In physics, the space surrounding an electric charge or in the presence of a time-varying magnetic field has a property called an electric field (that can also be equated to electric flux density). This electric field exerts a force on other electrically charged objects. The concept of electric field was introduced by Michael Faraday.
The electric field is a vector field. The strength of the field at a given point is defined as the force that would be exerted on a positive test charge of +1 coulomb placed at that point; the direction of the field is given by the direction of that force. Electric fields contain electrical energy with energy density proportional to the square of the field intensity. The electric field is to charge as gravitational acceleration is to mass and force density is to volume.
A moving charge has not just an electric field but also a magnetic field, and in general the electric and magnetic fields are not completely separate phenomena; what one observer perceives as an electric field, another observer in a different frame of reference perceives as a mixture of electric and magnetic fields. For this reason, one speaks of "electromagnetism" or "electromagnetic fields." In quantum mechanics, disturbances in the electromagnetic fields are called photons, and the energy of photons is quantized.
From a Unification perspective, several points can be made:
- The discovery and investigation of electric fields are outward manifestations of our inner attributes such as intelligence and creative ability—attributes that are connected to our spiritual dimension. These attributes reflect God's intelligence and creative nature. They also set humans apart from all other known species.
- Our studies of electric fields and the use of this knowledge have helped us fulfill our inner drive to have dominion over the natural world and to use this ability for the benefit of humanity. Unification Thought describes it as fulfilling God's Third Great Blessing to humanity.
- The ability to generate various electric fields has various practical applications, allowing us to create a comfortable living environment. As the Unification principle points out, the creation of a higher quality of life on Earth is useful not only for its own sake but also because our physical lives give us the valuable opportunity for internal, spiritual growth.
- Even as electric fields serve the larger purpose, they provide us with an internal guiding principle: to live for the sake of others. By so doing, we transcend the level of mere survival and travel the path toward inheriting God's nature. Eventually, we can vibrate with God's spirit and become channels for God's love to flow through us to others and to the rest of creation. In this manner, we can fulfill what the Unification principle calls the "Three Great Blessings" and establish a world of peace and harmony.