Do Electric Fields Go Through Solid Objects

What makes an amazing designer? What makes a new product fly off the shelves? There are many factors that all have to come together to make the ideal package, however, one of the key components is that of testing and safety.

Without this type of testing, a product is quite simply not set up to succeed.

New products need to be EMC tested, however, unless a person has a keen interest or previous history within the field of EMC testing, it can all seem rather complicated, to say the least.

There are many elements to EMC testing that, when researched in advance, can make the testing period run more smoothly.

For instance, do electric fields go through solid objects? Allow us to provide both a simple and a more detailed answer.

Do Electric Fields Go Through Solid Objects – The Short Answer

Yes! In one word that is your very clear and simple answer. Electric fields do something called coupling, they couple to materials. For this to happen there needs to be an electric response of some sort in the material.

To be able to go through a solid object easily the coupling needs to be reduced. This means that where materials are weakly coupled the electric field will pass through the object at an easier rate.

However, much of this is dependant on the frequency and the material properties at a particular frequency. To understand more we need to move on to our more detailed answer.

Do Electric Fields Go Through Solid Objects – The Detailed Answer

To fully understand how electric fields go through solid objects we need to have a clearer understanding of electric fields. Here are several key points.

1. Electric fields (also known as E fields) occur for all frequencies from audio in wires to your trusty old microwave, the list is, quite literally, endless.

All of these will have a different wavelength and so the material properties will change as the wavelength changes.

2. An electric field is created when there is a potential difference in a gap, in contrast, H fields are created by currents (another topic which we are not going to discuss here).

How About In A Perfect Conductor – Is There An Electric Field?

No, there is not an E field in this case. Although things don’t stop right there. The perfect conductor can provide the path so that Voltage is able to create an electric field between another conductor where there is a potential difference.

Classical And Quantum Models

Electromagnetic fields can fall into one of two categories; electric material properties (where there is a response to an E field) and magnetic properties (where there is a response to an H field).

The two major mechanisms at play here are Classical models and Quantum electrodynamic models. We don’t have time to discuss each in detail here but the topic is well worth considering.

So, Do Electric Fields Go Through Solid Objects?

Indeed, they do. However, how easily the electric field permeates the object depends on a variety of factors. Of course, for product designers and creators, understanding the in and outs of electric fields may not be at the top of the agenda.

Thankfully, that is why experts within the world of EMC testing exist.

Not only can they provide a detailed guide as to how electric fields work (including how they function with solid objects) but they can also take care of all of the relevant testing.

In that way, designers are able to put their time and effort into what they do best; creating safe products that are going to fly off the shelves.

If you would like to know more about the EMC standards and product testing or need EMC testing done, then look no further than Compliance Engineering.

We are the definitive source for all of your Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) requirements. Please call us today on + 61 3 9763 3079 or contact us here.