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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Can microwaves affect wifi - and can they harm us?

I listen to the radio via my iPad with wifi. When I switch the microwave oven on, the radio cuts out. When the microwave oven is finished, the radio comes back on. (This is 100% reproducible!) So - ...
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Where's the energy in a boosted capacitor?

Suppose I look at a parallel plate capacitor in its rest frame and calculate the electrostatic energy, $E$. Next, I look at the same capacitor in a primed frame boosted in the direction perpendicular ...
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Maxwell's Equations using Differential Forms

Maxwell's Equations written with usual vector calculus are $$\nabla \cdot E=\rho/\epsilon_0 \qquad \nabla \cdot B=0$$ $$\nabla\times E=-\dfrac{\partial B}{\partial t} \qquad\nabla\times ...
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Quantizing EM field

Why when we quantize EM field, whe quantize the vector potential $A^\mu$ obtaining vectorial particles (photons) like the elastic field (phonons) and we can't quantize directly the EM-field tensor ...
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What is the symmetry which is responsible for preservation/conservation of electrical charges?

Another Noether's theorem question, this time about electrical charge. According to Noether's theorem, all conservation laws originate from invariance of a system to shifts in a certain space. For ...
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Is the concept of a field necessary to electrodynamics?

I've read (in Griffith's text) that it is "possible, though cumbersome" to dispense with the field concept in electrodynamics entirely and instead use an action-at-a-distance theory. What exactly is ...
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Does Kaluza-Klein Theory Require an Additional Scalar Field?

I've seen the Kaluza-Klein metric presented in two different ways., cf. Refs. 1 and 2. In one, there is a constant as well as an additional scalar field introduced: $$\tilde{g}_{AB}=\begin{pmatrix} ...
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110 views

Does the geomagnetic field rotate?

The Earth rotates about it's own axis. Do the geomagnetic field lines rotate due to this rotation or not?
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Special relativity and electromagnets

This Veritasium video explains how electromagnets can be explained by special relativity, and how the magnetic field surrounding a current-carrying wire can also be viewed as an electric field, if ...
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576 views

Do neutron stars reflect light?

The setup is very simple: you have a regular ($1.35$ to $2$ solar masses) evolved neutron star, and you shine plane electromagnetic waves on it with given $\lambda$. Very roughly, what shall be the ...
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Is the Abraham-Minkowski controversy resolved?

A paper was published in 2010 claiming to resolve the Abraham-Minkowski controversy. Is this paper viewed as definitive by physicists?
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Is it possible to kill a human with a powerful magnet?

I'm asking in terms of physics. Can powerful magnetic induction rearrange spins of my body in such way I will die? How? Or maybe it can rip all iron from me, which would make my blood cells useless? ...
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What is the condition for accelerating charge to radiate?

I was always taught that any accelerating charge produces radiation, but I don't think this condition is sufficient condition. For instance, any free charge on Earth is accelerated due to Earth ...
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current in wire + special relativity = magnetism

Current in wire + moving charge next to wire creates magnetic force in the stationary reference frame OR electric force in the moving reference frame from special relativity due to change in charge ...
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How does quantum trapping with diamagnets work?

I just saw this demonstration by someone from a Tel Aviv University lab. What they achieved there is mind blowing. I myself own a levitron that uses the Hall effect to levitate a magnet, the problem ...
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588 views

How would I go about detecting monopoles?

A question needed for a "solid" sci-fi author: How to detect a strong magnetic monopole? (yes, I know no such thing is to be found on Earth). Think of basic construction details, principles of ...
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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 ...
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246 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 ...
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How do I derive the Lorenz gauge from the continuity equation?

I was reading my old electromagnetics book (Elements of Electromagnetics, by Sadiku, 3rd edition) and after the author explained what the Lorenz gauge is mathematically and why it is useful in ...
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Forces as One-Forms and Magnetism

Well, some time ago I've asked here if we should consider representing forces by one-forms. Indeed the idea as, we work with a manifold $M$ and we represent a force by some one-form $F \in ...
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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. ...
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Measuring the spin of a single electron

Is it possible to measure the spin of a single electron? What papers have been published on answering this question? Would the measurement require a super sensitive SQUID, Superconductive Quantum ...
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636 views

How can we make an order-of-magnitude estimate of the strength of Earth's magnetic field?

The source of Earth's magnetic field is a dynamo driven by convection current in the molten core. Using some basic physics principles (Maxwell's equations, fluid mechanics equations), properties of ...
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508 views

Has The Aharonov-Bohm Effect Been Experimentally Proven?

I have encountered two contradicting papers on the Aharonov-Bohm Effect: One supporting, The Aharonov-Bohm Effects: Variations on a Subtle Theme. H Batelaan and A Tonomura. Physics Today 62 pp. ...
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What is the minimum wavelength of electromangetic radiation?

As a first approximation, I don't see how a wavelength of less than 2 Planck distances could exist. The question is: are there any other limits that would come into play before that? For example: ...
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191 views

Temperature and resistance?

