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Thread: what is the electric field...?

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    Senior Member scap's Avatar
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    Default what is the electric field...?

    is it just something created by scientists to predict the action of charged particles on other charged particles?

    ..is the field just the force carrier of the electromagnetic force...(photon?) or just a simple construct for scientists to predict natural phenomena in the presence of charged and moving charged particles...I really just don't get it...I want to keep thinking it's just something created by scientists to predict the action of charged things on other charged things, or is the e-magnetic field actually a concept that we humans have made up to explain the behaviour of photons? Like we have made up the concept of waves in liquids to explain the behaviour of atoms pushing against each other?

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    Senior Member RD_Wrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: what is the electric field...?

    Quote Originally Posted by scap View Post
    is it just something created by scientists to predict the action of charged particles on other charged particles?

    ..is the field just the force carrier of the electromagnetic force...(photon?) or just a simple construct for scientists to predict natural phenomena in the presence of charged and moving charged particles...I really just don't get it...I want to keep thinking it's just something created by scientists to predict the action of charged things on other charged things, or is the e-magnetic field actually a concept that we humans have made up to explain the behaviour of photons? Like we have made up the concept of waves in liquids to explain the behaviour of atoms pushing against each other?
    I *think* I get what you're asking...

    The Electric Field is the field of force in the space around a stationary charged particle, that can be measured by the action of a positively charged particle placed in it's vicinity. It's not really "made up", it just can't be seen without observing it's influence on other charged particles...kinda like gravity...

    The Electromagnetic Field on the other hand is the field of force generated by the motion of said charged particles. More specifically the waves of force generated by the oscilation of the negatively charged particles interacting with positively charged ions.

    As far as photon behavior in a static EM environment, not a clue. In light (also an EM field) photons are easy to "mentally grasp" as you can "see" light. When it comes to the concept of "virtual photons" interacting between charged particles in a conductor, I'm afraid you'll lose me. I can say that if there is particle interaction (whether it be in an electric current, radio signal, x-ray, etc) there MUST be photons. But whether they are the driving force? I'm afraid quantum mechanics is out of my league currently.

    Hope that helps?...
    Last edited by RD_Wrangler; May 4th, 2009 at 09:36 PM.
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    Administrator TheCableVine's Avatar
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    Default Re: what is the electric field...?

    I can tell you that the field created by an electric current running through a wire is not made up. This field is what transformers use to transfer electricity from one coil of wire to another.

    Or if you use that old experiment where you wrap a wire around a nail and then hook it to a battery it turns the nail into an electromagnet. It is the field that is causing this to happen.

    In addition, it is this field that makes it possible to locate a cable using a clamp.

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    Senior Member RD_Wrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: what is the electric field...?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCableVine View Post
    I can tell you that the field created by an electric current running through a wire is not made up. This field is what transformers use to transfer electricity from one coil of wire to another.

    Or if you use that old experiment where you wrap a wire around a nail and then hook it to a battery it turns the nail into an electromagnet. It is the field that is causing this to happen.

    In addition, it is this field that makes it possible to locate a cable using a clamp.
    It's the field that allows us to locate at all. The EMF is what the coiled antenna in the reciever detects.
    Character is what you are in the dark. It is the things you do, when nobody can see, and nobody will ever know, that define who you are as an individual.

    "Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have ... The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases." Thomas Jefferson

    Per Scientiam Vires!

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    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: what is the electric field...?

    scap........after reading all that stuff..............let's go smoke another one and laugh this off tomorrow!!!!!????? hahahhahahahah
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

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    Senior Member Dave72's Avatar
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    Default Re: what is the electric field...?

    Quote Originally Posted by RD_Wrangler View Post
    It's the field that allows us to locate at all. The EMF is what the coiled antenna in the reciever detects.
    I think it would be important to point out, that it's the 'motion' of the field that allows the receiver to detect it. I field has to move in relation to another object (or the object moves in the field) in order to generate a voltage difference in the object. The basics of a/c signals are that the voltage is always changing (level and polarity).. this causes the field to grow and shrink.. and that 'motion' generates a signal in our tuned receiver antenna(s).

    I didnt look it up or anything,but im thinking the electric field itself is just electrically charged whatevers that are in the 'zone' of the field. So a field in the 'air' is just varying levels of charged nitrogen/oxygen/etc atoms.
    Im not sure if its because of the 'energy level' thing where electrons will jump up to a higher orbit and thus have more 'energy'.. OR if its more like electricity flowing down a wire.. the 'spare' electrons jumping one way leaving the 'holes' to appear to travel the other way.

