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)

3
votes
2answers
8k views

How is the speed of light calculated?

How is the speed of light calculated? My knowledge of physics is limited to how much I studied till high school. One way that comes to my mind is: if we throw light from one point to another (of known ...
3
votes
4answers
285 views

Could ball lightening be a form of plasma?

With regard to the recent arXiv article: J. D. Shelton, Eddy Current Model of Ball Lightening http://arxiv.org/abs/1102.1224 I wonder if this is a reasonable explanation of ball lightening, or if ...
3
votes
2answers
905 views

Does van Eck phreaking really work, or is it an urban myth?

Van Eck phreaking, the ability to reconstruct distally the text on a CRT or LCD screen using the leaking em from the target computer, was in the news about five to ten years ago. It is talked about as ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

Why do physicists believe that there exist magnetic monopoles?

One thing I've heard stated many times is that "most" or "many" physicists believe that, despite the fact that they have not been observed, there are such things as magnetic monopoles. However, I've ...
4
votes
1answer
394 views

What is the effect of ice on an antenna?

A local FM radio station transmitting at 89.3 MHz recently announced that it would be running at 50% power due to freezing weather and a forecast of ice accumulation, as "when ice is forecast ... it ...
8
votes
6answers
7k views

Electromagnetic fields vs electromagnetic radiation

As I understand, light is what is more generally called "electromagnetic radiation", right? The energy radiated by a star, by an antenna, by a light bulb, by your cell phone, etc.. are all the same ...
6
votes
2answers
395 views

Using energy from sun magnetic field

Knowing ...
2
votes
2answers
847 views

Studying electrodynamics problems

Suppose an advanced undergraduate student has reached a moderate level of understanding on electrodynamics. Where should he focus on, to sharpen his problem-solving skills? Practicing integrals ...
6
votes
3answers
415 views

Does bunching reduce synchrotron radiation?

A continuous charge distribution flowing as a constant current in a closed loop doesn't radiate. Is it therefore true that as you increase the number of proton bunches in the LHC, while keeping the ...
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 ...
21
votes
2answers
712 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Popular depictions of electromagnetic wave: is there an error?

Here are some depictions of electromagnetic wave, similar to the depictions in other places: Isn't there an error? It is logical to presume that the electric field should have maximum when ...
4
votes
4answers
593 views

Radiation from a pair of charged objects orbiting each other

This question on binary black hole solutions, led to me think about the similar question from the perspective of what we know about the Hydrogen atom. Prior to quantum mechanics, it was not ...
42
votes
10answers
5k views

Can Maxwell's equations be derived from Coulomb's Law and Special Relativity?

As an exercise I sat down and derived the magnetic field produced by moving charges for a few contrived situations. I started out with Coulomb's Law and Special Relativity. For example, I derived the ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Special designs to reduce the electrical resistance of a wire

The numerical simulation of this nerdy question shows that the resistance decreases with the number of nodes along longest side, and converges to a finite value when the # of nodes approaches ...
2
votes
1answer
333 views

Cherenkov radiation in nuclear bomb

Would Cherenkov radiation occur at the explosion of a nuclear bomb? Suppose it would not be occluded by smoke or anything else for that matter.
5
votes
2answers
357 views

What would the electromagnetic field of a massless electron look like

The Standard Model gives non-zero mass to the electron via the coupling to the Higgs field. Issues of renormalizability aside, this is fundamentally unrelated to the fact that the electron couples to ...
1
vote
2answers
475 views

Is there an explicit angular momentum in Maxwell equations?

Electromagnetism implies special relativity and then the universal constant "c". And if we set c=1, the coupling constant has units of angular momentum (so in relativistic quantum mechanics we divide ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Visualizing Electromagnetic Waves in 3D Space [closed]

I did one module of physics for my GCSE one year ago which taught me about transverse EM waves & the EM spectrum, but since then, I do not understand how a wave would move in 3D space. Can someone ...
1
vote
1answer
469 views

Electrical eddy current visualization or simulation

Eddy currents are induced in a metal plate when it experiences a changing magnetic flux. Is there a realistic visualization or simulation of eddy currents available? The only picture I found, on ...
0
votes
4answers
985 views

When is the force null between parallel conducting wires?

Consider two long wire with negligible resistance closed at one end of the resistance R (say a light bulb), and the other end connected to a battery (DC voltage). Cross-sectional radius of each wire ...
19
votes
5answers
842 views

Should a neutron fall faster than a proton?

If you drop a proton and a neutron in a gravitational field, they both fall, but the proton has a charge and accelerating charges radiate energy, so that leaves less kinetic energy for the proton and ...
8
votes
3answers
1k 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?
9
votes
4answers
2k views

How is a spherical electromagnetic wave emitted from an antenna described in terms of photons?

When an atenna transmits radiowaves isn't it true that the electromagnetic pulse is radiated away from the accelerating electron as a spherical wave in all directions simultaneously, and if so how can ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Is the force carrier of the magnetism in a common household magnet a photon?

As I have understood it, the Standard Model includes particles that carry the different forces, e.g. the electromagnetic (EM) force, the gravitational (G) force. When talking about EM fields such as ...
1
vote
2answers
676 views

Can an insulator have magnetic poles?

