How to imagine an electric field?

In summary, an electric field is a vector field created by the presence of electric charges. It can be imagined as an invisible force field surrounding a charged object, with denser lines indicating a stronger field. The strength of the field is affected by the magnitude and distance of the charges, as well as the surrounding material. The field can be visualized using diagrams with field lines. It can exert a force on other charged objects and influence the behavior of electrically neutral objects.
  • #1
SELFMADE
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Is it 2 dimensional or 3 dimensional?
 
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  • #2
Hi SELFMADE! :smile:
SELFMADE said:
Is it 2 dimensional or 3 dimensional?

Space is 3 dimensional, so any field is 3 dimensional.

Did you have a specific electric field in mind?

EDIT: just occurred to me …

if a field was 2 dimensional, it would fall off as 1/r instead of 1/r2, since it would spread out over a circle (~ r) instead of a sphere (~ r2) :wink:
 
Last edited:
  • #3
thanks, I was just going over physics 2 material which I'll take next semester.
 

Related to How to imagine an electric field?

1. What is an electric field?

An electric field is a physical quantity that describes the influence a charged object has on other objects around it. It is a vector field, meaning it has both magnitude and direction, and is created by the presence of electric charges.

2. How do I imagine an electric field?

One way to imagine an electric field is to picture it as an invisible force field surrounding a charged object. The strength of the field is represented by the density of the field lines, with denser lines indicating a stronger field. The direction of the field is indicated by the direction of the field lines, pointing away from positive charges and towards negative charges.

3. What factors affect the strength of an electric field?

The strength of an electric field is influenced by the magnitude of the charges creating the field and the distance between them. The closer the charges are, the stronger the field will be. Additionally, the type of material in the surrounding space can also affect the strength of the field.

4. How can I visualize the electric field around different objects?

One way to visualize the electric field around different objects is by using a diagram with field lines. For positive charges, the field lines radiate outward from the charge, while for negative charges, the lines point inward. The spacing and direction of the lines can help to understand the strength and direction of the field.

5. How does an electric field interact with other objects?

An electric field can exert a force on other charged objects within its influence. The direction and strength of this force depend on the charge and location of the objects. Additionally, an electric field can also influence the behavior of electrically neutral objects by inducing a temporary charge on the object's surface.

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