    Groovy stuff anyhow..
    (May you live in interesting times)

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    Senior Member scap's Avatar
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    Default Re: what is the electric field...?

    Here's a more direct question.
    ...let me think up an example...

    If you had a 600 pr coming out of a manhole (duct run) that shoots into a nearby underground splice, right next to two crossboxes...The 600 will splice into a 400, and a 1200 (T-bone style splice), each going to separate nearby locations easily accessible... To take advantage of the EMF, wouldn't it be more logical if there was no access point other than the 1200 and the 400, (IE the 600 is spliced underground, no other access point other than the 12 and the 4) ....to connect to the 1200 and trace the line back to the 600 coming out of the manhole, because the 1200 in itself should be producing a larger circumference of a magnetic field due to there being more charged particles surrounding it (Larger EMF in general?)


    edit- (in theory wouldn't this give you a better signal?)
    Last edited by scap; May 12th, 2009 at 10:29 PM.

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    Senior Member scap's Avatar
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    Default Re: what is the electric field...?

    also, the 400 and the 1200 would be located in the two separate crossboxes.

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    Default Re: what is the electric field...?

    Wow, a "boxer" whom contemplates the complexites of quantum mechanics. Hmm...must be all the hot sauce firing up those KKKajun synapses. ( "..........the KKKajun Ku Klux Klan Is Gonna get you bye and bye ,........") Though I DO Love Star Trek, I believe once you dissect the universe down to it's most infintessimal quark, you get...nothing. It is fun and interesting to solve the genome sequencese within the dna strands, and explosions within nothing creating something in space; but it brings man no closer to meaning in reason for his existance, and only further to the brink of despair in the realization of the inevitable. Party hard, Smoke Weed, Drink Beer, **** sluts, Rock N Roll!:
    Last edited by advanceMan; May 14th, 2009 at 12:05 AM. Reason: wrong emoticon

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    Default Re: what is the electric field...?

    Quote Originally Posted by yahoo View Post
    scap........after reading all that stuff..............let's go smoke another one and laugh this off tomorrow!!!!!????? hahahhahahahah

    Considering my head hurts just reading his question, DON'T BOGART THAT!!! Pass it here!
    Sorry Scap, you lost me completely.

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    Senior Member RD_Wrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: what is the electric field...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave72 View Post
    I think it would be important to point out, that it's the 'motion' of the field that allows the receiver to detect it. I field has to move in relation to another object (or the object moves in the field) in order to generate a voltage difference in the object. The basics of a/c signals are that the voltage is always changing (level and polarity).. this causes the field to grow and shrink.. and that 'motion' generates a signal in our tuned receiver antenna(s).

    I didnt look it up or anything,but im thinking the electric field itself is just electrically charged whatevers that are in the 'zone' of the field. So a field in the 'air' is just varying levels of charged nitrogen/oxygen/etc atoms.
    Im not sure if its because of the 'energy level' thing where electrons will jump up to a higher orbit and thus have more 'energy'.. OR if its more like electricity flowing down a wire.. the 'spare' electrons jumping one way leaving the 'holes' to appear to travel the other way.

    Groovy stuff anyhow..
    Dave, DC current produces an Electro-Magnetic Field as well. The "motion" involved in the production of an EMF is on a sub-atomic level and refers to the movement of charged particles along a conductor.

    The Electric Field on the other hand is not dependent upon particle motion, though it DOES require motion for it's detection, in that it can only be detected by observing the movement of interacting particles.
    Last edited by RD_Wrangler; May 15th, 2009 at 01:49 AM.
    Character is what you are in the dark. It is the things you do, when nobody can see, and nobody will ever know, that define who you are as an individual.

    "Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have ... The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases." Thomas Jefferson

    Per Scientiam Vires!

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    Senior Member RD_Wrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: what is the electric field...?

    Quote Originally Posted by scap View Post
    Here's a more direct question.
    ...let me think up an example...

