The classical theory of electric and magnetic fields, both in the static and dynamic case. Also covers general questions about magnets, electric attraction/repulsion etc. Distinct from electrical-engineering.

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Special designs to reduce the electrical resistance of a wire

The numerical simulation of this nerdy question shows that the resistance decreases with the number of nodes along longest side, and converges to a finite value when the # of nodes approaches ...
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379 views

Magnetic monopole and vector potential

Does anyone know how to prove (in a simple way if possible) that it is impossible to define a single-valued globally defined magnetic vector potential $\vec{A}$ on the manifold ...
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489 views

Why do old transformers make sounds, but new ones don't?

What I think is that maybe insulation is gradually removed between plates, and eddy currents start passing from one plate to another and this produces sound. Am I right?
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110 views

Where does the $\partial \vec{E}/\partial t$ term from Maxwell's equation go in Ampere's Law?

One of Maxwell's Equations (ME) is: $$\nabla\times\vec B = \mu_0\vec J+\epsilon_0\mu_0 \frac{\partial \vec E}{\partial t}.$$ While Ampere's Law (AL) is: $$\nabla\times\vec B = \mu_0\vec J.$$ ...
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Why are there dust particles on TV screens?

My professor gave us the following reason: The screen is positively charged. When dust particles fly near it, the positive charges in the screen induce a charge in the dust particle, pulling the ...
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Exciting Surface Plasmon-Polaritons with Grating Coupling

I'm very new the topic of SPPs and have been trying to understand this particular method of exciting surface plasmons using a 1D periodic grating of grooves, with distance $a$ between each groove. If ...
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355 views

How Does $\epsilon$ Relate to the Dampened Harmonic Motion of Electrons?

I realize that the permittivity $\epsilon$ of a substance is easily calculated based on diffraction angles, but I am not satisfied with merely measuring it experimentally. I wish to understand its ...
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222 views

A classically trivial quantum field theory of electromagnetism

Presumably there is a field theory of electromagnetism that classically gives trivial equations of motion, but when quantized shows interesting topological phenomena. I am talking about the Lagrangian ...
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257 views

Interaction speed between electric charges and magnetic materials

Einstein said that the speed of a matter in universe cannot exceed the speed of light. Is it correct for electric force transmission speed from one electric charge to other one? What is ...
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6k views

Why exactly does current carrying two current wires attract/repel?

When to parallel wires carrying currents in same direction I1 & I2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43AeuDvWc0k this video demonstrates that effect. My question is, why exactly does this happen? ...
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Why do bar magnets have least attraction in its center?

Why do bar magnets have the least attraction in its center?
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1answer
2k views

Current from induced emf

If the induced emf in a circuit is negative, and current from this emf is the emf over the resistance, what happens to the negative sign in the induced emf when solving for the current? Surely there's ...
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98 views

Why is the electromagnetic four-potential $A_{\mu}$ not an observable?

Why within classical field-theory the electromagnetic four-potential (usually $A_{\mu}$) not an observable? In classical mechanics we don't have problems with energy measurements and in quantum ...
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94 views

Classical Hall effect when current has neutral charge

Suppose I have a current of both negative and positive charges(I know that there is also current from only negative and only positive charges,I'm not confused) along an infinite wire of square ...
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442 views

How can a magnetic field accelerate particles if it cannot do work?

A varying magnetic field can accelerate charge particles, but it is said that a magnetic field can't do any work so it should not be able to speed up charged particles, right? How is this apparent ...
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1answer
89 views

Why is $\mu_0$ missing in EM formulas in Peskin and Schroeder?

In this post, $\hbar=c=1$ units are used throughout. It is well known that the action of classical electromagnetism is given by $$\mathcal S_{\text{Maxwell}} = \int ...
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728 views

How does a single charge produce magnetic field?

I have studied in Introduction to electrodynamics (Griffiths) that magnetic field is actually due to effects of relativity unequal Lorentz contraction of the positive charge and negative lines, a ...
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364 views

How any material can provide electrostatic and magnetic shielding

Several metallic objects like Iron, Copper etc can provide electrostatic shielding (one should remain inside the car during thunderstorm) and several superconductors like HTS (High Temperature ...
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1answer
387 views

How to properly construct the electromagnetic tensor in curved space-time?

How do I properly construct the electromagnetic tensor in curved space-time? I have my curved spacetime metric $(+,-,-,-)$ and my magnetic vector potential $A$. I tried two ways but not sure which is ...
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191 views

Question about units of mass, $M = (L^{3})(T^{-2})$?

In section 5 of the "Preliminary: On the measurement of quantities" chapter (page 3) in "A treatise on electricity and magnetism" Maxwell uses, total length, $s=mt^{2}/{2r^{2}}$to show that ...
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Deriving the Electromagnetic Tensor

The electromagnetic tensor is given as: How do you derive this? And how come there is a partial derivative in front of $A_\mu$? Do you multiply the derivatives or what?
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315 views

Isn't the front edge of a wave, kind of “information” which travels faster than light?

Considering the definition of phase and group velocities, We know group velocity can't exceed C but phase velocity can be infinitely high. Assume a monochromatic electromagnetic wave traveling with a ...
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552 views

Why are magnetic fields only produced by moving charges? [duplicate]

Why do charged particles only produce magnetic fields while in motion?
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471 views

Magnetic B Field of Point Charge Not at Constant Velocity

I'm working on an N-body simulator for charged particles. I know that moving charged particles generate a magnetic field, and another moving charged particle could be effected by this magnetic field. ...
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Dirichlet and Neumann Boundary condition: physical example

Can anybody tell me some practical/physical example where we use Dirichlet and Neumann Boundary condition. Is it possible to use both conditions together at the same region? If we have a cylindrical ...
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1answer
730 views

How does a magnet work?

