line of force

line of force

noun Physics.
an imaginary line or curve in a field of force, as an electric field, such that the direction of the line at any point is that of the force in the field at that point.
Also called field line.


Origin:
1870–75

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World English Dictionary
line of force
 
n
an imaginary line representing a field of force, such as an electric or magnetic field, such that the tangent at any point is the direction of the field vector at that point

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
line of force  
A line used to indicate the direction of a field, especially an electric or magnetic field, at various points in space. The tangent of a line of force at each point indicates the orientation of the field at that point. Arrows are usually used to indicate the direction of the force. See Note at magnetism.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

line of force

in physics, path followed by an electric charge free to move in an electric field or a mass free to move in a gravitational field, or generally any appropriate test particle in a given force field. More abstractly, lines of force are lines in any such force field the tangent of which at any point gives the field direction at that point and the density of which gives the magnitude of the field. The concept of lines of force was introduced into physics in the 1830s by the English scientist Michael Faraday, who considered magnetic and electric effects in the region around a magnet or electric charge as a property of the region rather than an effect taking place at a distance from a cause

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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