Electric field lines in uniform and radial electric fields

In this post, we will see how Electric field lines in uniform and radial electric fields differ.

An electric field may be represented by a diagram that shows field lines (Figure 1). These are lines that show both the direction in which a positive charge would move in the field and also the strength of the field. The closer the lines the stronger (the more intense) the electric field at that point.

The electric field strength (E) at a point in an electric field is the force (F) on a unit positive charge placed at that point.

Uniform and radial electric fields (in the diagram)

figure 1: Uniform and radial electric fields
figure 1: Uniform and radial electric fields

Difference between Electric field lines in uniform and radial electric fields

the difference in Spacing among field lines

In a uniform field, the electric field lines are equally spaced while in a radial field they get further apart at points further from the charge. Note that the dotted lines are lines of equal potential.

the difference in field strength calculation (formula)

electric field strength E= F/Q

Hence, Force (F) on a charge (Q) in an electric field of strength E can be expressed as F= EQ

The units for electric field strength are N C−1, or V m-1.

In a uniform field: electric field strength (E) = V/d (ref: figure 1 for V and d)

In a radial field: Electric field strength due to a charge is expressed with the following formula:

E = (1/4πε0) (Q/r2)

In a radial field: Electric field strength due to a charge is expressed with the following formula:

Electric field lines in uniform and radial electric fields
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