the difference between electric field and magnetoc field

electric field and magnetoc field




1 Answer

  • Ruby
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    The electromagnetic field is a physical field produced by electrically charged objects. It affects the behaviour of charged objects in the vicinity of the field.

    The electromagnetic field extends indefinitely throughout space and describes the electromagnetic interaction. It is one of the four fundamental forces of nature (the others are gravitation, the weak interaction, and the strong interaction).

    The field can be viewed as the combination of an electric field and a magnetic field. The electric field is produced by stationary charges, and the magnetic field by moving charges (currents); these two are often described as the sources of the field. The way in which charges and currents interact with the electromagnetic field is described by Maxwell's equations and the Lorentz Force Law.

    From a classical point of view, the electromagnetic field can be regarded as a smooth, continuous field, propagated in a wavelike manner, whereas from a quantum mechanical point of view, the field can be viewed as being composed of photons.

    The electromagnetic field may be viewed in two distinct ways.

    Continuous structure

    Classically, electric and magnetic fields are thought of as being produced by smooth motions of charged objects. For example, oscillating charges produce electric and magnetic fields that may be viewed in a 'smooth', continuous, wavelike manner. In this case, energy is viewed as being transferred continuously through the electromagnetic field between any two locations. For instance, the metal atoms in a radio transmitter appear to transfer energy continuously. This view is useful to a certain extent (radiation of low frequency), but problems are found at high frequencies (see ultraviolet catastrophe). This problem leads to another view.

    Discrete structure

    The electromagnetic field may be thought of in a more 'coarse' way. Experiments reveal that electromagnetic energy transfer is better described as being carried away in 'packets' or 'chunks' called photons with a fixed frequency. Planck's relation links the energy E of a photon to its frequency ν through the equation:

    where h is Planck's constant, named in honour of Max Planck, and ν is the frequency of the photon . For example, in the photoelectric effect —the emission of electrons from metallic surfaces by electromagnetic radiation— it is found that increasing the intensity of the incident radiation has no effect, and that only the frequency of the radiation is relevant in ejecting electrons.

    This quantum picture of the electromagnetic field has proved very successful, giving rise to quantum electrodynamics, a quantum field theory describing the interaction of electromagnetic radiation with charged matter.

    Dynamics of the electromagnetic field

    In the past, electrically charged objects were thought to produce two types of field associated with their charge property. An electric field is produced when the charge is stationary with respect to an observer measuring the properties of the charge and a magnetic field (as well as an electric field) is produced when the charge moves (creating an electric current) with respect to this observer. Over time, it was realized that the electric and magnetic fields are better thought of as two parts of a greater whole —the electromagnetic field.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.