Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Energy possessed by Electric Field

  1. Sep 18, 2011 #1
    Consider a parallel plate capacitor.
    It is said that electromagnetic waves store electrical energy.
    Since electromagnetic waves don't require a medium to propogate, we can say that electrical energy can be stored in a space where there are no medium particles (say vaccuum).
    Where exactly is electrical energy stored? It is not so intuitive.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 19, 2011 #2
    in the field itself.

    in fact the energy is proportional to the square of the field.
  4. Sep 19, 2011 #3
    You can think of it in various ways, but you did work to separate the charges and build up the field between the plates, so I think of that energy being stored in the separated charges, i.e. potential energy.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook