The Origins of the Field Concept in Physics

  title={The Origins of the Field Concept in Physics},
  author={Ernan Mcmullin},
  journal={Physics in Perspective},
  • E. Mcmullin
  • Published 1 February 2002
  • Physics
  • Physics in Perspective
Abstract. The term, “field,” made its first appearance in physics as a technical term in the mid-nineteenth century. But the notion of what later came to be called a field had been a long time in gestation. Early discussions of magnetism and of the cause of the ocean tides had long ago suggested the idea of a “zone of influence” surrounding certain bodies. Johannes Kepler's mathematical rendering of the orbital motion of Mars encouraged him to formulate what he called “a true theory of gravity… 

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