Lectures on Physics has been derived from Benjamin Crowell's Light and Matter series of free introductory textbooks on physics. See the editorial for more information....

Field generated by an electric eel

Question: Suppose an electric eel is 1 m long, and generates a voltage difference of 1000 volts between its head and tail. What is the electric field in the water around it?

Solution: We are only calculating the amount of field, not its direction, so we ignore positive and negative signs. Subject to the possibly inaccurate assumption of a constant field parallel to the eel's body, we have

Last Update: 2009-06-21