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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (6)

3
votes
3answers
2k views

How do electromagnetic waves carry quantised energy?

If an electron oscillates about a mean position, it will create a time varying electric filed which in turn will create a time varying magnetic field and so on to create an electromagnetic wave. How ...
2
votes
1answer
309 views

How can radiation be a transverse wave? Does light really resemble a rope? How can a 3D field be a medium for non-spatial 1D waves? Need mental model

I understand longitudinal waves. For example, I've got a clear mental modal of air waves: a slice of air becomes overcompressed, then the slice next to it becomes overcompressed and the first slice ...
2
votes
1answer
522 views

Electrodynamics and the Lagrangian density

Could anyone tell me what equations can I obtain from the Lagrangian density $${\cal L}(\phi,\,\,\phi_{,i},\,\,A_i, \dot A_i,\,\,A_{i,j})~=~\frac{1}{2}|\dot A+\nabla\phi|^2-\frac{1}{2}|\nabla \times ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Understanding the Seebeck effect

Thermoelectricity is, as I understand it, the difference in voltage between the hot and cold ends of two dissimilar materials. If two materials are connected at two different junctions, the hot ...
1
vote
1answer
111 views

What is the nature of the magnetic fields? [closed]

In this question, I am hoping to find out if there is an explanation to the magnetic hidden forces. In other words, what causes these fields? Is there any suggested theory, or any confirmed ones ? ...
1
vote
3answers
6k views

How do I calculate the power consumed by a lightbulb?

I'm studying a lightbulb and its variable resistance, given by the expression: $R(T) = Ro[1 + α(T-T_0)]$, where $R_0$ is the resistance of the lamp at $T_0$. In this case, $R$ is not given by Ohm's ...
0
votes
1answer
6k views

what is the specific cause of permanent magnetism [duplicate]

Why can't we answer this simple question? Where does the magnetic field of a permanent magnet come from? What is different about a magnetizable atom that allows it? Why is it perpetual? Or is it ...
13
votes
4answers
815 views

Coulomb's Law in the presence of a strong gravitational field

I was under the impression that the $1/r^2$ falloff of various forces were because of the way the area of a expanding sphere scales. But that strict $1/r^2$ falloff would only be globally true in a ...
8
votes
4answers
3k views

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 ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Lorentz force in Dirac theory and its classical limit

It is well known that in Dirac theory the time derivative of $P_i=p_i+A_i$ operator (where $p_i=∂/∂_i$, $A_i$ - EM field vector potential) is an analogue of the Lorentz force: $\frac{dP_i}{dt} = ...
6
votes
2answers
715 views

Calculate the electric field of a moving infinite magnet, without boosting

Consider a rectangular slab of permanently magnetized material. The slab's dimensions are $L_x$, $L_y$, and $L_z$, and the slab is uniformly magnetized in the $\hat{x}$-direction. The slab is not ...
5
votes
3answers
553 views

Acceleration of electric charges and radiation

According to classical electromagnetic theory, accelerated charges should emit radiation and lose energy. The reason given in my book why atoms don't emit radiation (say, when the atom moves along a ...
5
votes
1answer
506 views

If a magnetic monopole falls into a schwarzchild black hole, what happens to the magnetic field?

By the no-hair theorem, black holes can only have mass, charge and angular momentum. Does "charge" include "magnetic charge" (such as from a magnetic monopole)? Can black holes have magnetic charge ...
4
votes
1answer
439 views

Coulomb interaction as virtual particles exchange?

I've been reading about virtual particle exchanges in physics books and in Physics SA posts, where a particle interpretation of gravity and Coulomb interaction is established. The Feynman Diagram ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Cancel out Earth's Magnetic field

Is there any tools except helmholtz coil to cancel out earth's magnetic field to calibrate magnetometers in practice.
4
votes
4answers
3k views

Work done by the Magnetic Force

The magnetic part of the Lorentz force acts perpendicular to the charge's velocity, and consequently does zero work on it. Can we extrapolate this statement to say that such a nature of the force ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

formula for transparency of very thin film of metal

Is there formula that gives transparency of very thin film of given metal (tens of nanometers) to the visible light/light of given wavelength ? Which properties of metals are needed for the formula ? ...
2
votes
1answer
531 views

Is every electromagnetic radiation considered “light”?

