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The Cosmic Mystery Tour$
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Nicholas Mee

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198831860

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198831860.001.0001

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We’re Having a Field Day!

We’re Having a Field Day!

(p.18) We’re Having a Field Day!
The Cosmic Mystery Tour

Nicholas Mee

Oxford University Press

Space is permeated by fields, such as the electromagnetic field, that transmit forces between objects that are not in direct contact. This idea was first devised by Michael Faraday and its mathematical realization for the electromagnetic field was achieved by James Clerk Maxwell. Light is an electromagnetic wave that ripples through the electromagnetic field. Richard Feynman invented a diagrammatic representation of the interactions between particles that plays an important role in quantum field theory. Maxwell’s theory was the inspiration for Einstein when developing his new theory of gravity. Newton was criticized for suggesting the gravitational force acts between bodies that are not in contact. Einstein resolved this issue when he devised general relativity which is a gravitational field theory.

Keywords:   Einstein, electromagnetic waves, Faraday, Feynman diagram, general relativity, Maxwell, Newton, quantum field theory

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