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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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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636 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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338 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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845 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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682 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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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?
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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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131 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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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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240 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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633 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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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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117 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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133 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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758 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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565 views

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 does it seem like a broken magnet's poles flip?

I just took a rare earth magnet out of an old hard drive. Lacking an appropriate screwdriver, force was used, and the magnet broke into two pieces; one about a quarter of the original size and one ...
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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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456 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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625 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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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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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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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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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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670 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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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 ...
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773 views

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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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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291 views

Satellite Power

Electromagnetic induction is the production of voltage across a conductor moving through a magnetic field. Since an orbiting satellite is passing through the Earth's magnetic field would a voltage be ...
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560 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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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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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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225 views

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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Rough, easy DIY method of measuring magnetic field strength

How to easily, using standard DIY equipment measure the strength of magnetic field generated by a permanent magnet? Narrowing down the "loose language" of the above: strength of magnetic field: ...
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Coulomb potential in 2D

I know that the Coulomb potential is logarithmic is two dimensions, and that (see for instance this paper: http://pil.phys.uniroma1.it/~satlongrange/abstracts/samaj.pdf) a length scale naturally ...
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543 views

Vector Potential for Magnetic field when the field is not in simply-connected region

According to Poincare's Lemma, if $U\subset \mathbb{R}^n$ is a star-shaped set and if $\omega$ is a $k$-form defined in $U$ that is closed, then $\omega$ is exact, meaning that there's some ...
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560 views

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 ...
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269 views

Can a magnet magnetise an object with greater strength than it possesses?

Trivial thought ... Materials may be broadly superconductive, diamagnetic, paramagnetic, ferromagnetic. An object is magnetized by repetitive motion of a magnetic field across it's surface Say a ...
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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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Does a lightning rod prevent lightning strikes?

I was always under the impression that a Lightning rod worked to protect a building by being the tallest part of the building and having a low path of resistance to the ground, thus being a good ...
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792 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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Do magnets lose their magnetism?

I recently bought some buckyballs, considered to be the world's best selling desk toy. Essentially, they are little, spherical magnets that can form interesting shapes when a bunch of them are used ...
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367 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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388 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 ...
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532 views

Navy's new Mach 7 Rail Gun Photo

There have been a few articles about the Navy's new Mach 7 33 Megajoule railgun. As a physics teacher, I have a couple of questions about this, and was hoping for some help. Is the kinetic energy ...
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Notation for Sections of Vector Bundles

(Reformulation of part 1 of Electromagnetic Field as a Connection in a Vector Bundle) I am looking for a good notation for sections of vector bundles that is both invariant and references bundle ...