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In summary: Yeah, I think that's it. As I said, I've always thought of the "infinite range" as just a mathematical fiction for all practical purposes, but then I'm an engineer, not a physicist.

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As a technical note, particles are modeled as excitations of their underlying fields in modern quantum theory (specifically quantum field theory). So photons are excitations of the EM field, electrons are excitations of an electron field, etc.

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While I agree w/ what you say, I still think that the "infinite extent" is a Classical Physics statement (and in practical terms is just a mathematical convenience anyway)Drakkith said:

As a technical note, particles are modeled as excitations of their underlying fields in modern quantum theory (specifically quantum field theory). So photons are excitations of the EM field, electrons are excitations of an electron field, etc.

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From what I understand (which is too little), the field of which a particle is the excitation of is distinguished from the field which is the object of the effect (attraction/repulsion) of one charged and/or massive particle on other (test) particles in space. The former is infinite, but I am referring to the latter.Drakkith said:The field is actually the fundamental object in modern physics, not the particles. So the field existed before the particles.

As a technical note, particles are modeled as excitations of their underlying fields

And hence invalid, so my idea about a finite field is not off the mark?phinds said:the "infinite extent" of charged particles' electromagnetic fields as well as that of the gravitational field of massive bodies are Classical Physics statements (and therefore assume a static space-time)

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If it is "invalid" I think it is only "invalid" in the same sense that Newtonian Gravity is invalid. They both work just fine except in extreme cases.nomadreid said:And hence invalid, so my idea about a finite field is not off the mark?

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In other words, an E-M field emanating from an electron is "infinite for all practical purposes", i.e., very big (albeit finite, if one wishes to get picky)?phinds said:If it is "invalid" I think it is only "invalid" in the same sense that Newtonian Gravity is invalid. They both work just fine except in extreme cases.

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Yeah, I think that's it. As I said, I've always thought of the "infinite range" as just a mathematical fiction for all practical purposes, but then I'm an engineer, not a physicist.nomadreid said:In other words, an E-M field emanating from an electron is "infinite for all practical purposes", i.e., very big (albeit finite, if one wishes to get picky)?

An infinite range of an electromagnetic field refers to the fact that electromagnetic waves can propagate through space indefinitely without losing their energy or intensity. This means that the effects of an electromagnetic field can be felt at any distance from its source, potentially reaching across the entire universe.

The infinite range of an electromagnetic field is related to the finite age of particles because it means that the effects of an electromagnetic field can potentially reach particles that have been in existence for a finite amount of time. This also means that the particles themselves can be affected by the electromagnetic field, either through absorption, reflection, or interaction.

The infinite range of an electromagnetic field can affect the behavior of particles in several ways. For example, particles can be accelerated or decelerated by an electromagnetic field, they can emit or absorb photons, or they can be deflected by strong electric and magnetic fields. This means that the infinite range of an electromagnetic field can significantly impact the motion and interactions of particles.

Technically, there is no limit to the range of an electromagnetic field. However, the strength of the field decreases as the distance from its source increases, eventually becoming so weak that its effects are negligible. This means that although the range may be infinite, the actual impact of the field decreases with distance.

The concept of an infinite range of an electromagnetic field is consistent with the theory of relativity, which states that the laws of physics should remain the same regardless of the observer's reference frame. This means that the effects of an electromagnetic field, including its range, should be the same for all observers, regardless of their relative motion. Additionally, the theory of relativity also explains how electromagnetic fields travel at the speed of light, allowing for their seemingly infinite range.

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