Somebody mentioned on Freenode chatroom for physics that All Electromagnetic Radiation are delivered in form of Photons not just light. Is it true? Does that mean if we get a THF electrical ...
2
votes
3answers
411 views

Why do surfaces act like barriers for electrons?

Say you have a conductor, filled with free electrons. The nuclei have a weak pull on the valence electrons so they are moving around in the conductor. But the electrons don't leave the solid. If you ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Does AC current produce EM waves?

Does AC current in simple wires produce electromagnetic waves? AC current entails very rapid changes in polarity and therefore the electrons in the metal will feel rapidly changing forces which should ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Has NASA confirmed that Roger Shawyer's EmDrive thruster works? [duplicate]

This article states: But somehow, despite all of the reasons it shouldn’t work, it does. Scientists at NASA just confirmed it. Now in this question - it is strongly suggested that this ...
1
vote
2answers
772 views

Deriving the Lorentz force from velocity dependent potential

We can achieve a simplified version of the Lorentz force by $$F=q\bigg[-\nabla(\phi-\mathbf{A}\cdot\mathbf{v})-\frac{d\mathbf{A}}{dt}\bigg],$$ where $\mathbf{A}$ is the magnetic vector potential and ...
1
vote
1answer
938 views

Gravity force strength in 1D, 2D, 3D and higher spatial dimensions

Let's say that we want to measure the gravity force in 1D, 2D, 3D and higher spatial dimensions. Will we get the same force strength in the first 3 dimensions and then it will go up? How about if ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

measuring electromagnetic induction

There is a famous law which says that a potential difference is produced across a conductor when it is exposed to a varying MF. But, how do you measure it to prove? It is quite practical. ...
0
votes
3answers
2k views

Direction of Magnetic force from a current running through a coil of wire

What is the direction is the magnetic force vectors pointing from a coil of wire that has current running through it? ...
-1
votes
2answers
43 views

Electromagnetism on a compass [closed]

A current $2\ \mathrm A$ flows in a vertical wire. The value of the horizontal component of earths magnetic field in the region is $2*10^{-5}\ \mathrm T$. A small compass is placed $5\ \mathrm{cm}$ ...
-4
votes
3answers
1k views

There must be free positive charges, moving oppositely to electrons for the wire with current to stay neutral

All popular expositions (e.g. these ones) of relativistic electromagnetism claim univocally that electrons in motion become more dense due to the speed. They teach that Lorentz contraction of charges ...
-6
votes
4answers
8k views

What is the difference between gravitation and magnetism?

If you compress a large mass, on the order of a star or the Earth, into a very small space, you get a black hole. Even for very large masses, it is possible in principle for it to occupy a very small ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

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 ...
37
votes
4answers
5k views

How wrong are the classical Maxwell's equations (as compared to QED)?

Now, I don't really mean to say that Maxwell's equations are wrong. I know Maxwell's equations are very accurate when it comes to predicting physical phenomena, but going through high school and now ...
17
votes
9answers
2k views

“Reality” of EM waves vs. wavefunction of individual photons - why not treat the wave function as equally “Real”?

In thinking how to ask this question (somewhat) succinctly, I keep coming back to a Microwave Oven. A Microwave Oven has a grid of holes over the window specifically designed to be smaller in ...
15
votes
7answers
12k views

What does it take to understand Maxwell's equations?

Assume I want to learn math and physics enough to reach a level where I understand Maxwell's equations (The terms and reasoning in the equations I.e. why they "work"). What would I have to learn in ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

Maxwell in multiple dimensions: What happens to curl?

