A Complete Review of Electric Field

A lot of things we enjoy today are offers from the electric field like the cars we have now, the electronics in our homes we are able to power, down to the electricity we enjoy and other power generating plants. We need an electric field in almost of what we need to enjoy in the world.

This review is to specifically expose you to what electric field is all about. This comprehensive review of the electric field will surely help you find all the answers you seek to know about it.

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What is Electric Field?

Image Showing Electric Field
Image Showing the Form of Electric Field

The electric field can be described as the electric force per unit charge. The direction of the field is proportional to the direction of the force it will exert on a positive test charge. This is to say that the electric field is radially in toward a negative point charge while radially outward from a positive charge.

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What Are The Types Of Electric Field?

The electric fields are of two types, the uniform electric field, and the Non-uniform electric field. See their explanation below:

Uniform Electric Field

This is when the electric field is constant at every point. This constant field is gotten by placing the two conductors parallel to one another but the potential difference between the two will remain the same at every point.

Non Uniform Electric Field

This is about the irregular field at every point which is called the non-uniform electric field. The non-uniform field does have different directions and magnitude.

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Features Of An Electric Field

  • Electric fields are perpendicular to the surface charge
  • The field lines never insect one another
  • It becomes strong when the lines are close together and become weak when the electric field lines move apart from one another.
  • When the electric field charge is single, they begin or end at infinity
  • Its lines start from the positive charge and end from the negative charge
  • The number of its lines is directly proportional to the magnitude of the charge
  • In a charge-free region, the line curves are continuous

How Electric Field Is Created?

The electric field which is defined mathematically as a vector field is created by electric charges or by time-varying magnetic fields. Examples of the electric field are microwaves, radio waves x-rays, and light, they all contain electric field components in them. Electric fields are generated by charge configurations and charges like capacitors.

Important Of Electric Fields

The electric field is important because they are an important tool used in understanding how electricity starts and continue to flow. They are also used to describe the pushing and pulling force in a space between charges. A negative charge always has an inward electric field because it attracts positive charges.

On an atomic scale, the electric field is responsible for the attraction force that is between the electrons and the atomic nucleus that binds atoms together. It is also responsible for forces between atoms that bring about chemical bonding.

What Causes An Electric Field?

When electric field charged particles are close enough to exert force on each other whereby each electric fields interact.  The causes of this are electric causes which are described by two laws the Gauss’s law or the varying magnetic field which was described by Faraday’s law of induction. These two laws can be put together to dime the behavior exhibited by the electric field as a function of the magnetic field and charge repartition.

Electric Field Intensity

Electric field intensity is experienced at a point where force by a unit positive charge is placed at that point. Electric field intensity can be seen as a vector quantity with a symbol “E” and its formula is F/q. Electric field intensity is important because it aid in finding the electric force experienced by a unit positive charge when it is placed at a point in the system of multiple charges.

What Charge Is An Electric Field?

Electric field is a positive test charge. This test charge has a quantity of charge which is denoted by the symbol q. so since electric field is known as a force per charge, its units would be force units divided by charge units.

Uses Of Electric Field

The electric fields are used for different purposes and they are:

  • Electronics such as radio, Television even generator set is the electric field
  • With the aid of the electric field, we are able to have electricity and power generators that provide light.
  • It provides magnetos and alternators to cars and planes
  • It is used as a shield for humans against cosmic radiation
  • It is also used to aid the sun works better.
  • It is used to push electrons via wires which in turn power our devices and appliances.

Is Electric Field Negative Or Positive?

Electric field is neither negative nor positive, this is because electric field has a direction and magnitude and it is only force acting per unit positive charge, so it simply means it is just a vector like force is. Like if a positive charge is move in the direction of an electric field, the work will be done by the charge.

Are Electric Fields Conservative?

Yes, it is conservative. Force is conservative so if work is done along such path that begins and ends at the same point O. it will show that the work done by the electric force along the path beginning and ending at the same point will be 0.

So all of these points to the fact that electric force is conservative too. To prove that the electric field is conservative in nature is to take line integration of the electric field with a close path that will be always zero. So with this, we will get that electric field doesn’t depend on the point which will be given.

Unit Of Electric Field

There are two units of the electric field. It can either be in the SI system are Newton’s per coulomb (N/C) or volts per meter (V/m) in terms of the SI.

Can Electric Field Pass Through A Conductor?

The answer here is No, electric field lines can’t pass through the conductor because it intensity (E) will either form a closed loop (and cannot happen cause curl E=0) it might only pass from the inner surface to the outer but there will be potential difference which will become a contradiction. Conductors do have equipotential surfaces.

Why Electric Field Inside A Conductor Is Zero?

This can be explained better from electrostatics standpoint, in electrostatics free charges in a good conductor only reside on the surface. So this made the free charge inside the conductor becomes zero. The field in it is caused by charges on the surface, so since charges are of the same nature and distribution is same, the electric fields will cancel each other to remain zero.

What Is Electric Field Strength?

 The electric field strength can be defined as the quantitative expression of the intensity of an electric field at a specific area. The strength standard unit is the volt per meter (V/M) the electric field strength at a specific distance from an object is directly proportional to the electric charge on that object.

Electric Field Lines

Electric field lines are field that can never intersect each other. There are always perpendiculars to the surface charge. The field is strong when the lines are near together and becomes weak when the lines of the field move apart from each other.

The number of field lines is always directly proportional to the magnitude of the charge.  The lines start and ends only at charges. Larger chargers have more field lines that begin and end on them. Since E must point in a definite direction unless it is zero so Electric field lines never cross.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Electric Field


  • Electric fields enable all things like electrical to be operated, this is from the simplest item like a flashlight to big electronics like the refrigerator
  • It enables the generation of electricity and other power generator set to be easily operated.
  • It is a vital tool that enables one to understands how electricity starts and continue to flows
  •  It aids in the provision of light to the world, one can’t begin to imagine the world in total darkness
  • It can be used in the medical field for wound healing, spinal stimulation even corneal repair, and brain stimulation.


  • This might just be that it aid progress in technology to be faster than we can really handled
  • It can kill like the well electrical shocks emanate from it, if not well managed can cause death.


Here we have been able to x-ray all you need to know about electric fields and all it has got to offer. The benefits derived from having electric fields with us far outweigh any consequences or disadvantage it might pose. If you have ever had unanswered questions about the electric field, I’m sure you have had all of them answered from this review.

Njoku Valentine

Hi! Am Njoku Valentine Ernest popularly known as ValErnest, am the admin of GenGuide blog, I love sharing general guides ranging from tech gist, updates, reviews, latest happening, and listing in any area that may interest my audience. Am a graduate of The Federal Polytechnic Bida, Niger State in the Computer Science department.

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