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## Difference Between Electric Field and Magnetic Field

Electric Field vs Magnetic Field

Electric field and magnetic field are invisible lines of forces generated by phenomenon such as Earth’s magnetism, thunderstorms and the use of electricity. It is possible to have one without the other but normally, electric field is there when magnetic field is created. Electromagnetism is that part of Physics that studies electric fields and magnetic fields.

Electric field

An area surrounding an electrically charged particle is called its electric field and this field exerts a force on other charged particles. The electric field has both quantity and direction and as such is a vector quantity. It is expressed in Newtons per Coulomb (N/C). The magnitude of any electric field at any point is the force it exerts on a positive charge of 1C at that point where the direction of the force decides the direction of the field. We say that there is an electric field in some area around moving charged particles. Particles that are not electrically charged do not produce any electric field. If there is a uniform electric field, electrically charged particles will move uniformly along the direction of the field, while neutral particles will not.

Magnetic field

An electrically charged and moving particle not only has an electric field in its surrounding are, it also has magnetic field. Despite being separate entities, they are closely associated with each other. This has given rise to an entire field of study known as electromagnetism. Moving charges having an electric field tend to produce an electric current. Whenever there is an electric current we can assume that there is a magnetic field present. There are two separate but related fields that are referred to as a magnetic field. Like electric field, magnetic field also is a vector quantity. The force that a magnetic field exerts on moving charged particles is expressed in terms of Lorentz force.

The relationship between electric and magnetic fields is expressed using Maxwell’s equations. James Clark Maxwell was the physicist who developed equations to explain electric and magnetic fields.

Electric and magnetic fields oscillate at right angles to one another. It is possible to have electric field without a magnetic field, such as in static electricity. Similarly, it is possible to have magnetic field without an electric field as in the case of a permanent magnet.

 Summary • Electric and magnetic fields are studied in a field of study of physics known as electromagnetism. • Both are separate entities but closely related to each other. • Electric field is the area surrounding a moving electrically charged particle which also produces a magnetic field. • The relationship between electric and magnetic fields is expressed using Maxwell’s equations. • Electric and magnetic fields are perpendicular to each other.

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