Browse Definitions :

electric field strength

Electric field strength is a quantitative expression of the intensity of an electric field at a particular location. The standard unit is the volt per meter (v/m or v · m -1). A field strength of 1 v/m represents a potential difference of one volt between points separated by one meter.

Any electrically charged object produces an electric field. This field has an effect on other charged objects in the vicinity. The field strength at a particular distance from an object is directly proportional to the electric charge, in coulombs, on that object. The field strength is inversely proportional to the distance from a charged object. The field-strength-vs-distance curve is a direct inverse function, and not an inverse-square function, because electric field strength is specified in terms of a linear displacement (per meter) rather than a surface area (per meter squared).

An alternative expression for the intensity of an electric field is electric flux density. This refers to the number of lines of electric flux passing orthogonally (at right angles) through a given surface area, usually one meter squared (1 m 2). Electric flux density, like electric field strength, is directly proportional to the charge on the object. But flux density diminishes with distance according to the inverse-square law, because it is specified in terms of a surface area (per meter squared) rather than a linear displacement (per meter).

Sometimes the strength of an electromagnetic field (EM field) is specified in terms of the intensity of its electric-field component. This is done by engineers and scientists when talking about the radio-frequency field strength at a certain location arising from sources such as distant transmitters, celestial objects, high-tension utility lines, computer displays, or microwave ovens. In this context, electric field strength is usually specified in microvolts per meter (µV/m or µV · m -1), nanovolts per meter (nV/m or nV · m -1), or picovolts per meter (pV/m or pV · m -1). The relationship among these units is shown in the table.


Unit To convert to v/m,
multiply by:
multiply by:
v/m 1 1
µV/m 10 -6 10 6
nV/m 10 -9 10 9
pV/m 10 -12 10 12


Also see: SI (International System of Units).

This was last updated in July 2015

Continue Reading About electric field strength

  • pure risk

    Pure risk refers to risks that are beyond human control and result in a loss or no loss with no possibility of financial gain.

  • risk reporting

    Risk reporting is a method of identifying risks tied to or potentially impacting an organization's business processes.

  • risk avoidance

    Risk avoidance is the elimination of hazards, activities and exposures that can negatively affect an organization and its assets.

  • What is risk mitigation?

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a business.

  • fault-tolerant

    Fault-tolerant technology is a capability of a computer system, electronic system or network to deliver uninterrupted service, ...

  • synchronous replication

    Synchronous replication is the process of copying data over a storage area network, local area network or wide area network so ...

  • MRAM (magnetoresistive random access memory)

    MRAM (magnetoresistive random access memory) is a method of storing data bits using magnetic states instead of the electrical ...

  • storage volume

    A storage volume is an identifiable unit of data storage. It can be a removable hard disk, but it does not have to be a unit that...

  • storage capacity planning

    Storage capacity planning is the practice of assessing current data storage needs and forecasting future storage requirements.