Electric Field in Two Dimensions

In this simulation, you can explore the concept of the electric field, in a two-dimensional situation. You can turn on 1 to 5 charged particles, and move a test charge around the plane near these charged particles to sample the electric field, produced by the charged particles, at various points. You can also turn on a grid of field vectors, which show the direction and, qualitatively, the magnitude of the field at a grid of equally spaced points in the plane in which the charged particles are located.

Here are some facts about the electric field from point charges:

• the magnitude of the electric field (E) produced by a point charge with a charge of magnitude Q, at a point a distance r away from the point charge, is given by the equation E = kQ/r2, where k is a constant with a value of 8.99 x 109 N m2/C2.
• the direction of the electric field produced by a point charge is away from the charge if the charge is positive, and toward the charge if the charge is negative.
• electric field is a vector, so when there are multiple point charges present, the net electric field at any point is the vector sum of the electric fields due to the individual charges.