I understand that this is a consequence of the conservative nature of electric field, but then how does an electric dipole form closed loops?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ the static electric lines do not form closed loop, the charges are singularities of the field lines $\endgroup$ – hyportnex Mar 12 '17 at 2:15
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, electrostatic field lines don't form closed loops because $\vec{\nabla} \times \vec{E} = 0$, meaning it is a curl-free vector field. This is a property of a conservative vector field, as it can be expressed as the gradient of some function. (In this case, the electric field being $E = -\nabla V$. $\endgroup$ – vs_292 Jun 21 '17 at 9:16

Electric field lines of an electric dipole do not form closed loops .See here ,they begin at positive charges and end at negative charges.

But magnetic field lines form closed loops ,see the difference

Magnetic fields form closed loops because there are no magnetic monopoles.

See this post for more information

Is there a magnetic line that is a Eucliden straight line?

But unlike magnetic monopoles electric monopoles exist in nature so electric field lines need not form closed loops.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.