There is speculation that electricand magnetic fields are just imaginary tools created in order to betterunderstand electrical and magnetic phenomena. The general understanding amongscientists is that both electricity and magnetism exist, however it can beargued that the existence of ‘fields’ that these forces produce is uncertain.
Inorder to question the existence of electric and magnetic fields, one must havean understanding of the fundamental scientific and philosophical principles onwhich these fields operate. Electric andmagnetic fields can be represented by vector fields; which are assignments of avector with direction and magnitude to many points in a subset of space. Eachvector in a field serves as an indication of force exerted in that specificpoint in relation to the other vector points spread in the field as well as anybackground forces that may affect the electric or magnetic field. Both fieldsoperate with electrical or magnetic charges.
An electric field is produced by positiveand negative charges that create a radially outward force from the charged pointin all directions. The vector field of an electric force can be obtained from avector sum of all individual electric forces. Positive sums constitute anoutward field (of positive charge) while negative sums constitute a field goingtowards a point. Magnetic fields are produced by electric charges and magneticdipoles. When a magnetic object is present, the magnetic field created aroundsaid object has vectors perpendicular to the axes of the north and south polesof that object. In short, electric fields point towards the direction of theforce experienced by a positive charge, magnetic fields point toward the directionof the force experienced by a north pole.
While there are many similaritiesbetween electric and magnetic fields, they are very different from each other.Positive and negative electric charges can exist separately, whereas magneticforces require a north and south pole. Electric fields also have a definite startingand ending point, while magnetic fields are a continuous loop. Outside of amagnetic object the field runs from the north to the south pole and inside theobject it runs from the south to the north pole. Once these premiseshave been established, one can begin to deconstruct electric and magneticfields. From an ontological point of view, we can’t know if the vector fieldsthat we assign to electric and magnetic fields are real entities or imaginaryconstructs that have a certain utility to scientists as a measuring tool.
Inorder for a vector field to ‘real’, it must contain vectors in certain points,but no such points have ever been observed. There is no barrier in stating thatthe movement of a magnetic object in relation to another magnetic object, e.g.iron fillings forming lines around a magnet, isn’t just a conversion of energythat is specific to magnetically charged matter, not the result of a magneticfield. However, this method of thinking may apply to physical entities positedby theory.