Electric fields

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Electric fields constitute a field type in physics. Electric fields are sometimes referred to as E-fields.

An electric field is the physical field that surrounds electrically-charged particles and exerts a force on all other charged particles in the field, either attracting or repelling them. It also refers to the physical field for a system of charged particles

In other words, an electric field is an electric property associated with each point in space when charge is present in any form.

The magnitude and direction of the electric field are expressed by the value of E, called electric field strength or electric field intensity or simply the electric field. Knowledge of the value of the electric field at a point, without any specific knowledge of what produced the field, is all that is needed to determine what will happen to electric charges close to that particular point.

The strength of the electric field is defined as the electrostatic force experienced by a small test charge qo placed at that point divided by the charge itself. The electric field is a vector, and its direction is the same as the direction of the force on a positive test charge.

The electric field is defined at each point in space as the force (per unit charge) that would be experienced by a vanishingly small positive test charge if held at that point.

An electric field is a vector quantity as it is defined in terms of Force that is a vector quantity.

The value of the electric field at a point is the electric force per unit charge exerted at that point. It is a vector field, and points in the direction of the force that a small positive charge would feel at that point.

The force acting on a particle with a charge of q at a point where the electric field E is given by:

The electric field can be visualized by drawing a series of lines going from a positive charge to a negative charge, or to or from infinity if only one charge is present. The electric field is stronger where electric field lines are closer together, and weaker where they are further apart. For a point charge, the electric field gets weaker as you move further away from the charge.

Further reading on this topic:

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