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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Where does the photon's energy come from in X-ray bremsstrahlung?

In an X-ray tube, bremsstrahlung is generated by accelerating electrons toward a target metal. As a photon is emitted, something loses energy. I suppose that the target metal remains fixed and is ...
5
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1answer
202 views

Gauge invariance and Bohm-Aharonov effect

I am confused with the Bohm-Aharonov effect: though quantum mechanics is said to be gauge invariant, the presence of a solenoid imposes a gauge. I used to think that a phase shift did not change ...
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4answers
605 views

How is this classical “paradox” resolved in electromagnetism?

A magnet and a coil move relative to each other. In the frame of reference of the magnet, there is a magnetic field and consequently a force acting on the charges in the coil according to the Lorentz ...
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1answer
265 views

Do Maxwell’s Equations contain the Ideal Gas Law?

Maxwell’s Equations contain some other Laws as special cases. Does it possibly include the Ideal Gas Law as well? – the idea being that material substances can be modeled by appropriate subsets of the ...
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1answer
65 views

generation of arbitrary potentials

Suppose you have as many electrically charged particles as needed (even countably many) and consider the open unit ball centered at some point in space. For every continuous real valued function on ...
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2answers
585 views

Will Gauss's law still hold in case of deviation from inverse square law?

Assume a spherical metallic shell over which a charge $Q$ is distributed uniformly. Applying Gauss's law $\displaystyle\oint\textbf{E}\cdot d\textbf{a}=\frac{Q_{\text{enc.}}}{\epsilon_0}$ by ...
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2answers
140 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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1answer
684 views

Would the north poles of two magnets repel each other if a weaker south pole was inserted between them?

My son asked me this question and I was stumped - my intuition says that is the south pole was strong enough the attraction between the north and south poles would outweigh the repulsion between the ...
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1answer
621 views

Magnetization of coin on a railway track

The rumor was you could make a magnet by leaving a piece of iron on a train track. The train going over it would magnetize it. Is it true?
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3answers
225 views

How does one determine whether an object will make an EM wave refract in a qualitative way?

for example, i have a vague notion that the actual answer is that the permittivity and permisivity are different in each different material, so all waves refract at every boundary, but we only call it ...
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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 ...
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2answers
2k views

Physical meaning of the energy density of an electrostatic field

I understand the physical meaning of electrostatic energy of a system of charges (or a distribution with given density) as the energy stored in the system while working to carry the charges from ...
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2answers
220 views

Why, intuitively, must a solution in physics be unique?

When solving Laplace's equation or Poisson's equation say, we require that the solution must be unique, which can be shown. In general, what is the physics behind seeking a unique solution? Are ...
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4answers
7k views

Understanding the relationship between electricity and magnetism

I keep on hearing that magnetism is just another form of electricity and vice versa. If that's the case why can't we use magnets as batteries, and why aren't my batteries magnetic?
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2answers
429 views

Which symmetry is associated with conservation of flux?

Which symmetry is associated with conservation of flux (e.g., in electromagnetism)? For example, when working with Gauss's law in electromagnetism, net flux through an arbitrary volume element ...
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3answers
229 views

What is the physical reason a $+5V$ equipotential coutour cannot intersect a $-5V$ equipotential coutour?

Now I've been told that equipotential contours with different values can never intersect. That is, if one level is 5V and one is -5V, they can't intersect. This make sense to me mathematically (one ...
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4answers
2k views

Is one way glass possible?

I am not talking about mirrors, just a plain window made of glass like material. Would it be possible to allow light pass only in one direction but not the other?
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2answers
489 views

Why do physicists believe protons and electrons are present in equal numbers?

I tended to consider that negative and positive charges are present in equal numbers in the universe to be a known, obvious fact. But is it so? How can we rule out the possibility that there is some ...
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1answer
351 views

Gauss's Law vs Newton's Law

This is thought experiment. I couldn't get a good answer because I keep getting negative mass. Gauss's Law say that eletric field is proportional to charge, how much charged is enclosed. Newton's ...
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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 ...
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2answers
262 views

Power Generation from Axial and Transverse Emf

We consider a flat rectangular plate moving horizontally in a vertical magnetic field,motion being in a direction perpendicular to the length of the plate. We have an emf=BLV between the tips,in the ...
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2answers
709 views

On Electromagnetic Self Energy

In the process of pair annihilation an electron and a positron annihilate each other to produce a pair of photons, conserving momentum and energy. As the oppositely charged particles approach each ...
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1answer
209 views

Quantum Locking and gravity

Can a device be constructed of a super conducting disk connected to a electromagnet that generates a field such that the disc locks "in" the field generated by the electromagnet such that the device ...
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0answers
176 views

Energy loss rate for periodic movement

How to prove that if a particle performs cyclical motion then its energy loss rate averaged over the period equals averaged radiation intensity? The energy loss rate is the quantity of energy that ...
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1answer
303 views

Effect of introducing magnetic charge on use of vector potential

It is well known that Maxwell equations can be made symmetric w.r.t. $E$ and $B$ by introducing non-zero magnetic charge density/flux. In this case we have $div B = \rho_m$, where $\rho_m$ is a ...
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3answers
248 views

Can the field generated by a magnet domain extend to infinity?

As a thought experiment let us assume that we have isolated a magnetic domain. This domain is of finite size and we know its dimensions. Assuming that we can measure an infinitesimal field, will there ...
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1answer
3k views

Can microwaves affect wifi - and can they harm us?

I listen to the radio via my iPad with wifi. When I switch the microwave oven on, the radio cuts out. When the microwave oven is finished, the radio comes back on. (This is 100% reproducible!) So - ...
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2answers
387 views

Is there a magnetic field that satisfies $\nabla \times B = 0$?

