How does the electrical field influence the charge?

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mwmovr40 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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Electric fields are created by an electric charge.  In the world of Physics, a field is the region of space surrounding an object that allows that object to effect other objects through space without contact.  Thus an electric charge creates a field and it is through that field that it can interact with other electric charges.

The electric field creates a force that acts on a second charge.  The charge which is being affected by the field is called the "test charge".  The strength of the electric field depends on the size of the charge which is creating it: the greater the source charge, the greater the field strength.  Fields have a direction.  The direction of the electric field is the direction of force that would be created if the test charge is a positive charge.

Thus, a positive source charge would create an electric field which would force a positive test charge away and pulls a negative test charge toward it.  A negative source charge would create a force which attracts a positive test charge and repels a negative test charge.