A region of space endowed with a vectorial property corresponding to some specific action, f. ex. electrical, magnetic or gravitational.
This concept and model, elaborated by FARADAY and MAXWELL, replaced the model of a void space in which particles, charges or bodies attract or repel themselves through an instantaneous effect.
K.DE GREENE generally characterizes fields as follows:
" - All matter is inherently unstable and can be observed to decay.
" - A field in itself is continually fluctuating.
" - A field can cause an initially homogeneous system to develop new spatiotemporal structure (e.g. dissipative structures); the original system can become unstable everywhere in the face of infinitesimal fluctuations.
" - A single underlying force can, accordingly to the perspective of the observer, be manifested in apparently very different forms like the electromagnetic, weak and strong forces and perhaps eventually the gravitational force (to result in a grand unified field theory).
" - Attraction and repulsion are fundamental properties of forces.
" - There may be primary and residual forces.
" - Forces have characteristic spatial ranges and strengths which may be very limited or immense.
" - The basic constituents of matter interact via forces; a force binds matter together.
" - Particles convey forces; a field emanates from a particle and extends over some volume of space" (1994, p.11).
Remains to be seen how the concommitent concepts of space and force, not to speak of energy and time could be defined or described in a not too circular way.
Various fields may interact in a complex way. As a result, a field can be turbulent.
In the concept of field, any element creates its own field, whose strength decreases with distance: a field implies a gradient. This idea can be extended to systems influence on their environment.
- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
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To cite this page, please use the following information:
Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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