I read this answer a while ago, and while thinking about $\nabla$, I realized something. Since the cross product can be written as a determinant, in higher dimensions we require extra vector inputs. ...
11
votes
1answer
540 views

Formulation of Transformation optics using a Material Manifold

Dear Community, recently, Transformation optics celebrates some sort of scientific revival due to its (possible) applications for cloaking, see e.g. Broadband Invisibility by Non-Euclidean Cloaking ...
27
votes
6answers
3k views

Is a suit that hides a soldier's heat signature fundamentally possible?

I recently played "Crysis", a game where the protagonist wears a suit that allows the player to hide both himself and his heat signature. Then I watched Iron Man 3, where a kid suggests that Tony ...
25
votes
6answers
18k views

What non-metal is attracted by a magnet?

Are there any non-metal objects that are attracted by magnets?
14
votes
4answers
3k views

Fundamental invariants of the electromagnetic field

It is a standard exercise in relativistic electrodynamics to show that the electromagnetic field tensor $F_{\mu\nu}$, whose components equal the electric $E^i=cF^{i0}$ and magnetic ...
12
votes
2answers
908 views

Is there a strong force analog to magnetic fields?

In special relativity, magnetism can be re-interpreted as an aspect of how electric charges interact when viewed from different inertial frames. Color charge is more complex than electric charge, but ...
4
votes
1answer
12k views

Physical meaning of Maxwell's equations and origin of EM waves

Is it possible to describe the physical meaning of Maxwell's equations and show how they lead to electromagnetic wave, with little involvement of mathematics ?
14
votes
6answers
10k views

What is canonical momentum?

What does the canonical momentum $\textbf{p}=m\textbf{v}+e\textbf{A}$ mean? Is it just momentum accounting for electromagnetic effects?
4
votes
1answer
625 views

How do you go from quantum electrodynamics to Maxwell's equations?

I've read and heard that quantum electrodynamics is more fundamental than maxwells equations. How do you go from quantum electrodynamics to Maxwell's equations?
1
vote
5answers
862 views

Can you depict the electron's electromagnetic field?

I've had a number of discussions with individuals about electromagnetism. A recurring issue concerns the distinction between field and force, and seems to be associated with the lack of unification in ...
24
votes
5answers
2k views

Why do we deal only with large scale magnetic fields in astrophysics, and not electric fields?

In astrophysics there is a lot going on about strong, large scale magnetic fields: in stars (prominences), magnetic dynamos, compact accretors collimating jets, etc. There's even a special ...
18
votes
0answers
694 views

What different approximations yield Gravitoelectromagnetism and Weak Field Einstein Equations?

This question is inspired by this answer, which cites Gravitoelectromagnetism (GEM) as a valid approximation to the Einstein Field Equations (EFE). The wonted presentation of gravitational waves is ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

Making symmetry between E and B fields manifest in Lagrangian

Maxwell's equations are nearly symmetric between $E$ and $B$. If we add magnetic monopoles, or of course if we restrict ourselves to the sourceless case, then this symmetry is exact. This is not ...
10
votes
4answers
574 views

Electromagnetic field and continuous and differentiable vector fields

We have notions of derivative for a continuous and differentiable vector fields. The operations like curl,divergence etc. have well defined precise notions for these fields. We know electrostatic and ...
10
votes
3answers
7k views

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 ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Influence of charged particle's own electric field on itself

I read this in my textbook: A charged particle or object is not affected by its own electric field. Since I find this completely unintuitive and my mind is yelling "wrong! wrong! how could a particle ...
8
votes
6answers
4k views

How do EM waves propagate?

I have read about this and what I surmise is that when charged particles such as electrons accelerate they produce time-varying electric fields. These E-fields produce H-fields and the process goes ...
7
votes
1answer
299 views

E&M and geometry - a historical perspective

Recently, I was contemplating the beautiful formulation of electromagnetism (specifically Maxwell's equations) in terms of differential forms: $$F=\mathrm{d} A\implies \mathrm{d}F=0 ...