In electrostatics Maxwell's equations for the magnetic field are $\nabla \cdot B = 0$ and $\nabla \times B = \mu_0 J$ Now, take $B = xi-yj$, where $i$ and $j$ are the usual unit vectors, then one ...
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1answer
511 views

Counting the number of modes

The exercise is the following Show that the number $N(\lambda) \, \mathrm d \lambda$ of standing electromagnetic waves (modes) in a large cube of volume $V$ with wavelengts within the interval ...
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2answers
688 views

Do Positrons Bend The Same Direction As Electrons In A Magnetic Field?

Electrons obey the right hand rule when a magnetic field bends their path. According to the right-hand rule, will positrons bend in the same direction?
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2answers
530 views

Why is Polarization of a wave important, and what happens when a wave is polarized in all three dimensions?

I don't quite understand this, I understand that given a wave traveling in a certain direction, it will be polarized in the direction its not travelling in, so if its travelling in the Z direction, k ...
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1answer
3k views

Can you magnetize iron with a hammer?

We know that a piece of ferromagnet, such as iron, can be magnetized by putting in a strong magnetic field to get domains parallel to the field grow. I also remember from pop. culture and MacGyver ...
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1answer
585 views

Absorption / Control / Reduction of EMF radiation using passive antennae & matched load

Wanted to understand the physics behind usage of passive antennae and matched load combination, to absorb, control and reduce the Electromagnetic-Field (s.a. due to microwave radiation from cellular ...
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0answers
221 views

Solar wind and the Earth's magnetic field

I have again an old question from a comprehensive exam I took a couple of months ago. Lucky for me one could pick 5 out of 8 questions, because on some of the problems I didn't even know how to start. ...
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3answers
2k views

Do multiple permanent magnets aggregated together approach the same strength as a single magnet of the same size?

Here's an applied physics question. ;) If I buy some cube or sphere magnets like these, can I aggregate them together to create a stronger magnet (almost as strong as a single magnet)?
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1answer
347 views

Higgs Field compared to EM field

So, I've been reading about the Higgs because of all of this excitement lately with the LHC. I'm just a layman in physics but one thing I understood was that the Higgs field permeates all of space ...
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2answers
1k views

Can 2 beams of ultraviolet light intersect and be visible where they intersect?

Is it possible that if you have 2 ultraviolet lasers, that are invisible to the human eye, and if you aim their beams to intersect at some point, that the place of intersection will show a lower ...
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4answers
2k views

What is the magnetic field inside hollow ball of magnets?

Setup: we have a large number of thin magnets shaped such that we can place them side by side and eventually form a hollow ball. The ball we construct will have the north poles of all of the magnets ...
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2answers
153 views

Derivatives of delta function and equation of continuity for a single charge…

For a single charge $e$ with position vector $\textbf R$, the charge density $\rho$ and and current density $\textbf{j}$ are fiven by: \begin{equation} \rho(\textbf{r},t)= ...
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3answers
1k views

How do electromagnetic waves carry quantised energy?

If an electron oscillates about a mean position, it will create a time varying electric filed which in turn will create a time varying magnetic field and so on to create an electromagnetic wave. How ...
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1answer
2k views

Magnetic fields and friction

If I was to pass a metal object through a magnetic field would there be any friction?
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5answers
798 views

Why are $\mu_0$ and $\epsilon_0$, which appear in electrostatics and magnetostatics, related to the speed of light which appears in electrodynamics?

$\epsilon_0$ and $\mu_0$ appear in electrostatics and magnetostatics. When we include time varying fields we have electrodynamics and the appearance of c which turns out to be related to $\epsilon_0$ ...
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3answers
928 views

What are brain waves? [closed]

I watched a documentary showing that humans could alter the results of an experiment by thinking about it, and the data these people collected supported their hypothesis. And the reason these people ...
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0answers
249 views

The effect of an EMP on circuits

Which of these is the current (also, what about voltage?) induced by an EMP pulse within a circuit most dependent on? The area of the region enclosed by the circuit The orientation of that area with ...
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1answer
127 views

Different results for Magnetic field using different methods

In calculating the magnetic field created by this current at the center point of the loop using Biot-Savart and using the vector potential will there be a difference? If so what is it and why? ...
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2answers
284 views

Point charge potential (sign problem)

I'm a bit embarrassed, but I'm not able to compute the electric potential at point $P$ (at a distance $R$ from the origin) generated by a positive unitary point charge in the origin with the right ...
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1answer
458 views

electric dipole momentum calculation

I'm studying the linear electric susceptibility, using Schroedinger equation and perturbation theory of the interaction potential $$V=-\mu \cdot E$$ and the book arrive to an expression where ...
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3answers
849 views

Second law of thermodynamics and a bunch of magnets

Say I put a bunch of powerful square magnets on a nearly frictionless table in a disordered fashion. The second law of thermodynamics states that the system shall spontaneously get more disordered, ...
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1answer
1k views

what's the physical meaning of vector Laplacian of Electric field intensity?

Could someone explain to me the physical meaning of vector Laplacian of Electric field intensity? Where vector Laplacian means: $$\nabla^2 \mathbf{E} = \nabla(\nabla \cdot \mathbf{E}) - \nabla ...
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1answer
170 views

Electrophorus: Why can't we use a magnet in substituion of a charged body to induce the polarization?

Since a magnetic field can induce a current in a coil, moving electrons from one side to another. Why isn't possible to use the same principle in a electrophorus using one magnet instead of charged ...