Electric field lines

1. Mar 6, 2004

lamp post

the concept of electric field lines are came into existence to satisfy the special theory of relativity which implies that action of electrostatic forces can not be instantaneous but takes some time to act on teh other charge i.e. if a charge produces an electric field then its effect will be observed by another charge some distance away but htis effect would take some time to take place and will not be instantaneous. but the problem is that the STR(special theory of relativity) came into existence in 1905 whereas the concept of electric field lines is of 19 th century! How is it possible?

2. Mar 6, 2004

Staff: Mentor

Huh? The problem of spatiotemporal locality was recognized long before relativity came around. As you point out, the concept of fields (and field lines) came about to solve the problem of instantaneous action at a distance---but this predates relativity.

3. Mar 6, 2004

Integral

Staff Emeritus
Magnetic field lines are NOT a product of SR. There that should clear up your dilemma! :)