## At A Glance

### Electric Field Lines

Check us out at http://www.tutorvista.com//videos n physics, an electric field is a property that describes the space that surrounds electrically charged particles or that which is in the presence of a time-varying magnetic field. This electric field exerts a force on other electrically charged objects. The concept of an electric field was introduced by Michael Faraday. The electric field is a vector field with SI units of newtons per coulomb (N C?1) or, equivalently, volts per metre (V m?1). The SI base units of the electric field are kg·m·s?3·A?1. The strength of the field at a given point is defined as the force that would be exerted on a positive test charge of +1 coulomb placed at that point; the direction of the field is given by the direction of that force. Electric fields contain electrical energy with energy density proportional to the square of the field amplitude. The electric field is to charge as gravitational acceleration is to mass and force density is to volume. An electric field that changes with time (such as due to the motion of charged particles in the field) will also influence the magnetic field of that region of space. Thus, in general, the electric and magnetic fields are not completely separate phenomena; what one observer perceives as an electric field, another observer in a different frame of reference perceives as a mixture of electric and magnetic fields. For this reason, one speaks of "electromagnetism" or "electromagnetic fields." In quantum mechanics, disturbances in the electromagnetic fields are called photons, and the energy of photons is quantized.
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