Education Technology

Electric Fields

Updated on 03/11/2015

Activity Overview

In this lesson, students will use a simulation to explore electric fields near point charges.

Objectives

  • Students will explore the concept of electric fields near point charges.
  • Students will observe and describe the patterns of the electric fields surrounding a single positive charge, a single negative charge, two positive charges, and two charges with opposite signs.

Vocabulary

  • electric field
  • charge
  • electric field lines

About the Lesson

This lesson simulates electric fields near point charges. The first problem explores the electric field near a single positive or a single negative charge. The second problem explores the electric field near two identical positive charges. The third problem explores the electric field near two opposite charges. The second and third problems allow students to leave images of the electric field vector on the screen to build up patterns.
As a result, students will:

  • Identify factors which affect the magnitude of the electric field.
  • Describe the patterns related to the direction of the field in each scenario.