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36
votes
8answers
3k views

Do Maxwell's Equations overdetermine the electric and magnetic fields?

Maxwell's equations specify two vector and two scalar (differential) equations. That implies 8 components in the equations. But between vector fields $\vec{E}=(E_x,E_y,E_z)$ and ...
23
votes
4answers
4k views

Does a magnetic field do work on an intrinsic magnetic dipole?

When you release a magnetic dipole in a nonuniform magnetic field, it will accelerate. I understand that for current loops (and other such macroscopic objects) the magnetic moment comes from moving ...
20
votes
2answers
945 views

Theoretical penetration limit for evanescent waves

Consider a problem in classical electrodynamics, when a monochromatic beam experiences total internal refraction when traveling from a medium with $n>1$ to a medium with refractive index $1$ - see ...
18
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the answer to Feynman's Disc Paradox?

[This question is Certified Higgs Free!] Richard Feynman in Lectures on Physics Vol. II Sec. 17-4, "A paradox," describes a problem in electromagnetic induction that did not originate with him, but ...
15
votes
2answers
381 views

Coulomb gauge fixing and “normalizability”

The Setup Let Greek indices be summed over $0,1,\dots, d$ and Latin indices over $1,2,\dots, d$. Consider a vector potential $A_\mu$ on $\mathbb R^{d,1}$ defined to gauge transform as $$ A_\mu\to ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

An example which contradict to Newton's 3rd law?

Let a,b be two charged particles. $$\vec{r}_a(0)=\vec{0}$$ $$\vec{r}_b(0)=r\hat{j}$$ $$\vec{v}_a(t)=v_a \hat{i}$$ $$\vec{v}_b(t)=v_b\hat{j}$$ In which both $v_a$ and $v_b$ $<<c$. Then ...
13
votes
5answers
787 views

Does GR provide a maximum electric field limit?

Does GR provide a limit to the maximum electric field? I've gotten conflicting information regarding this, and am quite confused. I will try to quote exactly when possible so as not to confuse ...
13
votes
4answers
723 views

Can we measure an electromagnetic field?

As far as I can check, the Aharonov-Bohm effect is not -- contrary to what is claimed in the historical paper -- a demonstration that the vector potential $A$ has an intrinsic existence in quantum ...
12
votes
3answers
457 views

Is classical electromagnetism a dead research field?

Is classical electromagnetism a dead research field? Are there any phenomena within classical electromagnetism that we have no explanation for?
11
votes
1answer
507 views

Boundary conditions / uniqueness of the propagators / Green's functions

My question(s) concern the interpretation and uniqueness of the propagators / Green's functions for both classical and quantum fields. It is well known that the Green's function for the Laplace ...
11
votes
1answer
381 views

Physical Interpretation of EM Field Lagrangian

Using differential forms and their picture interpretations, I wonder if it's possible to give a nice geometric & physical motivation for the form of the Electromagnetic Lagrangian density? The ...
10
votes
2answers
298 views

The problem of self-force on point charges

Allow me to preface this by stating that I am a high school student interested in physics and self-studying using a variety of resources, both on- and off-line, primarily GSU's HyperPhysics website, ...
10
votes
1answer
506 views

Explanation for speed of an electrical impulse

Our calculus book, Stewart, has a problem where they claim that for a metal cable (inner radius $r$) encased in insulation (outer radius $R$), the speed of an electrical impulse is given by $$v = - ...
8
votes
2answers
113 views

Counting the number of propagating degrees of freedom in Lorenz Gauge Electrodynamics

How do I definitively show that there are only two propagating degrees of freedom in the Lorenz Gauge $\partial_\mu A^\mu=0$ in classical electrodynamics. I need an clear argument that involves the ...
8
votes
2answers
236 views

What is the mechanism by which magnetic fields do work?

I've seen some conflicted answers to this question in texts and on the web, in the case of a dipole, for example. Do magnetic fields do work directly, or is it their induced electric fields that do ...
8
votes
2answers
467 views

Is it true that any system of accelerating charges will radiate?

I was recently told by a physics teacher that "any system of charges in which at least some of the charges are executing some sort of accelerated motion, will radiate and lose energy". This refers to ...
7
votes
4answers
379 views

Why does electric field intensity $E$ can be uniquely determined by its divergence and curl? [duplicate]

My question is, the number of following equations $$\nabla\cdot E=\frac{\rho}{\varepsilon}$$ $$\nabla\times E=-\frac{\partial B}{\partial t}$$ is 4 while the number of unknown variables ...
7
votes
3answers
755 views

Trouble with the Lorentz law of force: Incompatibility with special relativity and momentum conservation?

