Definitions

field

field

[feeld]
hockey, field, outdoor stick and ball game. Field hockey, like many sports, is of obscure origins, but traces in one form or another to the ancient Egyptians and Persians, making it one of the world's oldest known sports. London's Wimbledon Hockey Club (organized 1883) standardized the game after many centuries of informal play in England, and it thereafter spread to other countries, particularly those in Europe and the British empire. Men have played field hockey in the United States since 1890, but the Field Hockey Association of America, which regulates men's play, was not formed until 1930, and the sport continues to appeal very little to American males. In Olympic competition, where men's field hockey first appeared in 1908, India, Great Britain, and Pakistan have dominated. Although the sport has been very popular among high school and collegiate women in the United States since 1901, particularly in the East, it has been a women's Olympic event only since 1980.

Rules for men and women are essentially the same. The game is played on a level field, measuring 50 to 60 yd by 90 to 100 yd (46 to 55 m by 82 to 91 m), by two teams of 11 players each (five forwards, three halfbacks, two fullbacks, and a goalkeeper). A face-off in the center of the field starts the game. Teams direct their play toward advancing the ball—made of white leather over a cork and twine center and about 9 in. (23 cm) in circumference—down the field with their sticks (wooden, with a flat head on only one side of the striking surface). A point is scored by putting the ball through goal posts, which are 7 ft (2.13 m) high, 12 ft (3.66 m) apart, and joined by a net. Play can be physically punishing and fouls result in penalty strokes and free hits.

See M. J. Barnes and R. G. Kentwall, Field Hockey (2d ed. 1978).

Field, Cyrus West, 1819-92, American merchant, promoter of the first Atlantic cable, b. Stockbridge, Mass.; brother of David Dudley Field and Stephen J. Field. As head of a paper business, he accumulated a modest fortune, and in 1853 he retired. In 1854 he conceived the idea of the cable. He secured a charter, organized the English and American companies, and obtained the British and American naval ships Agamemnon and Niagara to lay the cable. Five attempts were made in 1857-58 and the first message came over Aug. 16, 1858, but the cable ceased working three weeks later. It was necessary for Field to raise new funds and make new arrangements. The Great Eastern succeeded in laying a cable in 1866. Field was the object of much admiration and praise on both sides of the Atlantic for his persistence in accomplishing what many thought to be an absurd undertaking. He promoted other oceanic cables, notably that via Hawaii to Asia and Australia. In 1877 he resuscitated the New York City elevated system.

See biography by S. Carter (1968); J. S. Steele, A Thread across the Ocean (2002).

Field, David Dudley, 1805-94, American lawyer and law reformer, b. Haddam, Conn.; brother of Cyrus W. Field and Stephen J. Field. He was graduated from Williams (1825), studied law in Albany and New York City, was admitted to the bar in 1828, and soon had a large practice in New York City. After the Civil War he argued before the U.S. Supreme Court several cases involving significant constitutional issues. He was also counsel for Jay Gould and James Fisk in the Erie RR litigation in 1869 and later defended "Boss" Tweed. However, it was his work in behalf of law reform rather than his famous practice that established Field's legal reputation. He was responsible for the New York legislature's appointment in 1847 of one commission to reduce the laws of the state to a systematic code and another to prepare codes of court practice and procedure. Serving on the second commission, Field prepared a code of civil procedure that was adopted (1848-50). This Field code became the basis for the reform of civil law procedure throughout the United States. His reforms—notable among them abolition of the distinction between law and equity proceedings—strongly influenced the English Judicature Acts of 1873 and 1875, which were subsequently adopted by many British colonies. Field's code of criminal procedure eventually became law as well. His commission for the codification of the laws of New York, however, met with failure; consequently, Field became head of a new commission for the same purpose in 1857. He prepared complete civil, political, and penal codes, but only the penal code, in 1881, became law. The civil code several times passed the legislature but was killed by gubernatorial veto.

See biography by his brother, H. M. Field (1898); study by F. C. Hicks (1929, repr. 1966).

Field, Erastus Salisbury, 1805-1900, American painter, b. Leverett, Mass. Field's paintings, executed in a primitive manner, included biblical and classical themes and portraits. His famous Historical Monument of the American Republic (c.1875) is in the Springfield Museum of Fine Arts, Massachusetts. Field's portrait of Ellen Tuttle Bangs is owned by the Metropolitan Museum.
Field, Eugene, 1850-95, American poet and journalist, b. St. Louis. After working on several Midwestern newspapers, in 1883 he became a columnist for the Chicago Daily News (later the Record). His urbane and witty column, "Sharps and Flats," which appeared until his death, was a potpourri of whimsical humor, commentary on politics and personalities, and children's verse. His books include A Little Book of Western Verse (1889) and Echoes from the Sabine Farm (with his brother Roswell Martin Field, 1892). His children's poems include "Little Boy Blue" and "Wynken, Blynken, and Nod."

