# Definition electric field

Can someone verify whether this is correct?

Given the Coulomb force, we can define the electric field in a point in space as $\bar E = \frac{\bar F}{q}$, where q is a positive test charge and $\bar F$ is the Coulomb force acting on q. We make the hypothesis that q does not make the other charges to move. Rewriting the equation above, when a point charge Q acts on q, we find that $\bar E = \frac{1}{4 \pi \epsilon_0} \frac{Q (\bar r_q - \bar r_Q)}{|\bar r_q - \bar r_Q|^3}$. Hence, we can interpret the electric field as the force, that comes from a point charge Q, acting on a charge of $1C$ (we can regognize this in the formula above). Is this correct?

From wikipedia:

The electric field, ${\displaystyle \mathbf {E} }$, at a given point is defined as the (vector) force, ${\displaystyle \mathbf {F} }$, that would be exerted on a stationary test particle of unit charge by electromagnetic forces (i.e. the Lorentz force). A particle of charge ${\displaystyle q}$ would be subject to a force ${\displaystyle \mathbf {F} =q\mathbf {E} }$.

Do they mean the magnitude of the charge of a proton with unit charge? Or 1 coulomb?

I'm very confused. Can someone clearly explain what electric field is if my thinking about it is wrong? Is there an intuitive way to think about it?

• They mean 1 Coulomb. The charge on a proton is many orders of magnitude smaller. Mar 21, 2017 at 15:46