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field

field / fēld/ • n. 1. an area of open land, esp. one planted with crops or pasture, typically bounded by hedges or fences: a wheat field a field of corn. ∎  a piece of land used for a particular purpose, esp. an area marked out for a game or sport: a football field. ∎  Baseball defensive play or the defensive positions collectively: he is fast in the field and on the bases. ∎  a large area of land or water completely covered in a particular substance, esp. snow or ice. ∎  an area rich in a natural product, typically oil or gas: an oil field. ∎  an area on which a battle is fought: a field of battle. ∎  an area on a flag with a single background color: fifty white stars on a blue field. ∎  a place where a subject of scientific study or artistic representation can be observed in its natural location or context. 2. a particular branch of study or sphere of activity or interest: we talked to professionals in various fields. ∎  Comput. a part of a record, representing an item of data. 3. (usu. the field) all the participants in a contest or sport: he destroyed the rest of the field with a devastating injection of speed. 4. Physics the region in which a particular condition prevails, esp. one in which a force or influence is effective regardless of the presence or absence of a material medium. ∎  the force exerted or potentially exerted in such an area: the variation in the strength of the field. • v. 1. [intr.] Baseball play as a fielder. ∎  [tr.] catch or stop (the ball): he fielded the ball cleanly, but threw it down the right-field line. 2. [tr.] send out (a team or individual) to play in a game: a high school that traditionally fielded mediocre teams. ∎  (of a political party) nominate (a candidate) to run in an election: a radical political party that is beginning to field candidates in local elections. ∎  deploy (an army): the small gulf sheikhdoms fielded 11,500 troops with the Saudis. 3. [tr.] deal with (a difficult question, telephone call, etc.): she has fielded five calls from salespeople. • adj. carried out or working in the natural environment, rather than in a laboratory or office: field observations. ∎  (of an employee or work) away from the home office; remote: a field representative. ∎  (of military equipment) light and mobile for use on campaign: field artillery. ∎  denoting a game played outdoors on a marked field. PHRASES: play the field inf. indulge in a series of sexual relationships without committing oneself to anyone. DERIVATIVES: field·er n.

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field (in physics)

field, in physics, region throughout which a force may be exerted; examples are the gravitational, electric, and magnetic fields that surround, respectively, masses, electric charges, and magnets. The field concept was developed by M. Faraday based on his investigation of the lines of force that appear to leave and return to a magnet at its poles (see flux, magnetic). Fields are used to describe all cases where two bodies separated in space exert a force on each other. The alternative to postulating a field is to assume that physical influences can be transmitted through empty space without any material or physical agency. Such action-at-a-distance, especially if it occurs instantaneously, violates both common sense and certain modern theories, notably relativity, which posits that nothing can travel faster than light. In a field description, rather than body A directly exerting a force on body B, body A (the source) creates a field in every direction around it and body B (the detector) experiences the field that exists at its position. If a change occurs at the source, its effect propagates outward through the field at a constant speed and is felt at the detector only after a certain delay in time. The field is thus a kind of "middleman" for transmitting forces. Each type of force (electric, magnetic, nuclear, or gravitational) has its own appropriate field; a body experiences the force due to a given field only if the body itself it also a source of that kind of field. The reciprocity implied by Newton's third law of motion (equal action and reaction) is thus preserved. If two bodies exert a mutual force, they possess potential energy that depends on their relative positions; it is natural to regard this energy as residing in the field the bodies create.

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Field

Field


The term field designates a variety of different, closely related concepts in mathematics and physics that have been carried over into everyday language to designate a context or region of influence. In geometry a field is a function that is defined (i.e., has values) at every point of a manifold (smooth continuous surface). Similarly, in physics a field (e.g., an electric, magnetic, or gravitational field) is a function describing a physical quantity (e.g., electric, magnetic, or gravitational influence or forces) at all points of a region of space and time. Sometimes the region that is under the influence of an electric, magnetic, gravitational, or other source or agent is also referred to as a field. A similar and almost equivalent definition of a field in physics, especially in contemporary physics, is as a continuous dynamical system, or a dynamical system with infinite degrees of freedom. Fields are essential to the description of physical phenomena, particularly of the interaction between particles or other physical entities, and to the quantitative and qualitative modeling of forces, especially those that act at a distance without any medium.

See also Field Theories; Gravitation; Physics, Quantum

william r. stoeger

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field

field (data field) An item of data consisting of a number of characters, bytes, words, or codes that are treated together, e.g. to form a number, a name, or an address. A number of fields make a record and the fields may be fixed in length or variable. The term came into use with punched card systems and a field size was defined in terms of a number of columns.

2. Normally a way of designating a portion of a word that has a specific significance or function within that word, e.g. an address field in an instruction word or a character field within a data word.

3. In mathematics, a commutative ring containing more than one element and in which every nonzero element has an inverse with respect to the multiplication operation. Apart from their obvious relationship to arithmetic involving numbers of various kinds, fields play a very important role in discussion about the analysis of algorithms. Results in this area mention the number of operations of a particular kind, and these operations are usually related to addition and multiplication of elements of some field.

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field (in algebra)

field, in algebra, set of elements (usually numbers) that may be combined under the operations of addition and multiplication so that it constitutes an additive group, the nonzero elements form a multiplicative group, and multiplication distributes over addition. The set of real numbers (see number) and the set of complex numbers are both examples of fields.

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Field

Field

competitors in a sporting event; the runners in a horse race; a stretch or expanse.

Examples: field of benefits, 1577; of clouds, 1860; of cricketers, 1850; of hounds [hunting], 1806; of horses [racing], 1771; of huntsmen, 1806; of ignorance, 1847; of miracles, 1712; of raillery; of runners [in races]; of stars, 1608; of woes, 1590.

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field

field open land, piece of land used for pasture or tillage OE.; ground on which a battle is fought XIII. OE. feld, corr. to OS. feld (Du. veld), (OH)G. feld :- WGmc. *felþu; ult. rel. to OE. folde earth. ground, OS. folda, ON. fold and further to Gr. platús, Skr. pṛthú- broad.

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field

field •Schwarzwald • Buchenwald •beheld, eld, geld, held, meld, self-propelled, upheld, weld, withheld •Ziegfeld • unparalleled • spot-weld •unscaled •afield, field, midfield, misfield, shield, unaneled, unconcealed, unhealed, unpeeled, unrevealed, unsealed, wield, yield •backfield • battlefield • Mansfield •Garfield • Sheffield • Lee-Enfield •airfield • Wakefield • Masefield •Greenfield • Lichfield • brickfield •Springfield • Smithfield • minefield •cornfield • brownfield • outfield •snowfield •coalfield, goldfield, Sutton Coldfield •oilfield • Bloomfield • Nuffield •upfield • Huddersfield • Sellafield •chesterfield • windshield •gumshield •build, deskilled, gild, guild, self-willed, sild, unfilled, unfulfilled, unskilled, untilled, upbuild •Brunhild • Roskilde

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