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Need of small charge in definition of electric field?

  1. Jan 20, 2015 #1
    Why do we need infinitesimally small charge in definition of electric field? Since the test charge cannot exert force on itself, F on test charge will not change whatever the value of test charge q is. So, F/q will be same for any value of test charge. Then why do we need this limit of infinitesimally small charge?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 20, 2015 #2

    mfb

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    2016 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    A larger charge will influence the charge distribution in the environment, and therefore the field at its position.
     
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