lines. But the formula came up as Φ = ∫ E⋅dA. Well, take the case of pressure! That is force acting per unit area perpendicular to direction of force. But it's formula came up as P = F/A.
Now my problem is, when both of those quantities are defined as some vector quantity acting per unit area perpendicular to direction of that vector, Why electric flux as product and pressure as quotient? The word "per" should bring 'Divided by' in mind but why product is taken for flux?

AlphaLearner said:
I can say that Electric Flux is Electric field passing per unit area perpendicular to electric field lines.
It is not the field per unit area, it is the field times the area.

AlphaLearner, sophiecentaur and cnh1995
Dale said:
It is not the field per unit area, it is the field times the area.
Thank you!

1. What is electric flux?

Electric flux is a measure of the flow of an electric field through a given surface. It is calculated by multiplying the electric field strength by the surface area and the cosine of the angle between the electric field and the surface.

2. How is electric flux different from electric field?

Electric flux is a measure of the flow of an electric field through a surface, while electric field is a measure of the strength of the electric force at a specific point in space. Electric flux takes into account the direction of the electric field, while electric field does not.

3. Can electric flux be negative?

Yes, electric flux can be negative. This occurs when the electric field and the surface are in opposite directions, resulting in a negative value for the flux.

4. What is the unit of electric flux?

The unit of electric flux is Newton-meters squared per coulomb (N·m2/C) in SI units. In other systems, it can also be expressed as volts per meter (V/m).

5. How is electric flux related to Gauss's law?

Gauss's law states that the electric flux through a closed surface is equal to the total charge enclosed by that surface divided by the permittivity of free space. In other words, the electric flux is proportional to the charge enclosed by the surface. This relationship is used to solve many problems involving electric fields and charges.

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