page 1 from 28

Electromagnetic field

The electromagnetic field is a physical field produced by electrically charged objects. It affects the behavior of charged objects in the vicinity of the field.

The electromagnetic field extends indefinitely throughout space and describes the electromagnetic interaction. It is one of the four fundamental forces of nature (the others are gravitation, the weak interaction, and the strong interaction). The field propagates by electromagnetic radiation; in order of increasing energy (decreasing wavelength) electromagnetic radiation comprises: radio waves, microwaves, infrared, visible light, ultraviolet, X-rays, and gamma rays.

The field can be viewed as the combination of an electric field and a magnetic field. The electric field is produced by stationary charges, and the magnetic field by moving charges (currents); these two are often described as the sources of the field. The way in which charges and currents interact with the electromagnetic field is described by Maxwell's equations and the Lorentz force law.

From a classical perspective, the electromagnetic field can be regarded as a smooth, continuous field, propagated in a wavelike manner; whereas, from a quantum mechanical perspective, the field is seen as quantised, being composed of individual particles.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA