Forces between electric charges
The forces that act between electric charges can be described by visualization the charges as being situated in an electric field. Such a region has special properties by reason of the presence of the charges. An electric field is defined as a region in which there would be a force upon a charge brought into that region.
A close analogy to an electric field is the gravitational filled of the earth. A body in the earth’s field is acted upon by this field; this force is the weight of the body.
An electric field has two important characteristics: direction and intensity. The direction of an electric field at a point is defined as the direction of the force upon a positive charge placed at that point. In the case of the earth’s gravitational field the direction of the force on a mass near the earth is always directed toward the center of the earth. In the case of the electric field area a positive charge the force on a positive test charge will be directed away from the charge that produces the field, but toward a negative charge.
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