See biographies by S. Thompson (2 vol., 1927, repr. 1973) and R. Conrow (1974).

Field, John, 1782-1837, Irish composer and pianist. In London he studied with Clementi, with whom he later toured Europe. In 1804 he settled in Russia. Field was a successful pianist and his style of composition was influential. Chopin's nocturnes were modeled after those of Field.

See study by P. Piggott (1973).

Field, Marshall, 1834-1906, American merchant, b. Conway, Mass. In 1856, after five years' apprenticeship in a general store in Pittsfield, Mass., he went to Chicago and became a clerk for Cooley, Wadsworth & Co., a leading dry-goods house there, of which he became a junior partner in 1862. In 1865 he became a partner in the firm of Field, Palmer, and Leiter, the company that became Marshall Field and Co. in 1881. He amassed one of the largest private fortunes in the United States and pioneered in establishing many modern retailing practices.

He made the first of his major philanthropies when he was a charter member of the corporation formed (1878) to found the institution which became the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1890 he gave the original tract of land for the Univ. of Chicago, ultimately becoming one of the largest donors to the school. In 1893 he gave $1,000,000 to the fund for the museum at the World's Columbian Exposition. Its collections were the nucleus of the Field Museum of Natural History, now housed in a magnificent building on the Chicago lakefront that was provided by a bequest of $8,000,000 from Field.

His son, Marshall Field 2d, 1868-1905, never made any move to follow his father into business. His early death from a gun wound was officially held to have been accidental.

Marshall Field 3d, 1893-1956, son of Marshall Field 2d, was educated at Eton and at Cambridge, then served in World War I. He engaged in numerous business activities until 1936, when he gave up all of them to devote himself to his various social projects. In June, 1940, Field helped found the New York City liberal newspaper PM. He was the publication's largest stockholder and, from Oct., 1940, its owner. He took no part in its editorial direction, but offered it financial support until Apr., 1948, when the paper was sold; soon afterward it went out of business.

In 1941, Field started the Chicago Sun, and in Jan., 1948, he bought the Chicago Times and merged the two papers. Field took a more active part in that journalistic enterprise, ultimately becoming the paper's dominant personality. Through Field Enterprises, Inc. (est. 1944) he also published the World Book Encyclopedia. His charities included many child welfare organizations. Field's political and social beliefs are expressed in his book Freedom Is More than a Word (1945).

See L. Wendt and H. Kogan, Give the Lady What She Wants: The Story of Marshall Field and Co. (1952); biography of Marshall Field 3d by S. D. Becker (1964); J. Tebbel, The Marshall Fields: A Study in Wealth (1947).

Field, Michael, pseud. used by two English authors, Katherine Harris Bradley, 1846-1914, and her niece Edith Emma Cooper, 1862-1913, who collaborated on numerous literary works, including lyrics and poetic tragedies. Although their work was praised by such contemporaries as Robert Browning and George Moore, it is almost forgotten today.

See selected poems (1923); Works and Days (1933), a selection from their journal.

Field, Rachel, 1894-1942, American writer, b. New York City, educated at Radcliffe. Her books for children include The Cross-Stitch Heart and Other One-Act Plays (1927), Hitty: Her First Hundred Years (1929), and Calico Bush (1931). She also wrote several adult novels of which All This and Heaven Too (1938) and And Now Tomorrow (1942) were made into successful motion pictures.
Field, Stephen Johnson, 1816-99, American jurist, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1863-97), b. Haddam, Conn. After practicing law for several years in New York City with his brother David Dudley Field, he went to California in 1849, settled at Marysville, and in 1850 was elected to the legislature. He secured the passage of an act reorganizing the state judiciary and drafted codes of civil and criminal procedure based on his brother's codes for New York but adapted to certain local needs, such as established Spanish customs and miners' practices. His recommendations became the basis of mining law in all of the Western states and territories. In 1857, Field was elected as a Democrat to the California supreme court, becoming chief justice two years later. President Lincoln appointed him to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1863. A staunch conservative, he opposed government regulation of business activities and played a major role in the Supreme Court's extension of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to include corporations.

See his Personal Reminiscences of Early Days in California (1880, repr. 1968); biography by C. B. Swisher (1930, repr. 1963).

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.
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.

Communal land organization supposedly in effect early in the Zhou dynasty (1046–256 BC). It is mentioned in the writings of Mencius, who advocated it. In the well-field system, one unit of land was divided among eight peasant families. A shared field was surrounded by eight fields, each worked by an individual family. The field in the centre was worked jointly by the families for their lord. Later reformers referred to the concept to justify their land-redistribution systems or to criticize government land practices.

