# How does electric field apply force on charges?

As far as I understand magnetic field applies force on charges or charged/ magnetic materials via the electromagnetic waves(or photons) emitted by moving electrons. And electric field also uses electromagnetic waves for it. My question is if these waves can be only produced from the moving particles, how can stationary electrons apply force on other charges with their electric field? For example how can electrons move towards to positive charges in a wire under a certain voltage? What created the force on them, while all the charges were stationary?

• The definition of electric field is force divided by the charge. do the electric field is supplying the force.Your picture of "via the electromagnetic waves(or photons) emitted by moving electrons. " is wrong.. but even not moving e an emit virtual photons. Aug 25, 2022 at 14:29
• > magnetic field applies force on charges or charged/ magnetic materials via the electromagnetic waves(or photons) emitted by moving electrons. This is not true. Static field is not composed of EM waves. The "force is due to photon exchange" is just a "poetic" (in the bad sense) manner of speech describing certain terms/integrals, there are no "real photons" in static magnetic or electric field. Aug 25, 2022 at 15:22
• It seems to me that you have quite a confused picture of Electromagnetism. Before answering this question, first you need to get a clear picture of basic Electromagnetism. For the first part of your question, Electrostatic should be enough. For the latter part, you can take a look at steady electric currents, and Lorentz's force for moving charges. In both cases, you don't need to rely on full non-steady equations of Electromagnetism, i.e. full set of Maxwell's equations, where the wave equations come from. Aug 25, 2022 at 15:57
• Please clarify your specific problem or provide additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it's hard to tell exactly what you're asking.
– Community Bot
Aug 25, 2022 at 17:05

And electric field also uses electromagnetic waves for it.

An electromagnetic wave is an oscillation of the electromagnetic field. Or in simpler terms it is an oscillation of the electric and magnetic fields.

But that doesn't mean that there is no electric field when there is no wave.

It's not that the field is something that appears because there is a wave, rather the wave is something that happens in the field.

Even when there is no wave, if there is a non-zero field, the Coulomb force will affect charged particles and magnetic forces will affect moving charged particles. Combined, these are called the Lorentz force.

What created the force on them, while all the charges were stationary?

A stationary charge produces a (static, meaning unchanging) electric field, according to Coulomb's law.

The static electric field produces a force on all charged particles that encounter it.