# What is the electric field around a non-current carrying wire?

So that seems like a silly question but I can't quite rationalize something about it.

Electric field in between the plates of a capacitor is defined as E= emf/d.

A dipole antenna acts as a very strangely oriented capacitor building and releasing charge as voltage is applied and released.

A monopole antenna, acts as a capacitor with ground being the universe or very very far away. Still storing some charge and releasing it.

in all three of those applying a voltage creates an electric field around the wire and acts (to one degree or another) as a capacitor of sorts.

So why is it that no observable electric field is around say batteries. You can put the two positive terminals of batteries together no problem. But putting positive to positive would effectively divide by zero. E=emf/d d->0. Same with energized DC wires that don't have any current flowing through them. There's no repulsive force at all. But if they were both producing a positive electric field around themselves shouldn't they repel one another.

So here is the question. Is there an electric field around a DC energized wire that has no appreciable current flowing through it? If so why is there no interaction between it and other energized wires or plate? Do the charges just redistribute in a way that they aren't really pushing apart (lets face it there are a lot of available electrons present even in a positively charged anything).? This would imply that a flying charged particle will experience the field but that another energized wire would not. This is what I am thinking but I want someone with a little more understanding to correct me/enlighten me.

• What are you asking about? "why is there no interaction between it and other energised wires or plate?" But there is. Have you not seen wires get moved? It is just that you would usually need a LOT of charge to start seeing the effects. Commented Aug 9 at 3:58
• There are electric fields present around a conductor in the presence of an external field, due to surface charges. There are pretty good discussions on these already here, and here with good explanations here, here Commented Aug 9 at 4:53
• ~naturallyInconsistent Thank you for the response. I have only ever worked in low voltage micro electronics so I haven't seen wires get moved, but I do understand and appreciate what you wrote. you would think that 2 Wires both having an applied low voltage couldn't touch because if they touched distance goes to zero and the force between them would be asymptotic. But I am thinking as if the charge carriers on the wires would be stationary and not merely move within the wires themselves. I guess I need to play with some high votlages. lol Commented Aug 9 at 8:29
• ~mindfulamatter Thank you for the lings they are quite helpful and I apologize that I wasn't able to find discussions on specifically what I was looking for. I was asking more in regards to if the wires had a voltage themselves, thus creating the electric field. Every discussion I read pertained to wires in external fields, as you pointed out. Perhaps that was lack of imagination in choosing my search terms. Thank you for the time and the feed back Commented Aug 9 at 8:32