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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Similarity between the Coulomb force and Newton's gravitational force

Coulomb force and gravitational force has the same governing equation. So they should be same in nature. A moving electric charge creates magnetic field, so a moving mass should create some force ...
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2answers
931 views

Do Positrons Bend The Same Direction As Electrons In A Magnetic Field?

Electrons obey the right hand rule when a magnetic field bends their path. According to the right-hand rule, will positrons bend in the same direction?
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7answers
801 views

“Magnetic mnemonics”

Over and over I'm getting into the same trouble, so I'd like to ask for some help. I need to solve some basic electrodynamics problem, involving magnetic fields, moving charges or currents. But I ...
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2answers
335 views

Why isn't the ISS electrically charged?

If metal moves in a magnetic field it creates a current. So when the ISS (or any other satellite/object) orbits, is it charged such that if you connected a light, in a circuit, it would light up? ...
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4answers
6k views

The relation between Gauss's law and Coulomb law and why is it important that the electric field decrease proportionally to $\frac{1}{r^{2}}$?

My question relates to the third MIT's video lecture about Electricity and Magnetism, specifically from $21:18-22:00$ : http://youtu.be/XaaP1bWFjDA?t=21m18s I have watched the development of Gauss's ...
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2answers
80 views

Units of vector differential operator del ($\nabla$)

My book says that $\left[\nabla \cdot (\vec E \times \vec H)\right] = \mathrm{W/m^3}$. I see that $\vec E$ is in $\mathrm{V/m}$ and $\vec H$ is $\mathrm{A/m}$, so these multiplied is $\mathrm{W/m^2}$, ...
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3answers
520 views

Do objects have energy because of their charge?

My gut feeling tells me things should have energy because of their charge, like they have energy because of their mass. Is this possible? Has it been shown? If not then what is missing to make such ...
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3answers
3k views

Is visible light and radio waves made of the same thing?

I understand that there is such a thing as the electro magnetic spectrum, and that light and RF are both on it, so dose that mean that they are made of the same thing? Just at different frequencies.
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2answers
239 views

Need some help interpreting a formula inspired from Coulomb's law

It has been more than a decade since I did all vector related math and physics so pardon me if my question does not make sense. I am reading some article that says it was inspired from Coulomb's law ...
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4answers
253 views

Is Gauss' law valid for time-dependent electric fields?

The Maxwell's equation $\boldsymbol{\nabla}\cdot \textbf{E}(\textbf{r})=\frac{\rho(\textbf{r})}{\epsilon_0}$ is derived from the Gauss law in electrostatics (which is in turn derived from Coulomb's ...
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2answers
366 views

Why is the Luminiferous aether theory wrong? [closed]

I saw on this page about the constant speed of light that there are two ways of interpreting this constant speed: General relativity The Luminiferous aether theory I understand why the theory of ...
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6answers
604 views

Why can't electrons fall into the nucleus?

I read a book on pop sci book on quantum mechanics and the author said that electrons do not fall into the nucleus due to quantum mechanics- which principles suggest this (I think it was Heisenberg's ...
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2answers
333 views

Oil drop experiment and quantization of charge

How to systematically show that the resulting charges in oil drop experiment are integers multiplied by $e$ in other word how to extract $e$ from the data?
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2answers
4k views

Does a Faraday cage block all magnetic field frequencies lower than x?

Where x is a function of the dimension of its holes. I mean, if I build a faraday cage able to shield magnetic field at 100kHz, will it we able to shield also all frequencies lower than 100kHz, such ...
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3answers
3k views

Is there an EMF in a conductor moving at constant speed across the uniform magnetic field [duplicate]

If a conductor - a long rod - moves at constant speed across the "lines" of a uniform magnetic field, is there an EMF within this conductor? Or, if a conducting rod rotates at uniform rate, pivoted ...
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4answers
408 views

Why in $F = iLB$, $L$ is a vector but $i$ is not?

I learned $F = iLB$ recently. However, I don't understand why $L$ is marked as a vector but $i$ is not. For a normal rod, how should I define the direction of length vector $L$? And if I reverse the ...
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4answers
512 views

Gauss' law - changes in the magnitude of E field inside the closed surface

Gauss's law says that the flux through a closed surface which contains neither a sink nor a source will be zero. It's quite clear that all field lines will have to exit somehow, but the strength of ...
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3answers
2k views

How is electromagnetic wave variation distributed in space?

Imagine an electromagnetic wave (a monochromatic one for example). The electric field amplitude and its variations travel in the propagation direction. So, if there really exists a propagation ...
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3answers
568 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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4answers
5k views

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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4answers
402 views

Electromagnetic field tensor via tensor products?

Can the electromagnetic field tensor be thought of as the tensor product of two physically reasonable vectors? Are the vectors arbitrarily constructed so that their components simply give the values ...
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1answer
776 views

What gauge is used in the Lagrangian for a non-relativistic point particle in an electromagnetic potential

For the Lagrangian $$L = \frac{1}{2}mu^2 - q(\phi - \frac{\vec{A}}{c}\cdot \vec{u})$$ of a non-relativistic point particle in an electromagnetic potential, what gauge is used for the electromagnetic ...
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2answers
3k views

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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3answers
392 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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2answers
496 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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2answers
113 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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3answers
1k views

Is an electron attracted to one of the magnetic poles in this scenario?

Do magnets attract electrons? I don't think so, but maybe in certain cases they can be? I guess it would depend on what direction the velocity and magnetic field is in so that the force acting on the ...
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3answers
363 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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1answer
226 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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2answers
259 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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2answers
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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2answers
4k views

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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1answer
105 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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2answers
98 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 ...
2
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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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3answers
771 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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4answers
395 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
394 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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3answers
194 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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1answer
1k views

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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3answers
1k views

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 ...
2
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1answer
317 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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1answer
569 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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3answers
479 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. ...
2
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1answer
772 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 ...
2
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2answers
234 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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1answer
187 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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2answers
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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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2answers
2k views

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 ...