Michael Faraday did all kinds of electro-magnetic experiments back in the day. The nineteenth century, that is. The 1800's, in other words... words that are shaped like numbers, that isn't.
Faraday was all about the electro-magnetic force, since it was all the rage back then for all the 19th century smart apples. Quite a new tickle for those fancy pantses... like, how the force of gravity was all the rage for the smart apples 200 years ago before then. Back in the seventeenth century. You wanna know something? Isaac Newton is one of those smart apples. Sorry... WAS one of those smart apples. He's dead now.
Here's an interesting side note. The four (so far) forces of nature have been discovered sequentially, in the order of their obviousness! First gravity, of course... gravity is the obviousest one, duh. Then electro-magnetism, which is less obvious than gravity, but still pretty obvious, what with lightning and static cling and stuff. Then there's the weak nuclear force (the one that makes things radioactive), which although not very obvious at all at first (to retards, anyway), can still be observed naturally on Earth by OBSERVING how stuff that just happens to be next door neighbors to this regular looking kind of rock called 'URANIUM' tends to heat up, don't cha know? And then there's the granddaddy force, the Strong Nuclear Force! (the one that makes things explode, like the sun, and Hiroshima), which actually is almost as obvious as gravity (the SUN is nuclear, duh) but is readily mistaken for a super hot god (RA, anyone? Egyptians were stupid), unless you happen to be a smart apple from the 20th century.
What Faraday figured out, was that things have arbitrary values of such and such, and that locations of those values of those such and suchs are called coordinates, and if you group all the coordinates together into one group, you call that group of common values a 'field'. Ok, listen here. What Faraday meant was, the values describing the type, intensity, and location of a thing are all common to that thing, at that one point. And by thing, he meant a point in 3-dimensional space where the electro-magnetic force happened to be, because he was all about that particular force.
SO! The type = electro-magnetic, the location = up your butt, for example, and the intensity = oh, anywhere from a slight tickle to... intestinal explosion, say.
Faraday called these points 'fields', because he compared this visualization to a field, with furrows here, and seeds at this particular furrow, describing where in the dirt a particular seed was planted, and what kind of plant would emerge. Except his fields dealt with 'lines of force' instead of furrows, and the type of force instead of the kind of seeds, and the intensity of the force for... the food energy that determined how big the plant got, I guess. You get it, right? Why Faraday called these points, which described the properties of electro-magnetism at any one point in space, a field? I mean, fields? GOOD!
Oh, and it's important to remember that Faraday figured out all of this by himself. He basically just taught himself one of the fundamental tenets involved with describing the electro-magnetic force. Dude was like, Jeopardy smart.
Now along comes James Clerk Maxwell, who sees all this fancy field stuff, and says... "This Field stuff is really Kool, but it's like Kool with no Aid... Ham with no Burger. Jumbo with no Shrimp! Freezer with no BURN! You know. What this really needs to make it even AWESOME-ER, is some really awesome MATH to go along with it... like some equations! Yeah. Yeah... YEAH! FIELD EQUATIONS!!! For ELECTROMAGNETISM! One word, without the dash. The dash makes it lame.
Thus, Maxwells field equations for the electromagnetic (no dash, makes it lame) force went on to make craploads of money for electrical engineering textbook connivers all over the world, giving birth to the modern Economy of the Academic Community.
Ok, back up some. Then this 20th century smart apple named Einstein saw this shit and said, "Dude, I could totally do that with gravity, that field thing..." and after he did, he said, out loud, "In your FACE, Isaac Newton!" Then he died someodd years later, with his life work splayed out, unfinished, all over his desk. Like party puke.
Then, sixty-five someodd years later, it took a whole buttload of smart apples to figure out the field equations for the weak and strong nuclear forces, but to do it they had to copy from their neighbors, so who cares who they were. However, their neighbors were C.N. Yang and R.L. Mills.
WHO? What the ? HUH........
Anyway. Weird names that nobody's ever heard of, I guess, but whatev. They were the smart asses of the smart apples, apparently.
Now, the real problem happens when you try to get all of these four force fields (yeah, that's where the ubiquitous sci-fi 'force field' came from, so now you know) to play together all nice-like. They hate each other, and men have gone insane and died trying to moosh one into the other. Seriously. I mean, everybody does. Dies, that is. Everybody goes insane too, so.
Ok, that's pretty much where things stand, for now. Anybody wanna give it a sit-down shot for extra credit? Here's a hint...
Check it out. Maxwell published a book in 1865 which is widely acclaimed as the catalyst which ended the civil war in America. The Beatles wrote a song about it.
All about the dude.