In Physical Review Letters, there was a paper recently published: Masud Mansuripur, Trouble with the Lorentz Law of Force: Incompatibility with Special Relativity and Momentum Conservation, Phys. ...
7
votes
2answers
609 views

Does a static electric field and the conservation of momentum give rise to a relationship between $E$, $t$, and some path $s$?

For a static electric field $E$ the conservation of energy gives rise to $$\oint E\cdot ds =0$$ Is there an analogous mathematical expression the conservation of momentum gives rise to?
6
votes
3answers
982 views

Maxwells Equation from Electromagnetic Lagrangian

In Heaviside-Lorentz units the Maxwell's equations are: $$\nabla \cdot \vec{E} = \rho $$ $$ \nabla \times \vec{B} - \frac{\partial \vec{E}}{\partial t} = \vec{J}$$ $$ \nabla \times \vec{E} + ...
6
votes
2answers
731 views

Pseudoscalar action in classical field theory

I was reading Landau and Lifschitz's "Classical Field Theory" and came across a comment that the action for electromagnetism must be a scalar, not a pseudoscalar (footnote in section 27). So I was ...
6
votes
5answers
801 views

What is the Lagrangian for a relativistic charge that includes the self-force?

The usual Lagrangian for a relativistically moving charge, as found in most text books, doesn't take into account the self force from it radiating EM energy. So what is the Lagrangian for a ...
6
votes
1answer
303 views

Recovering all of Maxwell's equations from the variational principle

Whether you can get the first couple of Maxwell equations from a variational principle? In the second volume of the Landau theoretical physics said that it is impossible.
6
votes
3answers
573 views

How do I calculate electric fields due to currents of magnetic dipoles?

Short version of my question: Do dipole currents cause fields? I think currents of aligned magnetic dipoles cause an electric field, but I don't know how to calculate this field except in the ...
6
votes
1answer
751 views

Noether theorem and classical proof of electric charge conservation

How to prove conservation of electric charge using Noether's theorem according to classical (non-quantum) mechanics? I know the proof based on using Klein–Gordon field, but that derivation use ...
5
votes
1answer
141 views

Chern-Simons Energy-Momentum Tensor

I'm assuming the following statement is true. I'm not finding any reference which shows that explicitly. Statement: Chern-Simons term is a topological one and does not contribute to the ...
5
votes
2answers
376 views

Electrostatics/ magnetostatics: why is $\int_\text{all space} d\vec r \; \nabla \cdot(\vec A \times \vec B)$ equal to 0?

I'm reading electrodynamics notes and come across that: $$\int_\text{all space} d\vec r \; \nabla \cdot(\vec A \times \vec B)=0$$ in case of magnetostatics and: $$\int_\text{all space} d\vec r \; ...
5
votes
1answer
88 views

Classical EM neglects electron recoil?

Imagine two electrons $A$ and $B$ at rest. Electron $B$ is at a vertical distance $r$ above electron $A$. Let us assume that the electrons are constrained to move on horizontal rails. At time $t=0$ ...
5
votes
0answers
184 views

Semiclassical QED and long-range interaction

I'm interested in the (very) low energy limit of quantum electrodynamics. I've seen that taking this limit does not yield Maxwell equations, but a quantum corrected non-linear version of them. If ...
4
votes
3answers
669 views

Why do electrons around nucleus radiate light according to classical physics

As I navigate through physics stackexchange, I noticed Electron model under Maxwell's theory. Electrons radiate light when revolving around nucleus? Why is it so obvious? Note that I do not know ...
4
votes
2answers
297 views

When studying electrodynamics do we assume Maxwell's Equations or derive them?

This question is because something made me confused. I always thought that the idea behind electrodynamics was to postulate some things, like Coulomb's law in electrostatics and so on, and then ...
4
votes
2answers
309 views

What is the time component of velocity of a light ray?

If we have a light ray $x^\mu$ with velocity $c$, what is $c^0$ (the time component)?
4
votes
1answer
294 views

What is the magnitude of the force on a charged particle due to electromagnetic radiation?

