Physics 201- Introduction to Electricity & Magnetism
September 4- Intro to Electric Fields






  Defining the elctric field
  • We describe a field mathematically by assigning a vector to all points in space.
  • We find the magnitude and direction of these vectors by measuring the force on a test charge (assumed to be very small and positive).

Imagine that when you place a point test charge with magnitude of 1.0nC at a certain point in space, you find that it experiences a net force of 5.0mN.   What is the magnitude of the electric field at this point?

What are typical values for electric field magnitudes?


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Jeff Phillips
Loyola Marymount University
Fall 2002