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Meaning of 'Field'

March 25th Fact-of-the-Day

The term 'field' is very familiar to everyone who has studied technical aspects of radio. Beginners read about magnetic, electric, and electromagnetic fields. Those with more advanced knowledge frequently refer to those same fields in routine discussions with each other. Even so, many do not know what the term actually means and, because of that, tend to think fields are mysterious. A mystery is by definition something that isn't understood, so as to themselves, they are correct. However, fields are not mysterious to mathematicians. In mathematics a field is a set of elements where the distributive property holds, that is an Abelian group with respect to an operation called addition, and that is an Abelian group with respect to an operation called multiplication. A set of real numbers with addition and multiplication defined in the usual way is an example of a field. ©2005 Martek International All rights reserved.


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