Electric field


The term electric field refers to a kind of physical mantle which is made up of electrical charges or by different bodies that are electrically charged and interact with each other. On the other hand, from the point of view of physics it is defined as a kind of electromagnetic field, which is formed thanks to the phenomena of attraction and repulsion of electric charges, the units of the electric field are volts per meter and generally the intensity decreases as it moves away from the source of origin.

what is an electric field

It refers to an area in space in which various electrical charges are located or a series of bodies charged with electricity and that generate a certain energy in the area which is of greater intensity in the center and decreases as it moves away from the center. the fountain.

Etymologically, the term field comes from the Latin campus, which refers to a flat area, while the word electric comes from the Greek élektron, referring to amber, since the electrical properties were discovered by rubbing pieces of this material together.

History of the electric field

The discovery or proposal of this phenomenon was made by Michel Faraday, carrying out experiments that tried to demonstrate the behavior of electric charges at a distance, he also carried out research related to magnetism and electricity.

Among these experiments carried out since approximately the year 1845, one was an electric field experiment, it also carried out tests related to the polarity of light and electromagnetism, many of these were carried out by investigating the lines of force of an electric field.

Characteristics of the electric field

This is considered as a kind of electrically charged energy zone, which presents a source that originates the charges and therefore presents a greater intensity, which decreases as it moves away. The most relevant characteristics of this phenomenon are the following:

Origin of an electric field

Electric field - Origin of an electric field

These originate due to the effects or alterations generated by an electrical charge or an electrically charged body in a specific space, later the interaction of another charge with this area will create forces that will increase in intensity.

This happens with both positive and negative charges, however, there is a difference, the direction and reach will always be radial, but when the charges are negative the radius will be incoming, while when they are positive it will be outgoing.

electric field formula

The electric field formula used to calculate its intensity is as follows:

F = qE

Where “F” refers to the electrical force that is acting on an electrical type charge that in this case is represented by “q”, being “E” the intensity of the same.

Based on this, what is known as Coulomb’s law is created to determine the electric field of a point charge, which establishes the way to calculate the intensity “E” in relation to force and charge, represented as follows :

E = F/q

electric field intensity

It is known as the amount of electrical force that acts on a specific charge in the area, it is considered a vector, when the charge on which it acts is positive, the intensity or force will also be positive and will flow in the same direction as the charge. , on the contrary, if it is negative, it will have a totally opposite sign and direction.

electric field lines

What is known today as electric field lines is a concept stipulated by Michael Faraday during his experiments related to the area, the electric field lines are nothing more than an imaginary set of lines that allow us to observe the changes and variations in intensity and direction that occurs during the specific phenomenon.

electric field examples

Some examples from day to day in which one is related to objects or bodies that create this type of phenomenon are the following: cell phones, televisions and radios, these receiving and emitting signals without the need to use cables, are sources that they generate this type of energy and establish the interaction zones of the charges.

Electric field exercises

Below are electric field problems with their resolution as an example.

  1. If an electrical type charge of 3×10-4 C is introduced on a field that acts with a force of 0.02 N. What is the intensity of action?
    E= ?
    F= 0.02N
    q= 3×10-4 CE= 0.02 N/ 3×10-4 C
    E= 66.6 N/C
  2. Calculate the level of intensity presented by an electric field that acts with a force of 1.4N when placing a load of 44×10-8 on it.
    E= ?
    F= 1.4N
    q= 44×10-8E= 3181818.18 N/A

Difference Between Electric Field and Magnetic Field

The main difference between both types of physical phenomena is the fact that the magnetic one originates from the interaction of two poles, called the south pole and the north pole, while in the case of the electric one it is produced by the action of a charge. in relation to the environment in which it is found and its interaction with other positive or negative individual charges.

Frequently Asked Questions about Electric Field

What is an electric field in physics?

It is a phenomenon in which a force is created caused by the attraction and repulsion between positive and negative electrical charges.

How is an electric field generated?

It is formed due to the physical changes or alterations produced by an electrical charge located in a specific space and its relationship with respect to other charges.

What is intensity of an electric field?

It is the amount or intensity of force that is exerted on a specific electrical charge.

How to calculate the electric field?

This can be calculated by means of the formula E= F/q, in which “E” represents the intensity, “F” represents the force and “q” the applied load.

What is the difference between electric field and magnetic field?

The difference is mainly in the way each one is generated, the electric one is formed by the interaction of charges in specific spaces, while the magnetic one is given by action between two opposite poles.