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Homework Help: The properties of Electric Field lines

  1. Jul 18, 2011 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    List the 4 properties and characteristics of electric field lines.

    2. Relevant equations
    I was not able to get them all and the ones that I did get I am confused that if it is really a characteristic or a property

    3. The attempt at a solution

    1. Characteristic: The closer the field lines the greater the intensity (closer field lines have are greater in density)

    2. Property: When there is more than 1 source; the electric field strength is the vector sum of both sources ( the electric field strength is a vector quantity so it has a direction).

    3. Characteristic: In the presence of a positive charge (inside electric field line), the field lines would radiate straight out (just as a positive test charge would be pushed out).

    4. Characteristic: At every point on the electric field line (since the field lines are often curved), the direction of the field is tangent to the line.

    5. Property: the electric field strength between two parallel plates is the quotient of voltage over charge(q1 causing the electric field) while the electric field strength near a point charge is the quotient of the electric force over the charge(q1 that is causing the electric field)

    thanks for your responses.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 18, 2011 #2
    Honestly this is probably some arbitrary list you're being asked to make so I wouldn't worry. Properties/characteristics are probably meant to be the same thing. 1 and 3 are probably what are being looked for and maybe 4. Think about circles around a point charge.
  4. Jul 18, 2011 #3
    I am not aware of "characteristic" and "property" having clearly defined differences in common usage. I suspect that is a distinction drawn by your text book or teacher.

    This looks like the kind of question that is asking you to reiterate information presented in a previous reading. Can you go back and see if the answers are simply stated in the text or in class notes?
  5. Jul 18, 2011 #4
    yes that is what I did;
    My information(list), I gathered from the text;

    I guess I will go back again and read it over one more time.

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