Is it possible to make an insulator have two poles like a magnet? If yes, how to make it?
6
votes
4answers
3k views

Derivation of Maxwell's equations from field tensor lagrangian

I've started reading Peskin and Schroeder on my own time, and I'm a bit confused about how to obtain Maxwell's equations from the (source-free) lagrangian density $L = ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Do mirrors increase the amount of light in a room?

So if you have a light bulb in a room, and you had a tool to measure the amount of light that's in the room, then let's assume the amount of light only caused by the bulb is "1" If you place a mirror ...
2
votes
2answers
386 views

Software to calculate forces between magnets

I am working on a complex configuration of magnets and every time I make an experiment something unforseen happens. Now I believe I could speed up the development by sitting down and calculating the ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Impedance formula for an edge coupled differential stripline in an asymmetrical stackup?

I've been searching and have not been able to find a formula for calculating the impedance of differential lines on inner layers where the dielectric above and below it is not symmetrical. I've seen ...
6
votes
4answers
994 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?
20
votes
7answers
3k views

Is it theoretically possible to shield gravitational fields or waves?

Electromagnetic waves can be shielded by a perfect conductor. What about gravitational fields or waves?
3
votes
3answers
1k views

How is electromagnetic wave variation distributed in space?

Imagine an electromagnetic wave (a monochromatic one for example) The electric field amplitude, and its variations travel in the propagation direction. So, if there really exists a propagation ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the symmetry which is responsible for preservation/conservation of electrical charges?

Another Noether's theorem question, this time about electrical charge. According to Noether's theorem, all conservation laws originate from invariance of a system to shifts in a certain space. For ...
4
votes
1answer
210 views

Ground-based anti-matter detector on the cheap?

Given today's revelation of the detection of terrestrial gammay-ray flashes (TGF) produced by thunderstorms and the associated pair production of an electron and a positron, how feasible is it to set ...
2
votes
7answers
651 views

“Magnetic mnemonics”

Over and over I'm getting into the same trouble, so I'd like to ask for some help. I need to solve some basic electrodynamics problem, involving magnetic fields, moving charges or currents. But I ...
4
votes
1answer
849 views

Self induction: Why is induced voltage smaller than the applied voltage?

Imagine a circuit with a voltage source, a switch and an inductivity all connected in series. First, the switch is open and there's no current and no magnetic field around. If we close the switch, ...
3
votes
1answer
248 views

Physically induced latency in internet connections

As a trade I am a software architect. It does happen that I have to design sites where the servers are located in different parts of the world. Now an essential parameter to consider is latency: that ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

Flux through a Mobius strip

I was sent here from mathoverflow, hoping for a complete answer to this: === A friend of mine asked me what is the flux of the electric field (or any vector field like $$ \vec r=(x,y,z)\mapsto ...
12
votes
3answers
888 views

Shine a light into a superconductor

A type-I superconductor can expel almost all magnetic flux (below some critical value $H_c$) from its interior when superconducting. Light as we know is an electromagnetic wave. So what would happen ...
4
votes
2answers
189 views

Dynamic ferrofluid sculptures

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJJuq_pcyIQ What exactly is going on in the video example? I understand the phenomena occurs because of magnetism but I am trying to figure out the mechanics behind ...
1
vote
2answers
157 views

EM irradiament and multipoles

Why in the irradiament mulipoles of Lienard-Wiechert's potential we say that electric quadrupole give a contribute of the same order of the magnetic dipole? How can we see it from their equations? And ...
11
votes
2answers
542 views

What's the explanation for the Giant Magnetoresistance effect?

I've been reading this review on Giant Magnetoresistance, and something about it is bothering me. The basic effect is that, using a special "stack" of layers (alternating between ferromagnetic and not ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

The exchange of photons gives rise to the electromagnetic force

Pardon me for my stubborn classical/semiclassical brain. But I bet I am not the only one finding such description confusing. If EM force is caused by the exchange of photons, does that mean only when ...
3
votes
1answer
712 views

How does an electron microscope work?

I am a physics novice. Google tells me that electron microscopes work much like their optical counterparts -- but the analogy falls apart for me when I think about what I'm "viewing." Obviously, you ...
10
votes
3answers
11k views

Can magnets rotate infinitely?

There are many videos on youtube in which people arranged magnets in circle and rotated one placing in middle of that circle on a shaft, and the magnet (magnet motor) starts madly and continues its ...
1
vote
1answer
197 views

Electromagnetic weapons: power?

I essentially have three questions concerning weapons based on EM waves or more generally. Focusing on the weapons using radio-waves and/or micro-waves, what power do these types of weapons need to ...
6
votes
3answers
316 views

Controllable faster-than-light phase velocity

This is not another question about faster-than-light travel or superluminal communication. I totally appreciate the speed limit capped by physical laws (or theories.) Just curious, since there is no ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Can I levitate an object without using an electromagnet?

I know that it's possible to make an object levitate using an electromagnet to hold it up. But is it also possible to do this with regular magnets? Is there a special kind of magnet I need in order ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

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.