    If you had a 600 pr coming out of a manhole (duct run) that shoots into a nearby underground splice, right next to two crossboxes...The 600 will splice into a 400, and a 1200 (T-bone style splice), each going to separate nearby locations easily accessible... To take advantage of the EMF, wouldn't it be more logical if there was no access point other than the 1200 and the 400, (IE the 600 is spliced underground, no other access point other than the 12 and the 4) ....to connect to the 1200 and trace the line back to the 600 coming out of the manhole, because the 1200 in itself should be producing a larger circumference of a magnetic field due to there being more charged particles surrounding it (Larger EMF in general?)


    edit- (in theory wouldn't this give you a better signal?)
    First a quick addendum on the nature of an electro-magnetic field. An EMF is the only form of energy (known to date) that can travel in a complete vacuum, but can only exist in the presence of moving charged particles. The easiest and most familiar examples of this are light, radio-waves, x-rays/waves, and gamma rays/waves, all of which are EMFs with different wave frequencies. The form we utilize in locating is the generation of an EMF within the radio wave frequencies.

    Line circumference isn't really a factor in determining the recievers ability to detect the EMF generated by your locate transmitter (radio). We've all had the 50pr that SCREAMED at us in lowest freq. but had a 900pr next to it that wouldn't locate in 33.3Khz/3watts, right? Conductor integrity, circuit distance, disipitation and capacitation/resistor qualities of the target line are the more likely factors in determining the strength of the EMF generated by your transmitter.

    In answer to your question, directional flow toward the CO would dictate which line I energized in order to find the splice. Since particle flow is already passively established in the conductor by service signal within the pairs, any signal placed on the line by you will be more inclined to follow the same path. With less resistance comes less dissipation, thus a stronger and more continuous EMF (signal) to detect.
    Last edited by RD_Wrangler; May 15th, 2009 at 02:01 AM.
    Character is what you are in the dark. It is the things you do, when nobody can see, and nobody will ever know, that define who you are as an individual.

    "Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have ... The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases." Thomas Jefferson

    Per Scientiam Vires!

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    Senior Member RD_Wrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: what is the electric field...?

    On a side note:

    For those that believe knowing the mechanics and science behind locating is a waste, I have this to ask you - Why do you think electricians/HVAC/communications techs are paid so well?

    Could it be because their profession is recognized as a potentialy dangerous field to unschooled practitioners, and that individuals without the proper training and skills could be the cause of injury or loss of life?

    Because without a firm understanding and a required certification based on their knowledge of the mechanical and scientific principals, they CAN'T perform their services. Period. Everyone knows electricity makes the light bulb glow....very few can explain WHY or HOW it does. There are fewer still with both the mechanical and scientific knowledge to wire a house safely to provide that light. They are respected and well compensated for that knowledge.

    Maybe, just maybe, if our profession were veiwed as a Mechanical Science, rather than as an "art", it may recieve the respect it deserves. Calling it an "art" opens the door to the "I can train a monkey to do this" mentality or the "It's just hooking up and waving the magic wand" thinking that has led to the whole 2 weeks training, throw them in the field for 10-12 buck an hour, and dont worry about techs that actually know what they're doing, ANYONE can do it, scenario.

    The tools and mechanics behind our industry are based firmly in hard, proven science. Frankly, it's not easy science to grasp. Not everyone CAN do this. The more you understand that science, the more you understand your profession. And vice-versa, the more people that see the vast amount of science and mechanics behind the skill, the more they will be required to value and respect it.

    Maybe, a liscencing and certification process as is required for electricians and such, could place VALUE on our skills. It's a hell of a concept, but would never take hold if we as technicians can't be bothered with or respect the science ourselves.
    Character is what you are in the dark. It is the things you do, when nobody can see, and nobody will ever know, that define who you are as an individual.

    "Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have ... The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases." Thomas Jefferson

    Per Scientiam Vires!

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    Default Re: what is the electric field...?

    ya, if it weren't for nerds like you guys nothing would get done.

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    Senior Member scap's Avatar
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    Default Re: what is the electric field...?

    Quote Originally Posted by advanceMan View Post
    Wow, a "boxer" whom contemplates the complexites of quantum mechanics. Hmm...must be all the hot sauce firing up those KKKajun synapses. ( "..........the KKKajun Ku Klux Klan Is Gonna get you bye and bye ,........") Though I DO Love Star Trek, I believe once you dissect the universe down to it's most infintessimal quark, you get...nothing. It is fun and interesting to solve the genome sequencese within the dna strands, and explosions within nothing creating something in space; but it brings man no closer to meaning in reason for his existance, and only further to the brink of despair in the realization of the inevitable. Party hard, Smoke Weed, Drink Beer, **** sluts, Rock N Roll!:
    I am not a boxer.
    "The truth is rarely pure and never simple"-Oscar Wilde

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