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Encyclopedia of Electrical Engineering
Encyclopedia of Electrical Engineering

# Electric Field

#### What is electric field?

An electric charge produces an electric field, which is a region of space around an electrically charged particle or object in which an electric charge would feel force. The electric field exists at all points in space and can be observed by bringing another charge into the electric field. However, the electric field can be approximated as zero for practical purposes if the charges are far enough from each other. Electric fields are a vector quantity and can be visualized as arrows going toward or away from charges. The lines are defined as pointing radially outward, away from a positive charge, or radially inward, toward a negative charge.
Fig.No.1: Left: Opposite Charges attract each other, Right: Same charges repel each other.
The magnitude of the electric field is given by the formula $E = {F \over q}$, where E is the strength of the electric field, F is the electric force, and q is the test charge that is being used to feel the electric field.