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Gravity retained a somewhat mystifying quality, even after the Newtonian revolution: how could one object affect another from great distances? The same could be said about light, heat and magnetism, which all seemed to jump through empty space. It wasn’t until the 19th century that the scientists Michael Faraday and James Clerk Maxwell made sense of these phenomena by developing electromagnetic field theory. With Faraday conceiving of electromagnetic fields and Maxwell expressing them with mathematics, the duo revolutionised physics by demonstrating how seemingly empty space isn’t so empty. In this animated short from MinutePhysics, the physicist Neil Turok of the Perimeter Institute in Ontario explains how Faraday and Maxwell revealed a hidden world that would lay the foundation for particle physics and help usher in our age of modern conveniences.
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