Since there are no observable mass particles flowing in vacuum, there are no observable force fields produced. Only virtual force fields can be produced in the virtual particle medium that is vacuum itself.

Thus there is no observable E-field in the vacuum surrounding a charged point. There is, however, a virtual E-field there. When an observable charged particle such as an electron is introduced in the surrounding vacuum and "couples to" (integrates, zips together) the virtual E-field, an observable E-vector force is produced on and of the observable charged particle.

(For the classically trained electrical engineer or electrical physicist, the statement that no E or B fields as such exist in vacuum, is usually bewildering. Let me point out that any so-called "vector field" (such as the assumed E and B vacuum fields) can mathematically be replaced with two scalar fields. See E. T. Whittaker, Proc. Lond. Math. Soc. 1, 366, 1903. What we are saying here is that the definition of an E field is in terms of force per unit charged mass. The scalar fields -- which are actually what exist in vacuum -- provide only a virtual or unzipped E field, until an observable spinning particle couples to both of them by virtue of its "dynamo flux pump" action. The ensemble, then, of two electrostatic scalar potentials coupled to a spinning observable particle, constitutes and is the so-called "E-field.")

When detecting these "vacuum E-fields," it is the free electrons in the electron gas in our probe or antenna which couple to the two "Whittaker scalar fields". These electrons produce ensembles which interact with each other collectively. Charges in this electron-gas coupled medium is what we actually detect -- not "what is in the vacuum."

To repeat this again for emphasis: The usual detector is an "electron-wiggle" detector. It detects changes in its own conduction electron gas, not in the vacuum itself. That is, the disturbance in the virtual-particle vacuum interacts with the observable particles of the electron gas, if (and only if) the spins of these observable particles couple the vacuum disturbance to the electrons and integrate their virtual components. After integration, an observable disturbance of the integrating object -- say, the electron -- results. It is this electron gas disturbance that is "detected’’ by almost all orthodox EM detectors.

If the spin of the observable conduction electrons cannot couple the electron to the vacuum flux disturbance, then the disturbance will not be detected by the normal "simple" detector. (By a "simple" detector we mean one in which the electrons are able to couple to the vacuum disturbance! Little circular definition here!)

Now most potentials reach to infinity before reducing to zero. The change in the virtual particle flux intensity of vacuum -- which comprises the potential -- decreases with distance from the potential. The magnitude of the change tails off toward zero as one approaches infinity.

To any finite distance, then, there exists a decreased gradient in the change of the virtual flux intensity of vacuum, from a potential. Therefore virtual particles are flowing in the direction of the decrease of this gradient, just as gas molecules flow from a region of high pressure toward a region of lower pressure.

So there is a virtual particle "river" in the vacuum between any two separated points of different potential magnitude. The type of virtual particle(s) in the river is determined by the type of potential .

If the potential is natural, the gradient river does not carry any coherent substructure.

If the potential is artificial, the gradient river carries the coherent substructure everywhere within it. In this case, there is a flow or "river" of the virtual structure of this coherent pattern in the vacuum between two separated points of different "potential" in that pattern.

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