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Attempt to describe all fundamental interactions between elementary particles in terms of a single theoretical framework (a “theory of everything”) based on quantum field theory. So far, the weak force and the electromagnetic force have been successfully united in electroweak theory, and the strong force is described by a similar quantum field theory called quantum chromodynamics. However, attempts to unite the strong and electroweak theories in a grand unified theory have failed, as have attempts at a self-consistent quantum field theory of gravitation.

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or track and field also track-and-field games

Variety of sport competitions held on a running track and on the adjacent field. It is the oldest form of organized sports, having been a part of the ancient Olympic Games from circa 776 BC to AD 393. Modern events include various sprint and middle- and long-distance races, relay races, hurdling, steeplechase, high jump, pole vault, long jump, triple jump, shot put, discus throw, hammer throw, javelin throw, decathlon, pentathlon, and heptathlon. Cross-country running, marathons, and speed walking, which are rarely held on a track, are usually considered adjuncts of athletics. Events are held indoors and outdoors, and records are kept separately; some events are modified or eliminated for indoor competition.

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Theory that brings quantum mechanics and special relativity together to account for subatomic phenomena. In particular, the interactions of subatomic particles are described in terms of their interactions with fields, such as the electromagnetic field. However, the fields are quantized and represented by particles, such as photons for the electromagnetic field. Quantum electrodynamics is the quantum field theory that describes the interaction of electrically charged particles via electromagnetic fields. Quantum chromodynamics describes the action of the strong force. The electroweak theory, a unified theory of electromagnetic and weak forces, has considerable experimental support, and can likely be extended to include the strong force. Theories that include the gravitational force (see gravitation) are more speculative. Seealso grand unified theory, unified field theory.

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Region around a magnet, electric current, or changing electric field in which magnetic forces are observable. The field around a permanent magnet or wire carrying a steady direct current is stationary, while that around an alternating current or changing direct current is continuously changing. Magnetic fields are commonly represented by continuous lines of force, or magnetic flux, that emerge from north-seeking magnetic poles and enter south-seeking poles. The density of the lines indicates the magnitude of the field, the lines being crowded together where the magnetic field is strong. The SI unit for magnetic flux is the weber.

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Magnetic field associated with the Earth. It is essentially dipolar (i.e., it has two poles, the northern and southern magnetic poles) on the Earth's surface. Away from the surface, the field becomes distorted. Most geomagnetists explain the field by means of dynamo theories, whereby a source of energy in the Earth's core causes a self-sustaining magnetic field. In the dynamo theories, fluid motion in the Earth's core involves the movement of conducting material within an existing magnetic field, thus creating a current and a self-enforcing field.

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Competitive trial of sporting dogs under conditions that approximate or simulate those found in the hunting field. Dogs representing individual breeds, or classes of breeds (e.g., bird dogs, spaniels, hounds), are judged on such factors as pace, range, keenness of nose, handling response, hunting ability, and game and gun manners.

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In mathematics, the study of the structure of a set of objects (e.g., numbers) with two combining operations (e.g., addition and multiplication). Such a system, known as a field, must satisfy certain properties: associative law, commutative law, distributive law, an additive identity (“zero”), a muliplicative identity (“one”), additive inverses (see inverse function), and multiplicative inverses for nonzero elements. The sets of rational numbers, real numbers, and complex numbers are fields under ordinary addition and multiplication. The investigation of polynomial equations and their solutions led to the development of field theory.

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or wood mouse

In general, any mouse that normally lives in fields; more strictly, any of about seven species of small, long-tailed mice in the genus Apodemus (family Muridae). Field mice in this genus are found in fields, woodlands, and mountain meadows in the warm and temperate parts of Eurasia. They are grayish or light or reddish brown and are 2–5 in. (6–12 cm) long excluding the tail. They generally live in burrows and build nests of grass and other plants. They eat seeds, roots, and other plant material, occasionally damaging crops or young trees.

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or hockey

Game played with curve-ended sticks between two teams of 11 players. It is played on a field 100 yd (91.4 m) by 60 yd (55 m) in size. The object is to use the sticks to direct a ball into the opponent's goal. Field hockey originated in English schools in the late 19th century, and the British Army introduced it into India and the Far East. By 1928 it had become India's national game. Men's field hockey has been included in the Olympic Games since 1908, women's since 1980. The game was introduced into the U.S. in 1901 and became particularly popular at women's schools, colleges, and clubs. Several international championship tournaments are held during the year, including the World Cup.

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Chinese land-distribution system, AD 485–8th century. Borrowed by Japan in 646, it lasted about a century there. Under the system, all adults were assigned a fixed amount of land; a portion of its produce was paid as taxes. On a person's death, most of the land was returned to the government. Increases in population and a tendency for the land to come to be held permanently led to the system's collapse in China; tax-free status and additional allotments for nobles and monasteries resulted in its demise in Japan.

