- I am curious if the magnitude of energy within an electric field is greater than the accumulation of the electric fields contained around it's individual electrons.
I understand that the energy of an electric field arises from the work put into gathering the electrons together to create the field. Bringing electrons close together requires energy because they naturally want to repel. This potential energy is stored in the field itself and the field has an energy density. I am assuming that the energy field of an individual electron must also have a small energy density associated with it. My question is; is the energy density of an electric field actually just the 'sum' of all the little electric fields surrounding each individual electron? Or does the resultant electric field have more energy than the net sum of all the electrons field energies? Implying that the extra energy is from the work done to accumulate the electrons.