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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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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2k views

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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257 views

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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2k views

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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403 views

The gauge covariant derivative and its substitution

I was wondering wether it would make a difference (in general) if I were to were introduce the gauge covariant derivative $$D_\mu=\partial_\mu+ieA_\mu$$ In the Lagrangian density and then derive the ...
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290 views

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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711 views

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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154 views

Torsion and gauge invariant EM kinetic term

Everytime I hear about adding torsion to GR, something struggles me: how do you create a kinetic term for the electromagnetic field that is still gauge-invariant? One of the consequences of torsion is ...
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742 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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6k views

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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688 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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640 views

Would a spinning, evenly charged sphere generate a magnetic field?

I could see how it would go either way. On the one hand, there IS moving charge; on the other hand, it is not discernibly moving.
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408 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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910 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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888 views

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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The equivalent electric field of a magnetic field

I know that Lorentz force for a charge $q$, with velocity $\vec{v}$ in magnetic field $\vec{B}$ is given by $$\vec{F} =q \vec{v} \times \vec{B}$$ but there will exist a frame of reference where ...
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709 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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908 views

Mechanism by which electric and magnetic fields interrelate

I read that force due to electric field on some particle in one reference frame can exhibit itself as force due to magnetic field in some other reference frame and that electric and magnetic fields ...
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456 views

Maxwell's equations in curved spacetime

I know that we can write Maxwell's equations in the covariant form, and this covariant form can be considered as a generalization of these equations in curved spacetime if we replace ordinary ...
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3k views

Does a material exist that reduces a magnetic field without being affected by the magnetic field itself?

Consider a common bar magnet, magnet 1 resting on a surface with its North pole facing up. Suspended distance $y$ above it ...
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Direction of rotation of proton in magnetic field--opposite to a dipole

Chatroom created by @pcr for discussing this: http://chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/2824/direction-of-rotation-of-proton-in-magnetic-field Here's a small paradoxical question I was asked a long ...
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141 views

If protons and electrons had similar masses

If electrons and protons had the same mass, would they still be in a stable orbit around their barycenter, or would they eventually collide? Similarly, a positronium(or protonium) only lasts extremely ...
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518 views

Explanation of Lorentz-Force

In high-school level books (for example the german standard text: "Dorn-Bader") I have often seen an explanation of the Lorentz force as on the following picture: The textbooks consider the ...
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293 views

Do the integral forms of Maxwell's Equations have limited applicability because of retardation?

In the usual bookwork treatment, it is easy to show that the differential and integral forms of Maxwell's equations are equivalent using Gauss's and Stokes's theorems. I have always thought that ...
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194 views

What is the quantum state of a static electric field?

This is something that I've been curious about for some time. A coherent, monochromatic electromagnetic wave is well described by a coherent state $|\alpha\rangle$. The quantum treatment of the ...
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Why does electrical current start to flow?

What happens microscopically when an electrical current starts to flow? I'd like to understand microscopically what happens in detail when electrons start moving (quasi-classically). Electrons can ...
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161 views

Would a rotating magnet emit photons?

If a magnet is rotating, around an axis perpendicular to the axis north-south axis of the magnet (which I assume to be cylindrical symmetrical), in space (so no-gravity/freefall or friction), should ...
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311 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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793 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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1k 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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276 views

Materials with different gravitomagnetic permeability?

If you start with general relativity, and assume small perturbations around a nearly flat metric, it is possible to obtain linearized equations of gravity that look a lot like Maxwell's equations, ...
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157 views

Are there analogs to resistance, inductance, capacitance, and memristance connecting the weak force to electromagnetism?

A question was asked over at EE.SE recently which I tried to answer, but much of my answer was speculative. I'm hoping someone here can help my ignorance. In electronics design, there are four ...
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990 views

Why are EM waves transverse?

I was reading Griffiths' Introduction to Electrodynamics, specifically the section on plane waves. I can see that if we want a transverse wave traveling in the $z$ direction that we are only going to ...
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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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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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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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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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461 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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680 views

Modified Maxwell's equations

In 1985, Harmuth wrote that Maxwell's equations are incompatible with causality, and overcame the problem by adding a term for magnetic dipole currents, and as a consequence the problem of infinite ...
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6k views

Does a positive or negative charge attract a neutral object?

Three objects are brought close to each other, two at a time. When objects A and B are brought together, they attract. When objects B and C are brought together, they repel. From this, we conclude ...
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905 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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540 views

meaning of an integral in the continuity equation

This is about continuity equation. What does the last integral mean? $$\frac{\mathrm{d}Q_V}{\mathrm{d}t}=\iiint_V \mathrm{d}^3x \,\frac{\partial\rho}{\partial t}=-\iiint_V\! ...
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Darwin term and Zitterbewegung

I've noticed that in the discussion of the fine structure of Hydrogen atom standard QM texts claim that the Darwin term, which corrects energy of $\ell=0$ (or $s$-) states only, is related to the ...
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What's the relation between virtual photons and electromagnetic potentials?

Given that: 1) virtual photons mediate the electric and magnetic force fields 2) the magnetic field is the curl of the magnetic vector potential 3) the electric field is the negative gradient of ...
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1k views

How does charge work if photons are neutral?

How can an electron distinguish between another electron and a positron? They use photons as exchange particles and photons are neutral, so how does it know to repel or attract?
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254 views

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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769 views

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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665 views

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 you put a magnetic ball into a hollow magnetic sphere?

if all magnets have to have two poles(one north one south), is it possible to construct a hollow sphere where the inside face of the sphere was one pole, and the outside face another pole? is it also ...