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I Fields, one universal or several (i.e. E)?

  1. Mar 23, 2016 #1
    Using the electric field as an example: Does modern physics see the electric field as one universal field covering the entire universe or because of the vast distances involved it can be several?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 23, 2016 #2
    Since the range of the electric field is infinite, it's all one field.
     
  4. Mar 23, 2016 #3

    Orodruin

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    By definition, a field is a quantity which has a value everywhere. Range is irrelevant. The field can be zero, but it is everywhere.
     
  5. Mar 23, 2016 #4
    If we are dealing with short range fields such as exemplified by the weak or strong nuclear force, is it still considered as would be a long range force such as the electric field? Is it everywhere, universal as one field or is it constrained to be local, i.e. "is it several?" This may be an odd way of putting it, but excuse my lack of experise in this subject.
     
  6. Mar 23, 2016 #5

    Vanadium 50

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    Arupel, it sounds like you didn't understand Orodruin's answer. Which part is unclear?
     
  7. Mar 23, 2016 #6
    I believe I understand it now, but let me rephrase the question. Is the nature of the electric field like the nature of space in that it is everywhere and from an epistological view can be qualitatively viewed as a whole without parts (except at the Planck scale)? Is it the nature of the universe that the electric field has been granted this quality.

    Or it this coincidental? Though the nature of the electric field is infinite, it comes from multiple sources. As an analogy in classical physics it woud be said that the electron generates the field. The sum of the electric fields from these sources gives the resultant fielld

    In QFT it is the observation of the field that we observe it as a particle, so the analogy is wrong, but it gives the point that I am trying to make in analogy form.
     
  8. Mar 24, 2016 #7

    Orodruin

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    There is only one electric field. It is common to use "electric field of an electron" only because it happens to obey the superposition principle. Other fields do not.

    I am sorry, but this to me only seems like a bunch of buzzwords strung together. Particles are not fields, they are excitations of quantum fields. The fields are everywhere.
     
  9. Mar 24, 2016 #8
    My apologies in the way it was written. A perturbation of the field, such as an observation, gives us the representation of a particle. The particle does not exist. We only perceive it as such. That was what I was trying to say.

    My question was rather an odd one. Let me try it from a different angle:
    The existence of space (excluding Kant) is an absolute necessity. Without space nothing could exist.

    Do the 4 fundamental forces have the same absolute necessity of existence?
    My guess is no.
    We can easily imagine universes where there are other forces at play.
     
  10. Mar 24, 2016 #9

    Orodruin

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    This is a philosophical question rather than a physical one and therefore not very well suited for a physics discussion.

    As the original post has been answered, I am going to close this thread.
     
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