Electric field, abbreviated as \(E\), is an invisible space around a charged particle where an electric force is exerted on other charged particles, in the same way as a magnetic field is the field of force that surrounds a magnet. Togeather, the electric and magnetic fields make up the electromagnetic field which underlies light and other electromagnetic waves, and charges in either field will induce changes in the other.
An electric field is a fundamental concept in physics that describes the influence or force experienced by electrically charged particles due to the presence of other charges in their vicinity. It is a region of space where an electric force acts on charged objects or particles. An electric field is created by electric charges, either positive or negative. When a charged particle, such as an electron or a proton, is placed in an electric field, it experiences a force due to the interaction between its charge and the electric field. The electric field exerts a force on the charged particle, causing it to move or be influenced in some way.
The electric field is a vector quantity, meaning it has both magnitude and direction. It is represented by electric field lines that indicate the direction in which a positive test charge would move if placed in the field. The density of the field lines represents the strength of the electric field, with closer lines indicating a stronger field. The strength or intensity of an electric field at a specific point is measured in units of volts per meter (V/m) or newtons per coulomb (N/C). It is influenced by the magnitude and distribution of electric charges in the vicinity.
Electric fields have various practical applications. In electrical engineering, electric fields are used to design and analyze the behavior of electronic circuits and devices. In electromagnetism, electric fields are closely related to magnetic fields and are involved in the propagation of electromagnetic waves. Electric fields also play a crucial role in understanding the behavior of charged particles in physics, such as electrons in atoms or ions in plasma. The concept of electric fields is described by Maxwell's equations, which are fundamental equations in electromagnetism that mathematically express the relationship between electric fields, magnetic fields, and electric charges.