Electric field


An electric field is an invisible force field created by the attraction and repulsion of electrical charges (the cause of electric flow), and is measured in Volts per meter (V/m).

The intensity of the electric field decreases with distance from the field source.

A static electric field (also referred to as electrostatic field) is an electric field that does not vary with time (frequency of 0 Hz). Static electric fields are created by electrical charges that are fixed in space. They are different from fields that change over time, such as electromagnetic fields generated by appliances using alternating current (AC) or by cell phones etc.

Source: GreenFacts


When a bedside lamp is plugged in, i.e. connected to the electricity network through the socket, there is only an electric field. The electric field can be compared to the pressure inside a hosepipe when it is connected to the water supply system and the tap is closed. The electric field is linked to the tension whose unit is the Volt. It is generated by the presence of electric charges and is measured in Volts per metre (V/m). The greater the power supply of the appliance, the greater the intensity of the resulting electric field.

When the lamp is switched on, i.e. when the current goes through the alimentation cable, there are both an electric and a magnetic field. The magnetic field results from the passage of current (i.e. the movement of electrons) through the electric wire. In the example with the hosepipe, the magnetic field would correspond to the passage of water through the pipe. The unit of the magnetic induction field is the Tesla (T). However, the magnetic fields that are commonly measured are within the range of the microtesla (µT) that is to say one millionth of a Tesla. Another unit sometimes used is the Gauss (G). One Gauss is the equivalent of 100 microtesla.

When switched off (left): electric field

When switched on (right): electric and magnetic field


Source: BBEMG Electric field and magnetic field 

Related words:

Magnetic field - Electromagnetic fields (EMF)


Deutsch: Elektrisches Feld
Español: Campo eléctrico
Français: Champ électrique

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