Q:

What is a uniform electric field?

A:

The electric field strength of a uniform electric field is constant throughout the field. A perfectly uniform electric field has no variations in the entire field and is unattainable in the real world. However, two parallel plates can generate a field that resembles a perfectly uniform field with slight variations near the edge of the plates.

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Electric fields are represented by drawing field lines that represent the direction of the field, as well as the strength of the field. More field lines represents a higher field strength. In a non-uniform electric field, the field lines tend to be curved and are more concentrated near the charges. In a uniform electric field, since the field strength does not vary, the field lines are parallel to each other and equally spaced. Uniform fields are created by setting up a potential difference between two conducting plates placed at a certain distance from one another. The field is considered to be uniform at the center of the plates, but varies close to the edge of the plates. The strength of the field depends on the potential difference applied to the plates and the distance by which they are separated. A higher potential difference or voltage results in a stronger electric field. The greater the distance between the plates, the weaker the field becomes. The electric field is therefore calculated as a ratio of the voltage between the plates to the distance they are separated by.

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Calculating electric field intensity requires the knowledge about the current charge level of the object that is making the electric field and the distance between that charged object and the measuring tool. Electric field intensity (or strength) is a vector quantity, which means it has direction as well as magnitude. The magnitude of this intensity comes from the way it is measured.

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Electric field lines are drawn around charges to represent the direction as well as the strength of the field around the charges. Equipotential lines are drawn perpendicular to each electric field line and connect the electric field lines at points where their field strengths or potential difference are equal.

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The purpose of a capacitor is to store energy in the electric field between a pair of closely spaced conductors that are called plates, and these capacitors are used in electrical circuits as energy-storage devices. Capacitors can also be used to differentiate between signals of high frequency and low frequency, which makes them particularly useful in electronic filters.