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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79 views

Why three families of multipole moments?

There are three families of multipole moments: The electric multipole moments, the magnetic multipole moments and the toroidal multipole moments. Is there any reason why there are this three families ...
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3answers
375 views

Why does Snell's law not factor in wavelength?

If dispersion is caused due to different wavelengths bending with different angles, how is Snell's law right in generalizing it as $\sin(i) / \sin(r)$? Or am I missing something?
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60 views

Is the electron magnetic moment responsible for the Lorentz force?

My question about the sum of the electrons' magnetic moments in a wire(What is the sum of the electrons' magnetic moments in a wire?) had an answer which disappeared later. The answer was - if I ...
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2answers
40 views

Why can I blow up other potentials at the origin but not the one inside a dielectric sphere in an electric field?

While solving the electrostatic field for a dielectric in an electric field, we take the potential at origin to not blow and thus, we eliminate the inverse powers of r in the expression for general ...
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1answer
81 views

Finding the magnetic vector potential by calculus of variations

Given the functional $$F[A]=\int_{\mathbb{R}^3}\{\frac{1}{2\mu(x)}|\nabla\times\vec{A}|^2-\vec{J}\cdot\vec{A}\}d^3x$$ with $\vec{A}$ is a candidate vector potential for the field ...
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28 views

Can induced-emf be divided?

A conductor's area is reduced by half or possibly more. I calculated the induced-emf based on the original area unreduced, does it make sense to divide the induced-emf value to the reduction factor? ...
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2answers
127 views

Textbook on classical E&M in curved spacetime

Can anyone recommend a good reference for classical electrodynamics that goes over electrodynamics in curved spacetime that doesn't assume much knowledge of GR -- that is it builds up the tensor ...
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93 views

For Faraday's law, why does the emf decrease as you increase the area of the loop?

I've only recently started learning basic electrodynamics, but I don't understand why a loop of coil with a small area and a magnet falling through will produce a larger emf than a loop of coil with a ...
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1answer
52 views

What is the sum of the electrons' magnetic moments in a wire?

The electron has a magnetic moment. This magnetic moment will be influenced in a electric field; the magnetic moments will be more or less aligned. During the movement of an electron in a wire under ...
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46 views

No photon interaction in free space

How can the Hanbury Brown and Twiss effect (photon bunching) be explained if photons don't interact in free space? To explain it with the influence of the two photons on the two detectors ...
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2answers
93 views

Is neutron decay a purely electromagnetic phenomena?

Until reading the Phys.SE post here about the neutron decay I never feel strange the fact about the antisymmetricity of this decay. But indeed why this decay is antisymmetric. The neutron is his own ...
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2answers
54 views

Thermodynamics of scattering theory

I have a couple of conceptual questions regarding the thermodynamics of scattering. Any partial answer or argument will be appreciated. For the sake of discussion, consider the scattering of ...
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0answers
17 views

Can various wavelengths participate in C/D Interference?

My question is can multiple wavelengths or at least two different wavelengths interfere with one another? I know that they usually have to be the 'same' wavelength, but you'd think they can vary a bit ...
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0answers
19 views

doppler shift through two mediums [duplicate]

When considering the Doppler shift, the 'canonical equation' is $$f=\frac{c+vr}{c+vs}f_0$$ However, this equation seems to run into trouble in the following situation: A light source inside water is ...
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1answer
56 views

Current in an RC circuit inside in a magnetic field

Does my question make any sense? Context: The capacitor is charged with charge $Q_0$. There is a magnetic field $B=B_0 \hat{z}$ perpendicular to the monitor's screen. The length of the (AB) wire is ...
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1answer
31 views

Charge and current density fields

The charge and current density fields in classical electromagnetism are scalar real number fields on space time manifold. But these fields diverge/become infinite in case of point charges, how is this ...
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1answer
44 views

Demagnetisation by throwing a magnet

I tried to answer this question in a book about electrodynamics: How to demagnetise a permanent magnet, ie. described by $ D_T$ change into described by (0,0) I figured out about heating it up ...
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1answer
68 views

Gravity and electromagnetism

If light bends due to the curved spacetime,would not the act of bending light warp space? How does one describe curved light?
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0answers
43 views

What is the physical meaning of the norm of the electromagnetic four-potential?

In SI units this would be $\frac{1}{c^2}\phi^2 - A_x^2 - A_y^2 - A_z^2$. Is this just not a physically meaningful quantity at all because it's not gauge invariant?
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12 views

Degeneracy in quater-wave stack

Consider a 1D photonic crystal, the quarter-wave stack, and its band structure. A famous conclusion is that there's no gap at Brillouin zone's center. In other words, successive bands are degenerate ...
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2answers
106 views

Can we explicitly solve the Hamilton–Jacobi equation for a particle in a uniform magnetic field?