Why does resistivity increase with temperature? The explanations I have heard so far are that increasing temperature increases vibrations in the lattice structure resulting in the number of ...
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474 views

No magnetic dipole moment for photon

Electrically neutral particles such as neutrinos can have nonvanishing magnetic dipole moments. Spin-1 particles, e.g., deuterium nuclei, can also have dipole moments. Googling seems to show that the ...
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670 views

Can I replace neodymium magnets with similar-size electromagnets?

I am interface designer that occasionally steps out and does some product/concept design. The last one I'm working on is something that would require me to make a matrix of little electromagnets, and ...
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Can superconducting magnets fly (or repel the earth's core)?

If a superconducting magnet and appropriate power supply had just enough $I\cdot s$ (current $\cdot$ length) so that when it was perpendicular to the earth's magnetic field, the force of the ...
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Derivation of Maxwell's equations from field tensor lagrangian

I've started reading Peskin and Schroeder on my own time, and I'm a bit confused about how to obtain Maxwell's equations from the (source-free) lagrangian density $L = ...
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Why does the “Troll-Mobile” not work?

See image: If I'm not totally dumb the car would move when the right magnet would not be attached to the car, at same distance of the booth magnets. So why would it not move?
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Why is the Principle of Superposition true in EM? Does it hold more generally?

In the theory of electromagnetism (EM), why is the principle of superposition true? Can we read it off from Maxwell's equations directly? Does it have any limit of applicability or is it a ...
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Are Classical Field Theory and Quantum Mechanics of a single particle (nonrelativistic or “classical”) limits of Quantum Field Theory?

Recently I talked about QFT with another physicist and mentioned that the Quantum Field Theory of a fermion is a quantisation of its one-particle quantum mechanical theory. He denied this and ...
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Is it safe to use any wireless device during a lightning storm?

I need "educated" reasons whether it is safe to use any wireless device during a lightning storm. Most people said don't use it but they cannot explain why.
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Can we say there are 2 EM radiation types?

EM radiation seems to come from two different sources: According to the Maxwell, by acceleration of electrons According to the Bohr, by jumping of electrons between energy levels? Are these two, ...
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Why is visible light used in Optical fibers (instead of other EM waves)?

Why aren't other electromagnetic waves used in optical fibres instead of visible light? Is it because the wavelength of light fits the internal reflection/refractive index of the material used for the ...
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441 views

Do we need waves for fields?

I was pondering about EM Waves and fields and felt that there is an inconsistency in the physical picture of EM waves that I have in my mind. For example let us consider a charge at rest . Now lets ...
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Would a magnet attract a paperclip indefinitely?

Let's say we have a magnet stuck to a metal bar, suspended above the ground. If I attach a paperclip to the magnet, where is the energy to hold the paperclip coming from (against the force of ...
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484 views

Frequency modulation using visible light

Currently I am doing research into visible light communication from an Embedded Systems background (MSc), but I am struggling to relate the concepts of modulation of radio to visible light. I already ...
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Geometric interpretation of Electromagnetism

For gravity, we have General Relativity, which is a geometric theory for gravitation. Is there a similar analog for Electromagnetism?
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Can I levitate an object without using an electromagnet?

I know that it's possible to make an object levitate using an electromagnet to hold it up. But is it also possible to do this with regular magnets? Is there a special kind of magnet I need in order ...
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Does a 4-current J determine a unique maxwell-faraday F tensor up to isometry?

Maxwell's equations on a pseudo-Riemannian manifold $(M,g_{ab})$ say, $$d_a F_{bc} = \nabla_{[a}F_{bc]} = 0,$$ $$\nabla_a F^{ab} = J^b,$$ where $d_a$ is the exterior derivative, $\nabla_a$ is the ...
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Does a radio receiver add a load to the transmitter?

If I have a dynamo connected to a switch and a load (such as a light bulb), the load on the dynamo is increased when the switch is closed and the light comes on. The dynamo gets harder to turn. Is ...
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482 views

Can a free particle absorb/emit photons?

As simple as in the title.. I would like to know also some mathematics about it!
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How is stable levitation possible?

This question is with reference to the video in this blog post: http://www.universetoday.com/90183/quantum-levitation-and-the-superconductor/ My question is the following: how is the disc stable in ...
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336 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.
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Why is the Hodge dual so essential?

It seems unnatural to me that it is so often worthwhile to replace physical objects with their Hodge duals. For instance, if the magnetic field is properly thought of as a 2-form and the electric ...
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203 views

Time dilation only on electromagnetic force?

We've seen by experiment that the speed of light c appears to be constant for each observer (leading to all well-known consequences of relativity). I'm wondering if this appearance of constancy of c ...
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655 views

why dosen't a charged particle radiate energy in circular motion in a uniform magnetic field?

I have studied in my Physics course that one of the drawbacks of Rutherford's atomic model was that when an electron will revolve around the nucleus, it is undergoing acceleration and so it should ...
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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 ...