School of Physics Lecture Demonstration Manual

El-5 Visualisation of Electric Field Lines

Published: Tuesday 14 March 2006 - Updated: Thursday 31 March 2011


To demonstrate the electric field line configuration for various pairs of electrodes.



Click on pictures to enlarge.

EFiled Visualisation Pic 4

EFiled Visualisation Pic 3

EFiled Visualisation Pic 2

EField Visualisation Pic1

Visualisation of E-field Lines Diagram


The chosen electrode plate is placed in the shallow glass dish containing a mixture of semolina and castor oil. The electrodes are connected to the poles of the Whimshurst machine which produces a high D.C. potential. The unit is placed on the overhead projector.

The semolina aligns itself along the lines of the electric field. The electrode configurations available are,

Safety notes

Electrical safety 

Sharps Safety 


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