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 (5)

5
votes
3answers
614 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

How do superconducting materials float in magnetic field?

The movie Avatar got me interested in the subject, but so far I only found sophisticated articles loaded with unfamiliar words. Is there a simple way to explain how magnetic field affects ...
5
votes
1answer
4k views

How to debunk 'The Electric Universe'?

My father is a generally intelligent person, however he has latched onto a theory which I believe to be completely incorrect. He doesn't believe in gravity, but rather subscribes to an 'Electrical ...
4
votes
2answers
175 views

Is manufacturing roughness really the only reason we don't see optical interference in thick dielectrics like windows?

I had always kind of wondered why we didn't see interference in things like windows -- we were taught that the condition is that the thickness of the film/slab/medium just has to be an integral number ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

What are the limits of applicability of Coulomb's Law?

Coulomb's law is formally parallel to Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation, which is known to give way to General Relativity for very large masses. Does Coulomb's Law have any similar limits of ...
4
votes
1answer
229 views

Naive Question About Batteries

I do apologize for the ignorance that I'm sure is imbedded in this question, but I'd like to understand the exact point at which the following argument goes wrong: 1) A battery (let's say an ...
4
votes
1answer
796 views

What is the direction of the induced E field from a changing uniform magnetic field?

If a stationary charge is placed in a changing uniform magnetic field to measure the induced E field at some point, what would be the direction of E? I think E must equal zero normal to B to maintain ...
3
votes
2answers
404 views

Why doesn't the magnetic field polarize when polarizing light?

If the magnetic field doesn't polarize does it follow the electric field path of propagation? or does it vanish?
3
votes
0answers
112 views

Can the two electromagnetic field tensors be combined into a more general tensor?

Given the electromagnetic field tensor $$\begin{align} F_{\mu\nu} = \begin{pmatrix} 0 & -E_{x} & -E_{y} & -E_{z} \\ E_{x} & 0 & B_{z} & -B_{y} \\ E_{y} & -B_{z} & 0 ...
3
votes
2answers
149 views

Geodesic for Electromagnetic forces

Considering the fact that electrons tend to take the maximum conductance path to flow from A to B. This is justified by saying that $\vec{E}$ is larger in conductors. But once similarly it was thought ...
3
votes
2answers
258 views

Coincidence, purposeful definition, or something else in formulas for energy

In the small amount of physics that I have learned thus far, there seems to be a (possibly superficial pattern) that I have been wondering about. The formula for the kinetic energy of a moving ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

relation between permittivity and conductivity

I am able to measure relative permittivity $\varepsilon_r$ of a fluid, and I want to calculate conductivity of same fluid. Can anyone suggest me how to do this? I found one formula to calculate ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Charge inside conductor

I know that the E field inside a conductor is zero. What happens if I put a source of charge inside the conductor? Say the conductor was spherical centered on the origin and there exists a charge at ...
3
votes
1answer
157 views

CGS Units for Magnetism

Why does the formula for magnetic field force include the speed of light in the denominator in cgs units? Where does the extra $c$ go in SI units?
3
votes
4answers
2k views

How to make something charged using electricity?

If I had a piece of metal and i wanted it to be negatively charged. How can I do that?
3
votes
3answers
2k 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
2answers
93 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
165 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
2answers
225 views

Transmission Line, TEM wave, transverse Laplacian operator (electromagnetic)

Time-Harmonic Electromagnetic Fields (1961) by R. F. Harrington, ISBN 07-026745-6, p. 63, he discusses TEM mode in a transmission line. The wave travels in the z direction. He defines the transverse ...
2
votes
0answers
426 views

Is Electromagnetic Mass Possible?

If the sinusoidal electric component of a light wave were off-set to one side of the magnetic component and then the smaller "lobe" were to cancel out with much of the larger side, then where would ...
2
votes
0answers
163 views

Where can I find a complete list of metamaterials up to today?

Where might I find a list of all the metamaterials up-to-date?
2
votes
2answers
450 views

Software for simulating 3D Newtonian dynamics of simple geometric objects (with force fields)

I'm looking for something short of a molecular dynamics package, where I can build up simple geometric shapes with flexible linkages/etc and simulate the consequences of electrostatic repulsion ...
1
vote
2answers
859 views

Is it possible to detect fake Tungsten aka Wolfram gold bars with a strong magnet?