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Region around an electric charge in which an electric force is exerted on another charge. The strength of an electric field math.E at any point is defined as the electric force math.F exerted per unit positive electric charge math.q at that point, or math.E = math.F/math.q. An electric field has both magnitude and direction and can be represented by lines of force, or field lines, that start on positive charges and terminate on negative charges. The electric field is stronger where the field lines are close together than where they are farther apart. The value of the electric field has dimensions of force per unit charge and is measured in units of newtons per coulomb.

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Property of space caused by the motion of an electric charge. A stationary charge produces an electric field in the surrounding space. If the charge is moving, a magnetic field is also produced. A changing magnetic field also produces an electric field. The interaction of electric and magnetic fields produces an electromagnetic field, which has its own existence in space apart from the charges involved. An electromagnetic field can sometimes be described as a wave that transports electromagnetic radiation.

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(born Aug. 20, 1795, Princeton, N.J., U.S.—died Oct. 7, 1866, Princeton) U.S. naval officer. He joined the U.S. navy and rose to the rank of commander (1838). When the Mexican War broke out, he took command of U.S. land and naval forces in present-day California and proceeded to capture Los Angeles, a Mexican stronghold, on Aug. 13, 1846. Four days later, he set up a civil government and formally annexed California to the U.S., naming himself governor. Along with Col. Stephen Kearny and his troops he defeated an uprising by native Mexicans and ceded the entire province to the U.S. In 1850 he resigned from the navy and was elected to the U.S. Senate. Stockton, Calif., is named in his honour.

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(born Nov. 4, 1816, Haddam, Conn., U.S.—died April 9, 1899, Washington, D.C.) U.S. jurist. After graduating from Williams College in 1837, he practiced law in New York with his brother, the legal reformer David Dudley Field (1805–94). In 1849 he moved to California, where he later joined the state supreme court. In 1863 he was appointed by Pres. Abraham Lincoln to the Supreme Court of the United States; he served until 1897. He became chief architect of the constitutional approach that largely exempted U.S. industry from government regulation after the American Civil War, basing his interpretation principally on the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment (1868), which had been passed as a civil-rights measure. Field's stance toward industry would be maintained by the Court until the 1930s.

Learn more about Field, Stephen J(ohnson) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born Aug. 20, 1795, Princeton, N.J., U.S.—died Oct. 7, 1866, Princeton) U.S. naval officer. He joined the U.S. navy and rose to the rank of commander (1838). When the Mexican War broke out, he took command of U.S. land and naval forces in present-day California and proceeded to capture Los Angeles, a Mexican stronghold, on Aug. 13, 1846. Four days later, he set up a civil government and formally annexed California to the U.S., naming himself governor. Along with Col. Stephen Kearny and his troops he defeated an uprising by native Mexicans and ceded the entire province to the U.S. In 1850 he resigned from the navy and was elected to the U.S. Senate. Stockton, Calif., is named in his honour.

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(born Aug. 18, 1834, near Conway, Mass., U.S.—died Jan. 16, 1906, New York, N.Y.) U.S. department-store owner. Born on a farm, he became an errand boy for a dry-goods store at age 16. He moved to Chicago and was hired in 1856 by a mercantile house, in which he later attained full partnership. In 1867 he and a partner bought the merchandising firm they had joined two years earlier, and in 1888 he bought out his partner, creating Marshall Field and Co. In his store Field emphasized customer service, liberal credit, the one-price system, and the acceptance of returned merchandise. His department store was the first to have a restaurant for shoppers.

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(born Nov. 4, 1816, Haddam, Conn., U.S.—died April 9, 1899, Washington, D.C.) U.S. jurist. After graduating from Williams College in 1837, he practiced law in New York with his brother, the legal reformer David Dudley Field (1805–94). In 1849 he moved to California, where he later joined the state supreme court. In 1863 he was appointed by Pres. Abraham Lincoln to the Supreme Court of the United States; he served until 1897. He became chief architect of the constitutional approach that largely exempted U.S. industry from government regulation after the American Civil War, basing his interpretation principally on the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment (1868), which had been passed as a civil-rights measure. Field's stance toward industry would be maintained by the Court until the 1930s.

Learn more about Field, Stephen J(ohnson) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born Aug. 18, 1834, near Conway, Mass., U.S.—died Jan. 16, 1906, New York, N.Y.) U.S. department-store owner. Born on a farm, he became an errand boy for a dry-goods store at age 16. He moved to Chicago and was hired in 1856 by a mercantile house, in which he later attained full partnership. In 1867 he and a partner bought the merchandising firm they had joined two years earlier, and in 1888 he bought out his partner, creating Marshall Field and Co. In his store Field emphasized customer service, liberal credit, the one-price system, and the acceptance of returned merchandise. His department store was the first to have a restaurant for shoppers.

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