I am curious about the origin of electric flux and field lines.
I am aware of the fact that flux is a mathematical concept, but how did it find its way into physics? Was it just introduced to replace the E.A in Gauss' Law, or maybe in an attempt to explain inverse square law? Or was it because physicists were experimenting by using all possible operations on vector fields?
I have a similar doubt regarding regarding field lines. I believe that they were probably introduced to explain the inverse square law by saying that the lines of force get distributed over a surface of a sphere and thus vary inversely with the square of distance. Am I correct?