 # ELECTRIC FEILD

10 years ago

To help visualize how a charge, or a collection of charges, influences the region around it, the concept of an electric field is used. The electric field E is analogous to g, which we called the acceleration due to gravity but which is really the gravitational field. Everything we learned about gravity, and how masses respond to gravitational forces, can help us understand how electric charges respond to electric forces.

The electric field a distance r away from a point charge Q is given by:

Electric field from a point charge : E = k Q / r2

The electric field from a positive charge points away from the charge; the electric field from a negative charge points toward the charge. Like the electric force, the electric field E is a vector. If the electric field at a particular point is known, the force a charge q experiences when it is placed at that point is given by :

F = qE

If q is positive, the force is in the same direction as the field; if q is negative, the force is in the opposite direction as the field.