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# What is an electric field?

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What is an electric field?
Is it matter?Does it have mass?
If no then how does it store energy in a capacitor?Since to store energy,there must be prescence of matter.
e.g:
If I lift a block of metal,energy is transffered from one matter(namely me)to another matter(namely block)and the block stores it as potential energy.
how do U explain it in terms of electric or magnetic fields?

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hai..i think this may help u http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_field

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Well a capacitor works like this:

A Ceramic capacitor is composed of two parralel metal plates. When you charge one plate with electrons, a negative electric field is created. The second plate loses electrons (Since the capacitor is in a circuit) and a positive field is created.

The two field, co-existing, maintain the charged state and the capacitor stores energy.

About lifting the box, The only field involved here is the field of gravity, not electrical fields. (Magnetic Perhaps)?

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So,If we consider electrons as particles,then is the energy stored as potential energy in electrons?
When the battery pushes the electrons from the -ve terminal(i.e electrons start disssipiating their potential energy aquired from battery charging),those electrons gather on one plate of capacitor,increasing the charge of that plate.
Now what causes the electrons from other plate to travel to +ve terminal of the battery,which is in fact at lower potential?i.e how is potential difference established inside the capacitor?
Please,if whatever written above sounds too clumsy,provide me a simpler understanding of "how capacitor works" .Also invited,"how inductor works".
What makes capacitor store energy and resistor dissipiate the same energy?

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Yevgeni P.

A gravitational field is completely differant to a magnetic and electric fields both of the later are the two essential componants of electromagnetic ratiation.

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How are they different?
my question again,
How does the capacitor works?

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A gravitational field affects anything and everything made of physical matter it dosen't have to be charged or magnetized. An electric field is caused when two bodies have a potential differance i.e. one surplus electrons (is negitivly charged) and the other has an electron deficiency (is positivly charged). In this respect electrostatics is similar to magnets opposites attract and likes repel.

Electric fields and capacitors are all electrostatics so the following links might be useful.
Static electricity page
What is static electricity
How Capacitors Work
Van de Graff Generator

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Well, electrons tend to repell one another, so the charged plate will repell the electrons on the other.

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what about an electronic force field?

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Do those even exist? I thought that was Scifi.

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hi shekhar!
electric fields are nothing but a set of hypothetical lines along which a charge placed in that region will move.it is just a pattern.how a charge influences its surroundings and other charges.thats it!

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so they are real?  how would i make one big enough to stand behind?  and whould items beable to pass through it?

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My friend dE here says that electric fields are nothing but a term invented to describe the relationships between charged particles.

It is as real as the Earth's rotational axis.

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pass through it?
my friend anything can pass through it!
even the charges the field pattern will change by a small amount in such a case.remember no two field lines can ever intersect.
thats me!
;D

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so it is not much of a force field ?

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WHY NOT?
indeed it is a force field.
it forces a positive charge to move along the lines of the field.

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