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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.

**Electric and Magnetic Constants
**

In the equations describing electric and magnetic fields and their propagation, three constants are normally used. One is the speed of light c, and the other two are the electric permittivity of free space 0 and the magnetic permeability of free space, 0. The magnetic permeability of free space is taken to have the exact value

See also relative permeability

This contains the force unit N for Newton and the unit A is the Ampere, the unit of electric current. With the magnetic permeability established, the electric permittivity takes the value given by the relationship

where the speed of light c is given by

This gives a value of free space permittivity

which in practice is often used in the form

These expressions contain the units F for Farad, the unit of capacitance, and C for Coulomb, the unit of electric charge. In the presence of polarizable or magnetic media, the effective constants will have different values. In the case of a polarizable medium, called a dielectric, the comparison is stated as a relative permittivity or a dielectric constant. In the case of magnetic media, the relative permeability may be stated.

An electric field is defined as being present in any region where a charged object experiences an electric force. This is a fancy way of saying that the only way we can tell if a field exists is to place a test charge at that spot and see if it feels a force. (In other words, it takes one to know one.) The animation below shows a stationary charge (Although we have no way of knowing it is charged until we bring in a test charge.) When a test charge is brought in, a force is present on that charge and so it shows evidence of a field being present. The closer the test charge is brought to the stationary charge the greater the force. The greater the force on the test charge, the stronger the field is.

As long as we are using the same test charge it is possible to vaguely describe the strength of the field as stronger or weaker. However, the force that is felt is also dependent on the amount of charge on the test charge. It is for this reason that the Field Intensity or Field Strength is described as the ratio of Force to the amount of test charge. The field intensity for an electric field is measured in Newtons per Coulomb [N/C]. This describes the amount of force present for every coulomb of charge used as a test charge. Field Intensity is a vector quantity. The size of the vector is given by the equation to the left but the direction of the vector is based on the direction of the force felt by a positive test charge. The field strength equation has no way of specifying the direction of the field, therefore you should ignore any negative signs that get created in your answer. You must simply look at the region you are calculating the field strength for and then determine the direction that a positive test charge would be forced. Another very useful hybrid equation can be created by combining the formula for Coulombs law and the formula for field intensity.

combine

common terms

**Electric Field with Examples
**

Electric Field

A charged particle exerts a force on particles around it. We can call the influence of this force on surroundings as electric field. It can be also stated as electrical force per charge. Electric field is represented with E and Newton per coulomb is the unit of it.

Electric field is a vector quantity. And it decreases with the increasing distance.k=9.109Nm2/C2

y

y Electric field cannot be seen, but you can observe the effects of it on charged particles inside electric field. y To find the electric field vector of a charge at one point, we assume that as if there is a +1 unit of charge there. y If you want to find the total electric field of the charges more than one, you should find them one by one and add them using vector quantities.

y

y

Electric Field Lines Motion path of the ³+´ charge in an electric field is called electric field line. Intensity of the lines shows the intensity of the electric field. Pictures given below show the drawings of field line of the positive charge and negative charge.

Electric field lines;

y y y

y Are perpendicular to the surfaces y Never intercept y If the electric field lines are parallel to each other, we call this regular electric field and it can be possible between two oppositely charged plates. E is constant within this plates and zero outside the plates.

y

y We can find the E in these plates by connecting a power supply having potential difference V using following formula;

Pictures given below show the path of lines of two same charges and two opposite charges.

Example : Find the electric field created by the charges A and B at point C in terms of k.q/d2?

Example: If the electric field at point A is zero, find the charge at point D in terms of q.

Force Acting on a Charged Particle inside Electric Field

E=F/q

F=E.q where; F is the force acting on the charge inside the electric field E. Using this equation we can say that;

If q is positive then F=+E.q and directions of Force and Electric Field are same

If q is negative then F=-E.q and directions of Force and Electric Field areopposite

E

Example: If the charge q having mass m is in equilibrium between the two plated having distance d, find the potential difference of power supply.

Electric Field of a Conductor Sphere

There is a maximum electric field at surface of the sphere. As distance increases from the surface, electric field decreases. Finally, as it seen from the picture, inside the conductor sphere electric field is zero.

There are two kinds of fields... 1. Scalar Fields: magnitude but no direction

Example 1: Heat field from a fire: If you stand by a campfire, you can measure the magnitude (temperature) of the field with a thermometer; if you are close to the fire you will measure a stronger field (higher temperature), but if you move away the field strength decreases (lower temperature). You would not be saying anything about a direction, like ³25oC South´.

2. Vector Fields: magnitude and direction

Example 2: A gravity field is a measure of the acceleration towards the centre of an object. We deal almost all the time with vector fields in Physics 30.

**Measuring Electric Fields
**

According to Coulomb¶s Law, the force exerted on the test charge must be directly proportional to its own charge and the charge on the other object.

Fe q1 q2

substitute the test charge in this relation...

Fe q' q2

If you divide the force by the charge on the test charge, you get a new formula.

E= Fe q'

E = electric field (N/C) (Arrow above ³E´ in formula shows this is a vector; it isn¶t ³energy´ which is a scalar) F = force (N) q' = charge on test charge (C) Example 3: I place a 3.7 C test charge 2.7m to the right of another charge. If there is an attractive force of 2.45N acting on the test charge, determine the field strength of the main charge at that location. We don¶t need the distance to figure this question out. It is important to know that the test

**charge is to the right of the other charge, since we need to give a direction. E= Fe q ' =2.45 3.7 =0.66N /C [left]
**

10/21/

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