Electric Field

Electric Field

We have seen in the previous section that point charges exert forces on each other even when they are far apart and not touching each other. How do the charges `know’ about the existence of other charges around them?

The answer is that you can think of every charge as being surrounded in space by an electric field. The electric field is the region of space in which an electric charge will experience a force. The direction of the electric field represents the direction of the force a positive test charge would experience if placed in the electric field. In other words, the direction of an electric field at a point in space is the same direction in which a positive test charge would move if placed at that point.

Definition: Electric field

A region of space in which an electric charge will experience a force. The direction of the field at a point in space is the direction in which a positive test charge would moved if placed at that point.

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