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I What is a magnetic field "made" of?

  1. Jun 22, 2017 #1
    I have looked this up on several occassions and never satisfied.
    It seems that either the answer keeps repeating magnetic or electromagnetic field over and over. Or the answer discuss the properties of electromagnetism.
    Is the field a wave/particle like a photon ? Is it emitted like a photon?

    So what is the substance or stuff that makes up an EM field?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 22, 2017 #2

    berkeman

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    Can you tell us a bit about your background, and what science and physics classes you have taken so far? It might help if I change the thread prefix for this thread from "I"=Intermediate/undergraduate college background to "B"=Basic background to help you get better responses. Your question is a good one at all levels, but we need to try to tune our responses to your level of understanding to give you the best answers.

    Hope that makes sense. :smile:
     
  4. Jun 22, 2017 #3

    Dale

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    The EM field is fundamental. It isn't composed of anything else.
     
  5. Jun 22, 2017 #4

    berkeman

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    But part of his confusion may be whether a DC magnetic field or DC electric field is also composed of photons. That seems like a good Basic question. Too bad I don't know the answer yet... :smile:

    And then if not, why AC magnetic and electric / EM fields are composed of photons, and DC fields are not. I'm starting to like this B thread...:smile:
     
  6. Jun 22, 2017 #5

    davenn

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    both depending which way you "look" at it

    from wiki....


    that may be enough for you, depending on how you answer Berkeman's comment on your edu. level


    Dave

    formatting fixed
    thanks mate ..... my I-net is running at around 10 bytes/sec ( not really that bad, but feels like it)
    and it takes forever to see a post or thread ... so didn't notice till too late
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2017
  7. Jun 22, 2017 #6

    Drakkith

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    The EM field is part of a particular method scientists use to predict interactions between charged particles. While this field is given various properties and rules regarding its use, there is nothing in the model or the underlying theory that describes what the EM field is made of.

    A simple definition of a field is that a field is a mathematical object that assigns every point in space (and/or time) a particular value representing some property associated with that field or what it is trying to describe. For example, a classical, static electric field would give you a number at any point in space which represents the direction and magnitude of the force felt by a charged particle located at that point.

    Other types of fields exist, such as the field your local weatherman uses that contains the various atmospheric properties for an area. The EM field is just regarded as a "fundamental" field, as it is required to explain one of the 4 possible types of interactions between all charged particles. The field your weatherman uses obviously doesn't do that.

    The EM field, along with a few others that are regarded as being fundamental, cannot be described as being composed of anything else. That's why they're called fundamental.

    You can read more at this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Field_(physics)
     
  8. Jun 23, 2017 #7
    Photons are carriers of the EM force so must be involved with the DC magnetic field. The creation and collapse of the DC field certainly creates photons, with a very long wavelength component.
     
  9. Jun 23, 2017 #8
    Try to keep it simple.

    Fermions or bosons?

    Even if its fundamental it had to fall in to one of these categories.
     
  10. Jun 23, 2017 #9
    Its been a long time since i finished physics university.

    Reading an watching lectures has me perusing quantum field theory recently, which I suspect may hold the answer.
     
  11. Jun 23, 2017 #10
    If you search PF, you'll find quite a few threads where essentially this same question was asked; you have to pick your way through, but here and there what look to be some helpful answers.

    E.g. this is from Oct., 23, 2006; it ended up getting locked, but some comments may be helpful, e.g. see #14. Magnetic field is made of photons?

    Also there is this from Feb. 19 of this year; only a one-page thread w/ what look like some good suggestions for reading. Do photons carry magnetic force?
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017
  12. Jun 23, 2017 #11

    Dale

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  13. Jun 23, 2017 #12

    Drakkith

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    No it doesn't. Fields are not particles.
     
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