Tungsten aka Wolfram is paramagnetic so it is weakly attracted to magnets. A guy devised the following to test for Tungsten in gold bars: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foELQ7T8_90 But he is using ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Magnitude of magnetic field at the center of circular wire

I'm preparing for an exam by solving the sample questions , here is the one I'm having difficulty with : Following is the given circuit. Which contains two resistance $R_1$ and $R_2$ in form of ...
1
vote
2answers
344 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
5answers
613 views

Relativistic charge density in a closed loop

When charges of conductance are at rest, there is an average distance between them. The relativistic origin of magnetic field says that distances between electrons shrink when they are set into a ...
1
vote
0answers
123 views

Einstein +Maxwell 's tensor

Why is it true that we can deduce that Einstein's GR equations coupled with Maxwell's EM equations may be written in the form $$R_{ij}=C(F_{ik}F_j^{\,\,k}-{1\over 4}g_{ij}F_{mn}F^{mn})$$ without ...
1
vote
3answers
3k views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
245 views

Non-linear dynamics of classical hydrogen atom

I'd like to know if there have been attempts in solving the full problem of the dynamics of a classical hydrogen atom. Taking into account Newton equations for the electron and the proton and Maxwell ...
0
votes
1answer
710 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
2answers
544 views

Calculate force of electric charges “suspended” by strings [closed]

In a question: Two small plastic balls hang from threads of negligible mass. Each ball has a mass of 0.110g and a charge of magnitude q. The balls are attracted to each other, and the ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Relationship between current through a motor and it's load

When a motor, connected to a battery that has a constant voltage, spins without a load it's speed is higher than with load. I'm told that because of back emfs the current is very small when there's no ...
0
votes
1answer
203 views

Violation of conservation of energy and potential energy between objects

I would like to clarify my question. I have numbered them to be independent questions For any conservative fields, $\vec{F} = -\nabla U$. Which means the restoring force is opposite to the ...
-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 ...
-18
votes
4answers
1k views

Do We Need Maxwell's Equations Since They Fail to Account for An Experimental Fact at Least in One Occasion?

This question is an outgrowth of What is the difference between electric potential, potential difference (PD), voltage and electromotive force (EMF)? where @sb1 mentioned Faraday's law. However, ...
20
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 ...
38
votes
7answers
7k views

Does electricity flow on the surface of a wire or in the interior?

I was having a conversation with my father and father-in-law, both of whom are in electric related work, and we came to a point where none of us knew how to proceed. I was under the impression that ...
15
votes
1answer
5k views

Kubo Formula for Quantum Hall Effect

I'm trying to understand the Kubo Formula for the electrical conductivity in the context of the Quantum Hall Effect. My problem is that several papers, for instance the famous TKNN (1982) paper, or ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Electromagnetic Field as a Connection in a Vector Bundle

I would like to know more about Ehresmann connections in vector bundles and how they relate to the electromagnetic field and the electron in quantum mechanics. Background: The Schrödinger equation ...
21
votes
2answers
718 views

Covariant Description of Light Scattering at a fastly rotating Cylinder

Let us consider the following Gedankenexperiment: A cylinder rotates symmetric around the $z$ axis with angular velocity $\Omega$ and a plane wave with $\mathbf{E}\text{, }\mathbf{B} \propto ...
17
votes
4answers
1k views

Why do Maxwell's equations contain each of a scalar, vector, pseudovector and pseudoscalar equation?

Maxwell's equations, in differential form, are $$\left\{\begin{align} \vec\nabla\cdot\vec{E}&=~\rho/\epsilon_0,\\ \vec\nabla\times\vec B~&=~\mu_0\vec J+\epsilon_0\mu_0\frac{\partial\vec ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

What problems with Electromagnetism led Einstein to the Special Theory of Relativity?

I have often heard it said that several problems in the theory of electromagnetism as described by Maxwell's equations led Einstein to his theory of Special Relativity. What exactly were these ...
7
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 ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

History of Electromagnetic Field Tensor

I'm curious to learn how people discovered that electric and magnetic fields could be nicely put into one simple tensor. It's clear that the tensor provides many beautiful simplifications to the ...
13
votes
4answers
709 views

Nonlinear optics as gauge theory

the widely used approach to nonlinear optics is a Taylor expansion of the dielectric displacement field $\mathbf{D} = \epsilon_0\cdot\mathbf{E} + \mathbf{P}$ in a Fourier representation of the ...
12
votes
5answers
886 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
381 views

Radiation Resistance

When a charge is accelerated, it radiates and loses kinetic energy. This can be modeled by having another force act on the charge, which is proportional to the derivative of the acceleration. So if ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is there no Gravitational Magnetic Field?

We think that the electric field and gravitational field operate similarly with their corresponding charges/masses. With just a difference that the electric field is sometimes attractive and sometimes ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Deriving the speed of the propagation of a change in the Electromagnetic Field from Maxwell's Equations

I've been told that, from Maxwell's equations, one can find that the propagation of change in the Electromagnetic Field travels at a speed $\frac{1}{\sqrt{\mu_0 \epsilon_0}}$ (the values of which can ...
11
votes
5answers
13k views

Can someone please explain magnetic vs electric fields?

I've looked through about 20 different explanations, from the most basic to the most complex, and yet I still dont understand this basic concept. Perhaps someone can help me. I dont understand the ...