Electric Field Vs Magnetic Field: 12 Key Difference with Comparison Table

What is the difference between electric and magnetic fields?

An object with a moving charge tends to experience both the electric field and the magnetic field. However, these two fields are quite different though they have some close similarities.

The main difference between the electric field and the magnetic field is that the electric field induces around the static charge particle whereas the magnetic field produces around the poles of the magnet.

Read More: Difference between Scalar and Vector Quantities 

electric field vs magnetic field

Comparison Table (Electric Field vs Magnetic Field)

Basic Terms Electric Field Magnetic Field
MeaningIt is a force around electrically charged particleIt is the region around the magnet where poles exhibit the force of attraction or repulsion
S.I UnitVolt/meter

or

Newton/coulomb

Tesla

or

(Newton × Second) /(Coulomb × Meter)

Measuring InstrumentElectrometerMagnetometer
SymbolEB
PoleMono poleDipole
Electromagnetic FieldAre perpendicular to the magnetic fieldAre perpendicular to the electric field
Field LineInduces on a positive charge and terminate on a negative chargeGenerate at the north pole and terminate at the south pole.
LoopElectric lines do  not form a closed-loopMagnetic lines tend to form a closed-loop
Type of chargeNegative or positive charge.North or south pole.
ForceRepulsion force on like charges and attraction force on unlike charges.Repulsion force on like poles and attraction force on unlike poles.
DimensionExists in two dimensionExists in three dimension
WorkThe electric field can do workThe magnetic field cannot do work

What Is Electric Field?

It is a force around electrically charged particles and it is also known as electrical field intensity. The electric field is a vector quantity since it has both magnitude and direction.

The electric field is measured as newton per coulomb or volt per meter. An electrometer is an instrument used to measure the electric field.

What Is Magnetic Field?

It is the region around the magnet where poles exhibit a force of attraction and repulsion. The magnetic field is known to induce electric charges on a moving object within this space.

The magnetic field is a vector quantity since it has both direction and magnitude. A magnetometer is an instrument used to measure the magnetic fields.

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Main Difference between Electric and Magnetic Field

  1. The electric field is the region around electric charge where electric force exist whereas the magnetic field is the region of the magnet where the force of attraction or repulsion is exhibited.
  2. The S.I unit of the magnetic field is Tesla while that of the electric field is Newton/coulomb
  3. The electrometer is an instrument used to measure the electric field while the magnetometer is an instrument used to measure the magnetic field
  4. The electric field is perpendicular to the magnetic field in the electromagnetic field while the magnetic field is perpendicular to the electric field in the electromagnetic field
  5. The electric field produces unit pole charge whereas the magnetic field caused by a dipole of a magnet
  6. Electric field lines induce positive charge and eliminate negative charge whereas magnetic field lines generate north pole and terminate the south pole
  7. The electric field is directly proportional to the flux while the magnetic field depends on the number of field lines produced by the magnet
  8. The electric field is induced by a single charge whereas the magnetic field is induced by both the north and south pole of a magnet
  9. The symbol of the electric field is E while that of the magnetic field is B
  10. The electric field is measured in two dimensions whereas the magnetic field is measured in three dimension
  11. Electric field lines can do work whereas magnetic field lines cannot do work
  12. Magnetic field lines tend to form a closed-loop whereas electric field lines do not form a close loop

Similarities between Electric and Magnetic Field

  1. Both are vector quantities
  2. Both are measurable
  3. Both produce attraction and repulsion forces
  4. Both are proportional to electrical charge
  5. Both are perpendicular to each other in the electromagnetic field

Read More: Difference between Mass and Weight

Comparison Video

Summary

The core difference between the magnetic field and the electric field is that the magnetic field is the region around the magnet where poles exhibit force of attraction or repulsion whereas the electric field is the force around the electrical charge particle.

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