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Electric Field vs. Magnetic Field

An electric field is an invisible force field caused by an electric charge resulting in an alteration of space (air or vacuum) around the charge. A magnetic field is an invisible force field generated by a moving electric charge (current), spinning electrons, and magnets.

How are Magnetic and Electric Fields Similar

Both electric field and magnetic field are two aspects of the same concept. Both are components of an electromagnetic wave moving perpendicular to each other. A changing electric field produces a magnetic field, and a changing magnetic field produces an electric field (Faraday’s Law). Maxwell’s equations explain the relationship between the two.

Electric and magnetic fields are vector quantities represented by invisible lines drawn around objects generating them.

Electric Field vs Magnetic Field

Difference Between Electric and Magnetic Field

Electric FieldMagnetic Field
DefinitionInvisible force field generated by an electric charge, which can be stationary or movingInvisible force field generated by a moving charge, spinning electrons, and magnets
Where is it formedBetween positive and negative voltage potentialsBetween two pole pieces of a magnet
SymbolEB
FormulaE = F/qB = φ/A
SI UnitNewton/Coulomb or Volt/meterTesla
Directly proportional toChargeCurrent
Inversely proportional toDistanceDistance
ForceProportional to the electric chargeProportional to the electric charge velocity
MonopoleExistDoes not exist
Source and sinkExistDoes not exist
Divergence∇. E = ρ/ε∇. B = 0
ConservativeYesNo
In electromagnetic wavesPerpendicular to the magnetic fieldPerpendicular to the electric field
Field linesOriginates from a positive charge and terminates at a negative chargeOriginates from the north pole and terminates at the south pole
Do field lines form a closed-loopNoYes
Measured byElectrometerMagnetometer

Article was last reviewed on Friday, July 23, 2021

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