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Question About Fields.

  1. Aug 4, 2008 #1
    Yesterday I was thinking about electric fields and how similar fields, when intersecting, push away and 'deflect' each other. If we were to take two fields of equal magnitude (and charge since Im using an electric field as an example) and have them make contact they should cancel each other out right? But thats according to Newtonian physics where p=mv. So my question is: are fields generally made up of particles or waves and if they are made of waves doesn't an observation like this prove that most of Newtonian physics is probably inaccurate?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 4, 2008 #2
    As you stated initially, opposing fields will create a force, moving them apart. Also, why is p = mv relevant? A book on wave-particle duality may be what you're looking for in this case. Newtonian Theory is considered inaccurate at cosmological scales (where it is superseded by relativity) and in the atomic world, were Newton's laws also break down, and are replaced by quantum theory.

  4. Aug 4, 2008 #3
    by P=mv i was thinking about the concept that if they are particles and they hit each other with equal momentum then they should 'cancel' each others energies out.
  5. Aug 5, 2008 #4
    I believe that fields don't really "cancel" each other out. If you draw a typical diagram of an electric field of two charges approaching each other, u should end up with the fields being "bent" and deflected by the other field.

    And, fields are not matter. All fields are by definition "an area in which a (whatever, be it magnet, charge, etc) experiences a (some kind of ) force".

    To me, I think of fields as spring like thingies which get bent or pulled when affected by another field, which gives them "potential energy" to pull or push back and thus accounts for forces caused by interactions of fields. But, still, they are not matter.
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