The absorption of an individual electrons captured on video

Researchers at the University of Gothenburg have observed the absorption of a single electron by a levitated droplet with such a magnification that it is visible with the naked eye and can even be measured with a normal millimeter ...

Stripes give away Majoranas

Majorana particles have been getting bad publicity: a claimed discovery in ultracold nanowires had to be retracted. Now Leiden physicists open up a new door to detecting Majoranas in a different experimental system, the Fu-Kane ...

Nanoparticles: The complex rhythm of chemistry

Most commercial chemicals are produced using catalysts. Usually, these catalysts consist of tiny metal nanoparticles that are placed on an oxidic support. Similar to a cut diamond, whose surface consists of facets oriented ...

Research team presents a new type of particle accelerator

Since they are far more compact than today's accelerators, which can be kilometers long, plasma accelerators are considered as a promising technology for the future. An international research group has now made significant ...

The curious incident of Swarm and sprites in the night-time

We are all familiar with the bolts of lightning that accompany heavy storms. While these flashes originate in storm clouds and strike downwards, a much more elusive type forms higher up in the atmosphere and shoots up towards ...

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Electric field

In physics, the space surrounding an electric charge or in the presence of a time-varying magnetic field has a property called an electric field. This electric field exerts a force on other electrically charged objects. The concept of an electric field was introduced by Michael Faraday.

The electric field is a vector field with SI units of newtons per coulomb (N C−1) or, equivalently, volts per metre (V m−1). The SI base units of the electric field are kg·m·s−3·A−1. The strength of the field at a given point is defined as the force that would be exerted on a positive test charge of +1 coulomb placed at that point; the direction of the field is given by the direction of that force. Electric fields contain electrical energy with energy density proportional to the square of the field intensity. The electric field is to charge as gravitational acceleration is to mass and force density is to volume.

A moving charge has not just an electric field but also a magnetic field, and in general the electric and magnetic fields are not completely separate phenomena; what one observer perceives as an electric field, another observer in a different frame of reference perceives as a mixture of electric and magnetic fields. For this reason, one speaks of "electromagnetism" or "electromagnetic fields." In quantum mechanics, disturbances in the electromagnetic fields are called photons, and the energy of photons is quantized.

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