I'm having trouble understanding how a magnet (not the field that is generated as a result but the material itself) work. The particles are aligned in a specific direction to give rise to force but I ...
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2answers
225 views

Does hitting metals magnetize them?

I was on my workshop lab today and had to file (rub on metal surface with rough surface to smooth-en it) an iron bar. It made iron dust fall of the surface. To mark some points on the bar I then had ...
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186 views

Can unbound electrons jump energy levels?

If an unbound electron (or indeed any charged particle) is moving through free space, is there a probability that it can spontaneously change energy by emitting a photon, or does this require the ...
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Why can't electromagnetic radiation from magnets be used for apparent perpetual motion?

If electromagnetic radiation represents a transfer of energy, then does a permanent magnet represent unlimited energy, and if so, why can't magnets be used for perpetual motion? Even if permanent ...
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Does a charging capacitor emit an electromagnetic wave?

Assume you charge a (parallel plate) capacitor. This establishes an electric field (the $\mathbf E$ vector points from one plate to the other) and a circular magnetic field (the $\mathbf B$ vector ...
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487 views

Gauss' law giving zero field where field is not zero?

Two plastic sheets with charged densities as shown: I'm trying to find the field at $B$. I obtained the correct answer by adding up the fields created by each charge density. But I realized that ...
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Potential energy of a charged ring

Consider a ring of radius $R$, and charge density $\rho$. What will be the potential energy of the ring in its self field? The best I can do: $$dq = \rho R \cdot \, d \alpha $$ $$E_p = 2 \pi R \cdot ...
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4answers
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Can heat be transfered via magnetic field in a vacuum?

Say you want to store hot coffee in a container surrounded by a vacuum. To remove all sources of conductive energy loss the container is suspended in the vacuum by a magnetic field and does not have a ...
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3answers
137 views

Electric field or static electric field around a plugged-in lamp cord (when lamp is not turned on)?

When an electrical cord from, say, a lamp, is plugged into an AC wall socket, I'm aware that an electric field forms around the entire length of the cord and even before the lamp switch is flipped on. ...
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217 views

The fainter the star, the further away it is?

If a star appears to be very faint, would it imply that it's really far away or that it's luminosity is minimum?
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145 views

Why is the displacement current term needed in the Maxwell's equations?

Why did Maxwell believe that a displacement current term needed to be added to Ampere's circuital law? I have found loads of answers online about the plates acting as capacitors but i don't ...
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1answer
241 views

Poisson's equation for time dependent charge

Is Poisson's equation valid for a time dependent charge density? I think Poisson's equation is valid just for electrostatic fields. But I saw a paper that's used this equation for time dependent ...
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Relationship between surface density and volume density

Often in an E&M problem, I'm having to "chop" an extended object into an infinite sum of smaller extended objects which I know more about to find a potential or electric field or whatever. The ...
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341 views

What happens to a photon after it is absorbed by an antenna?

I recently have read about interception of wireless information, however this mentions that people can intercept the information, and then somehow the recipient also gets the information. Regardless ...
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230 views

Does the Bohr van Leeuwen Theorem also apply to ferromagnetism?

I know that the Bohr-van Leeuwen theorem shows that there could be not consistent pure classical explanation of dia- and paramagnetism. Does the same theorem also rule out a consistent classical ...
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197 views

Why is this not a violation of parity invarance for EM

I read that Wu's experiment illustrates that parity violation is possible for weak processes. In that experiment, when Co-60 undergoes beta decay, the emitted electrons come out opposite to the ...
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4answers
806 views

What does the work on a current carrying wire in a Magnetic Field?

We consider that the force acting on a current carrying wire placed in a uniform magnetic field perpendicular to the length of the wire is given by $IBl$. If the wire moves by a distance $x$ in a ...
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Copper coils for nMRI

Given the lack of financial efficacy in the medical industry, I was wondering if nuclear magnetic resonance imaging would be possible with a copper/silver coil if the use is short 10 second imaging ...
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2answers
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Can an electromagnet repel a strong magnet?

When the direction of current is reversed, the polarity of an electromagnet should be reversed. I am trying to understand why this did not happen in an experiment I conducted today. An electromagnet ...
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1answer
77 views

Proof that 4-potential exists from Gauss-Faraday field equation

This is a problem concerning covariant formulation of electromagnetism. Given $$\partial_{[\alpha} F_{\beta\gamma]}~=~ 0 $$ how does one prove that $F$ can be obtained from a 4-potential $A$ such ...
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Why does charge accumulate at points?

This is a very trivial question, but I can't seem to reason it out, again, as to why charges gather at points and edges.
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1 Tesla electromagnet?

Is it possible to create a powerful electromagnet at home? With use of a ferromagnet it seems so... Using the following formula: $B(Tesla)= k\mu_0nI$. I understand some ferromagnet's like iron could ...
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1answer
317 views

Why are lab Magnets painted red?

Wy are lab magnets painted red in color? I tried searching everywhere but couldn't get a satisfactory answer.
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131 views

Does the Lorentz force change under a boost?

I have a question about the Lorentz force on a charge $q$: $$\mathbf{F}=q(\mathbf{E}+\mathbf{v}\times\mathbf{B}).$$ I understand that if one performs a Lorentz boost then the electric field ...
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What is the interpretation of the Chern-Simons electromagnetic spin density?

Hans de Vries (who happens to be a no-longer-active physics.SE user) has an online book (referenced below) in which ch. 6 is a presentation of an object he calls the Chern-Simons current, ...