Electronics & Semiconductors

Perovskite allows a greener fabrication of transistors

Physicists have found a way to make transistors using materials that are highly rated for their performance in next-generation solar cells and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The researchers have overcome the problem of the ...

Electronics & Semiconductors

Cutting through noise for better solar cells

As society moves towards a renewable energy future, it's crucial that solar panels convert light into electricity as efficiently as possible. Some state-of-the-art solar cells are close to the theoretical maximum of efficiency—and ...

Electronics & Semiconductors

Microchips of the future: Suitable insulators are still missing

For decades, there has been a trend in microelectronics towards ever smaller and more compact transistors. 2D materials such as graphene are seen as a beacon of hope here: they are the thinnest material layers that can possibly ...

Electronics & Semiconductors

For neural research, wireless chip shines light on the brain

Researchers have developed a chip that is powered wirelessly and can be surgically implanted to read neural signals and stimulate the brain with both light and electrical current. The technology has been demonstrated successfully ...

Electronics & Semiconductors

Wirelessly charging electric cars as they drive

Stanford engineers have taken a big step toward making it practical for electric cars to recharge as they speed along futuristic highways built to "refuel" vehicles wirelessly.

Energy & Green Tech

Scientists tap unused energy source to power smart sensor networks

The electricity that lights our homes and powers our appliances also creates small magnetic fields that are present all around us. Scientists have developed a new mechanism capable of harvesting this wasted magnetic field ...

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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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