# Electric Flux

JoVE Core
Physik
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JoVE Core Physik
Electric Flux

### Nächstes Video23.2: Calculation of Electric Flux

Electric flux is defined as the number of electric field lines penetrating a surface of a given area that can be either open or closed.

Consider an open surface with many tiny elements with area dA placed in an electric field.

The area is made as a vector with the same magnitude as the area of the element and the direction perpendicular to the element.

The flux through each element is given by the dot product of the electric field and the area vector. The net flux is obtained by integrating this product over the entire surface.

If the surface is closed with electric charges inside it, the electric field lines penetrate through the surface.

The area vectors point in different directions, always from inside to outside. The net electric flux can then be obtained similarly as before.

The flux can be either positive or negative based on whether it enters or leaves the surface and is determined by the type of charge that creates the electric field.

## Electric Flux

The concept of flux describes how much of something goes through a given area. More formally, it is the dot product of a vector field within an area. For a better understanding, consider an open rectangular surface with a small area that is placed in a uniform electric field. The larger the area, the more field lines go through it and, hence, the greater the flux; similarly, the stronger the electric field (represented by a greater density of lines), the greater the flux. On the other hand, if the area is rotated so that the plane is aligned with the field lines, none will pass through, and there will be no flux. If the area is perpendicular to the electric field then the angle between their vectors becomes zero, resulting in maximum flux. Suppose the surface is rotated in such a way that it forms a 60° angle with the electric field; in this case, the electric flux results in half of the product of the electric field multiplied by the area.

For discussing the flux of a vector field, it is helpful to introduce an area vector. This vector has the same magnitude as the area and is directed normal to that surface. Since the normal to a flat surface can point in either direction from the surface, the direction of the area vector of an open surface needs to be chosen. However, if a surface is closed, then the surface encloses a volume. In that case, the direction of the normal vector at any point on the surface is from the inside to the outside.

The electric flux through an surface is then defined as the surface integral of the scalar product of the electric field, and the area vector and is represented by the symbol Φ. It is a scalar quantity and has an SI unit of newton-meters squared per coulomb (N·m2/C). In general, a rectangular surface is considered an open surface as it does not contain a volume, and a closed surface can be a sphere as it contains a volume.