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Electric Field Viewer

Shodor > CSERD > Resources > Models > Electric Field Viewer

  Software  •  Instructions  •  Theory

Theory - Electric Field Viewer


The electric field viewer determines electrostatic field strength and electrostatic potential of a distribution of point charges.


After solving for field strength and potential, the background can be turned into a contour based color map by assigning colors to set values of the field strength, and interpolating for in between values.

Point charges are scattered using a random number generator to pick x-y pairs. For each x-y pair picked, the field strength is determined and used to create a probability that an iron filing would "stick" to that point. A third random number is created to see if the filing sticks. If the filing does not stick, then a new x-y pair is generated.


The viewer is presented in a Java Applet.

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