Glossary term: Electric Field

Description: Electrically charged particles attract or repel each other via the electric force – like charges repel, opposite charges attract. In physics, it has proven practical to divide the action of one charge on others into two steps: Every particle that carries an electric charge is taken to produce a so-called electric field in the surrounding space. The force acting on a second particle is given directly by the direction and strength ("field vector") of the electric field at the location of that second particle: multiply the field with the value of the second particle's electric charge to obtain the force acting on that second particle. The force acting on the first particle is then of the same strength but in the opposite direction.

Related Terms:

See this term in other languages

Term and definition status: This term and its definition have been approved by a research astronomer and a teacher

The OAE Multilingual Glossary is a project of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) in collaboration with the IAU Office of Astronomy Outreach (OAO). The terms and definitions were chosen, written and reviewed by a collective effort from the OAE, the OAE Centers and Nodes, the OAE National Astronomy Education Coordinators (NAECs) and other volunteers. You can find a full list of credits here. All glossary terms and their definitions are released under a Creative Commons CC BY-4.0 license and should be credited to "IAU OAE".