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supported by the National Science Foundation
written by John Belcher
designer: Michael Danziger
This is an animation of the creation of an electric field through charge separation. It begins with five negative and five positive charges, all at the same point in space (no electric field). One by one, the five positive charges are moved at constant velocity to the same position L along the horizontal axis. The strength of the electric field grows as each positive charge is moved into place.
EDITOR'S NOTE: We suggest using this animation with a closely related model by the same authors showing the opposite phenomenon: destruction of an electric field. See Related Materials for a link to MIT 8.02: Destroying an Electric Field.
For lecture notes that accompany this specific animation, click below:
MIT Open Courseware: Capacitance and Dielectrics Lecture Notes (pdf)
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MIT Physics 8.02: Electrostatics - Creating an Electric Field:
Covers the Same Topic As MIT Physics 8.02: Electrostatics - Creation of an Electric Dipole
This related animation by the same authors shows the separation of one positive and one negative charge of equal magnitudes, resulting in the classic electric dipole field pattern.relation by Caroline Hall
Accompanies MIT Physics 8.02: Electrostatics - Destroying an Electric Field
A companion animation by the same authors that depicts the opposite phenomenon: the destruction of an electric field. It begins with five positive and five negative electric charges separated by a distance L in space. One-by-one, the positive charges are moved to the position of the negative charges, with strength of field decreasing as each charge is moved into place.relation by Caroline Hall
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