Meaning of Electric Field
In the field of physics, according to DigoPaul, the field is called the space sector at whose points a physical quantity is defined. Electric, meanwhile, is that linked to electricity: the force manifested through the rejection or attraction between charged particles.
In this framework, the electric field is called the area of space at whose points the definition of the intensity of an electric force is specified. Electric fields can be represented through models that are responsible for describing how systems and bodies interact with properties related to electricity.
The origin of an electric field is found in the alteration that an electric charge produces in space. This electric charge modifies the physical properties of space, giving rise to the electric field. When another charge is introduced into the field in question, it experiences a force.
The electric field can also be defined as the electric force per unit charge. These fields are directed radially to the inside of one negative charge and to be a positive charge. The direction is always considered to be the same that the force would exert on a positive charge. In other words: when the charge is negative, the electric field is incoming and radial; with a positive charge, on the other hand, the field is salient and radial.
In short, an electric field arises when there is a charge that modifies the properties of space. The field represents the relationship between that charge and a new electric charge when both interact and exert a force.
One of the theoretical bases on which we can rely to understand the concept of electric field is Coulomb’s law, which expresses the following: the magnitude of each electric force with which a pair of determined charges interacts at rest has a direct relationship proportional to the product of the magnitude of both, but inversely proportional to the square of the segment that exists between them; With respect to their direction, it is drawn by the line that connects them, and their force can be of attraction (if they have the opposite sign) or of repulsion (if they have the same sign).
Conventionally, it has been established that the law of Coulomb is what allows us to define the notion of electric field in the most intuitive way possible, since the generalizing results in the expression of the field between distributed loads at rest relative. On the other hand, when the loads involved are in motion, it becomes necessary to make use of a more extensive and formal definition, for which the principle of least action and four-vectors come into play.
The principle of least action, also known as Hamilton’s or stationary action belongs to the field of relativistic and classical mechanics and serves to describe the evolution that a physical field or a particle goes through in time while they are in motion. There are also formulations based on this principle in the field of quantum mechanics.
A quadrivector, for its part, consists of a four-dimensional vector that is used to represent any event in space-time. One of the problems that gave rise to its conception was the impossibility of absolutely defining the time that elapses between two points for all observers without taking into account their state of motion.
It is known as lines of field or force to those that serve to show more clearly how the varying the direction of an electric field when moving between two points in space.