HJE for nonrelativistic charged particle in an electromagnetic field is $$\frac{1}{2m}\left(\nabla S - q\mathbf{A}\right)^2 + q\phi + \frac{\partial S}{\partial t} = 0.$$ For a uniform magnetic ...
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2answers
131 views

Instantaneous Coulomb interaction in QED

It seems I am stuck with a (at a first sight) trivial problem. It's from the "Quarks and Leptons" (Halzen, Martin) book page $141$, where one considers the following integral: $$\tag{1} T_{fi} = ...
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2answers
59 views

Prove Biot-Savart law, assuming that $\vec{A}=\frac I c\int \frac{d\vec{L}}{r}$

Prove Biot-Savart law, assuming that $$\vec{A}=\frac I c\int \frac{d\vec{L}}{r}$$ $$\vec{B}=\nabla\times \vec{A}$$ Any hint on what to do next?
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2answers
59 views

Why group velocity represents energy or information transmission? What relation between phase velocity and special relativity

I have two question, why group velocity represents energy or information transmission? what is the relation between phase velocity and Special relativity: why can it exceed C without violation of ...
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2answers
71 views

Independent components in a 4-vector representing massless fields

In Ryder Page141, it is written "the electromagnetic field, like any massless field, possesses only two independent components, but is covariantly described by a 4-vector $A_{\mu}$". Why are there ...
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1answer
68 views

Relating Quantum Mechanics to Classic Electromagnetism [duplicate]

I've been directed to a few articles, and I am sure there is a related post, but can someone explain the procedure by which we can view classic electromagnetism through quantum mechanics? Indeed we ...
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1answer
105 views

How to compute speed without knowing mass or charge values?

A gold nucleus is $460$ fm ($1$ $fm = 10^{(-15)} m$) from a proton, which initially is at rest. When the proton is released, it speeds away because of the repulsion that it experiences due to the ...
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1answer
50 views

Magnet spinning between two other magnets

Suppose, we have two magnets, MA, MB, and we have a third magnet MC in between the two magnets. Each magnets' north pole faces the other magnets south pole, and the magnets are placed horizontally ...
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1answer
36 views

Alignment of a system in equilibrium and its potential energy

Consider a flexible free conductor which is placed near a strong long bar magnet. How will the the conductor arrange itself if current is passed through it? I asked my professor: he gave me a hint ...
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1answer
50 views

Measuring mass by acceleration due to electromagnetic forces in free fall

My question is a simple one (I think): How precise will the results be if you attempt to measure the mass of a macroscopic object by measuring it's acceleration when a constant electromagnetic force ...
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1answer
66 views

Microscopic understanding of Brewster angle

The textbook explanation is that, at Brewster's angle, the electric dipoles excited by the incident light can't reradiate to the reflection direction since it's aligned with the dipole moments. Is ...
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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 ...
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4answers
328 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 ...
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1answer
80 views

If electrons are magnets do they attract each other?

It is said every electron is negatively charged and so they repel each other but if electrons are tiny magnets(which are responsible for atomic attraction and how solid magnet works) does it mean ...
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31 views

Questions about electromagnetism [closed]

Are photons units of energy? What is the relation between EM force, EM energy and the photon? Do EM forces carry energy, do they carry the photon (as unit of energy)?
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86 views

Solenoid pull force & Velocity calculation

So I am building a circular accelerator (like a slightly oversimplified model version of CERN) as a physics project, and I'm at a dead end. I believe I need to know how to work out differential ...
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1answer
56 views

What are magnet poles?

You see the poles of a magnet on every magnet picture, and they are said to be in the direction of magnetic field lines, but what does that mean? Is the number of electrons different on one side of ...
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1answer
511 views

What is the meaning of this “let there be light” joke?

A middle school teacher across the restaurant is wearing this shirt, and I certainly don't get it.
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2answers
256 views

What is the difference between induced current and eddy current?

I was reading today about electromagnetic induction and eddy currents. But while reading I was unable to differentiate between induced current and eddy current. What is the difference?
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2answers
154 views

Who foots the (magnetic) energy bill?

Gravitational attraction and electrostatic attraction/repulsion are intrinsic properties of matter, any particle (electron, proton) for some unknown reason can produce KE at a distance. But magnetic ...
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2answers
81 views

Finding the direction of the magnetic force acting on a conducting wire

I have a problem in finding the direction of the force when a conducting wire is placed in a magnetic field. If I use Fleming's Right Hand rule I get a circular magnetic field, so what will be ...
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1answer
25 views

Torque due to a magnetic field

We have two infinite perpendicular wires, each carrying a current "i" and the distance between them is l. If both the wires are free to move, how will they arrange themselves because of the torque ...
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1answer
172 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?
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2answers
186 views

When can I use $\wedge$ instead of curl?

It seems in some circles the wedge product is used in preference to curl. I have a basic understanding of Green and Stokes' formula, I wish to use the $\wedge$ notation from now on. Can someone tell ...
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0answers
22 views

Magnetic flux and flow of electrons

What does change in magnetic flux mean? How can you change magnetic flux? How does a change in magnetic flux influence a current of electrons (electricity)?
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3answers
134 views

How do charged particles interact?

You'll have to forgive me if this question is too wrapped up in "classical" thinking. I've read that electrons and protons interact by trading photons, but this only raises more questions. What ...
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1answer
110 views

Why there is a time gap between the news presenter and the field reporter?

This one has been in my mind for years, but I simply can not find any reason for this event. The Situation Imagine yourself sitting in the living room while watching television. It's 9 p.m and the ...
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1answer
41 views

Poynting vector plain wave

I'm calculating the poynting vector for a plain wave and I have some doubt. $$ \bar S = \frac 1 2 \bar E \times \bar H^* = ... = \frac {| \bar E|^2} {2 \zeta} \hat i_k $$ Now if I consider a ...
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2answers
128 views

Inductor Charging and Discharging

Why does the inductor discharges in the same path ( same direction of current ) as that of its charging unlike a capacitor which discharges in the direction opposite to its charging(current direction ...
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0answers
41 views

Momentum operator of a particle in an electromagnetic field

In quantum mechanics, to all observables correspond some self-adjoint operators. In the absence of an electromagnetic field the momentum operator is clearly $\vec{P}:=\frac{\hbar}{i}\vec{\nabla}$. ...