lec2 - PEP112 Spring 2008 Prof. Svetlana Malinovskaya 16...

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PEP112 – Spring 2008 Prof. Svetlana Malinovskaya 16 January 2008 The Electric Field
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The Concept of a Field • Electric and magnetic forces, like gravity, are long-range forces • What is the mechanism of action at a distance? • Michael Faraday (1791-1867) proposed an idea that space itself round a magnet is filled with magnetic influence, that a magnet alters the space round it. • Faraday’s idea came to be called a field. The field describes a function that assigns a value to every point in space. • The alteration of the space around a mass is called the gravitational field, the space around a charge is altered to create the electric field.
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A Field Model • Some charges, which we will call the source charges, alter the space around them by creating an electric field E. • A separate charge in the electric field experiences a force F exerted by the field. • We must accomplish two tasks: first, to learn how to calculate the electric field for a configuration of source charges, and, second, to determine the forces on and the motion of a charge in the electric field.
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Electric Field • Suppose charge q experiences an electric force F due to other charges. The strength and direction of
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This note was uploaded on 04/09/2008 for the course PEP 112 taught by Professor Whittaker during the Spring '07 term at Stevens.

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lec2 - PEP112 Spring 2008 Prof. Svetlana Malinovskaya 16...

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