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E&M 1 - Electric Fields and Gauss's Law

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Published on Oct 4, 2009

This is the first video in the Electricity and Magnetism sequence. We assume that the viewer is familiar with Coulomb's Law, and the point of the video is to introduce Gauss's Law. Gauss's Law is phrased in the language of electric fields, so we spend considerable time discussing the nature of electric fields. The viewer is probably familiar with some of the basic idea of electric fields, but unfamiliar with more advanced topics like electric flux. We define electric flux and provide some intuition using the analogy of fluid flow. Gauss's Law is stated and the fluid flow analogy is further used to motivate it.

Gauss's Law is the first of Maxwell's Equations, which describe all electric and magnetic phenomena. These equations are written in terms of the electric and magnetic fields, and as we explore more topics in E&M we will find the field point of view necessary.

This video is part of a series on introductory topics in physics. The target audience is beginning college students who have already had one semester of Newtonian Mechanics.

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