Suppose there is an electromagnetic wave moving forward in the $\mathbf{\hat{k}}$ direction. Its electric/magnetic field components are given by: $$\mathbf{E} = E_0 \sin(kz - \omega t) ...
4
votes
1answer
548 views

Meaning of terms and interpretation in the electric multipole expansion

In section 3.4.1 of Griffiths' Introduction to Electrodynamics, he discusses electric multipole expansion. He derives the formula or the electric potential of a dipole, which I follow, but right ...
4
votes
2answers
105 views

Applicability of the concept of voltage in electrodynamic circuits

In electrostatics, we have $$\nabla \times \vec{E} = 0$$. Hence, we can define a scalar potential $V$, where $$\vec{E} = -\nabla V$$. We know from Faraday's law that $$\nabla \times \vec{E} = ...
4
votes
1answer
153 views

How does light pass through rough glass?

Light incident on a rough surface will be diffuse after passing it. Angular intensity depends on the grinding of the glass surface. I'm trying to find information about the scattering indicatrix of ...
4
votes
1answer
576 views

Einstein's Field equations and impulse-energy tensor

I premise that I haven't yet studied General Relativity, but in Relativistic Electrodymaics I have knowed impulse-energy tensor of Electromagnetic Field. I know in Einstein's equations there is ...
4
votes
2answers
51 views

What is the difference between surface plasmon and surface plasmon polariton?

I'm trying to understand this reading article linked below and I still don't know how to explain this simply, without need to derive everything mathematically. Can someone just write here how do SP's ...
4
votes
2answers
135 views

In Jackson's expression for the electrostatic Green function, why is the Laplacian taken with respect to the primed coordinates?

Jackson writes, The function $1/|\mathbf{x} - \mathbf{x}'|$ is only one of a class of functions depending on the variables $\mathbf{x}$ and $\mathbf{x}'$, and called Green functions, which satisfy ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Force on Earth due to Sun's radiation pressure

I have been asked by my Classical Electrodynamics professor to calculate the force that the Sun exerts in the Earth's surface due to its radiation pressure supposing that all radiation is absorbed and ...
4
votes
1answer
234 views

Is there a Newton's third law for the em field?

There is a momentum associated with the em field that ensures the conservation of total momentum for a system of interacting charges. Can the same be done in an analagous way to ensure Newton's ...
4
votes
1answer
131 views

Soft Bremsstrahlung: why $\hat{k}\cdot\mathbf{v}= \mathbf{v}'\cdot\mathbf{v}$?

On page 181 in Peskin & Schroeder they say that we consider the integral (intensity) $$\tag{1}\mathcal{I}(\mathbf{v},\mathbf{v}') = ...
4
votes
1answer
102 views

What is the intensity of this light?

I am struggling with a derivation that calculates the cross sections for Mie scattering and since the incident light is considered to be a x-polarized plane wave I thought that we would have $$I_i = ...
4
votes
1answer
36 views

Connections of iterative solvers for large systems of equation in Physics?

I am trying to find the domains in physics where solving large systems of equations is computationally expensive. The sparse systems are of my particular interest, where the input matrix A is in GBs ...
4
votes
1answer
372 views

Transverse current equivalence in Coulomb gauge

I have a question concerning transverse (solenoidal) current in the Coulomb gauge. This current is the one that enables the radiation, since we have a wave equation for the vector potential: ...
3
votes
3answers
336 views

What does the * mean in spherical harmonics?

In Jackson's book about classical electrodynamics, this formula comes up: $$q_{lm} = \int \mathrm d^3 x' \, Y^*_{lm}\left(\theta', \phi'\right) r'^l \rho\left(\vec x'\right)$$ What does that $^*$ ...
3
votes
1answer
169 views

Missing terms in Hamiltonian after Legendre transformation of Lagrangian

Short question Given any Lagrangian density of fields one could possibly conceive, is it the case that after one has performed a Legendre transformation, if the Hamiltonian is then expressed in terms ...
3
votes
1answer
214 views

Is there a Hamiltonian for the (classical) electromagnetic field? If so, how can it be derived from the Lagrangian?

The classical Lagrangian for the electromagnetic field is $$\mathcal{L} = -\frac{1}{4\mu_0} F^{\mu \nu} F_{\mu \nu} + J^\mu A_\mu.$$ Is there also a Hamiltonian? If so, how to derive it? I know how ...
3
votes
2answers
44 views

Are all fluorophores dipoles?

Lately I'm reading about surface enhanced fluorescence. In many articles I can see that fluorophores are called "dipoles". Is it because that they can be modelled by a vibrating electric dipole? Or ...
3
votes
3answers
617 views

Why are the classical electron radius, the Bohr radius and the Compton wavelength of an electron related to each other?

Using the definition of the fine-structure constant $\alpha = \frac{4 \pi \epsilon_0 \hbar c}{e^2}$ and the Compton wavelength of an electron $\lambda_c = \frac{h}{m_e c}$ the classical electron ...