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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450 views

Special relativity and electromagnets

This Veritasium video explains how electromagnets can be explained by special relativity, and how the magnetic field surrounding a current-carrying wire can also be viewed as an electric field, if ...
8
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1answer
422 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? ...
8
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2answers
9k views

What is the difference between an electric and a magnetic field? [closed]

This question is a consequence of another question of mine which is about spin. Here is my spin question. What is the difference between these two fields? How do they occur? Am I right if I say that ...
8
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2answers
551 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 ...
7
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2answers
382 views

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 ...
6
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4answers
750 views

What is the physical definition of causality?

Maxwell's equations give a physical relationship between the electric and magnetic fields $\vec E$, $\vec B$ at the same time, which some interpret as changes in one causes changes in the other etc. I ...
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2answers
2k views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
412 views

Which solution to the electromagnetic wave equation is the most accurate model of monochromatic light?

When a photon is modeled as a monochromatic electromagnetic wave its electric and magnetic components are usually taken to be sine waves (for example here ...
5
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8answers
3k views

Electric field near a conducting surface vs. sheet of charge

I know perfectly well how to derive the magnitude of the electric field near a conductor, $$E = \frac{\sigma}{\varepsilon_0}$$ and near a sheet of charge, $$ E = \frac{\sigma}{2\varepsilon_0} .$$ In ...
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2answers
2k views

What is the difference between a photon and a phonon?

More specifically, how does a wave-particle duality differ from a quasiparticle/collective excitation? What makes a photon a gauge boson and a phonon a Nambu–Goldstone boson?
4
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3answers
236 views

What causes radioactivity? Is it a quantum mechanical effect?

I'm just curious what causes radioactivity. I've been told that in the case of alpha decay, since the nucleus is quantum mechanical, there is a probability that the configuration of protons and ...
4
votes
1answer
76 views

Toroid moments tensor decomposition

I am currently working on my bachelor's thesis on the anapole / toroidal moment and it seems that I am stuck with a tensor decomposition problem. I have actually never had a course about tensors, so ...
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6answers
7k views

Does a current carrying wire produce electric field outside?

In the modern texts of electromagnetism in the presence of stationary currents the electric field is assumed conservative $\nabla \times E =0 $. Using this we get $E_{||}^{out}=E_{||}^{in}$ which ...
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2answers
1k views

What does an atom radiate: a wave packet or a single photon?

What does an atom radiate: a wave packet or a single photon?
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1answer
482 views

Retrieving Maxwell's equations from the minimum action principle

I'm currently working at the start of Alexei Tsvelik's book Quantum Field Theory in Condensed Matter Physics. I'm kinda stumped on a few essential steps. Starting with the action: $$S = \int dt \int ...
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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 ...
13
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2answers
1k views

An example which contradict to Newton's 3rd law?

Let a,b be two charged particles. $$\vec{r}_a(0)=\vec{0}$$ $$\vec{r}_b(0)=r\hat{j}$$ $$\vec{v}_a(t)=v_a \hat{i}$$ $$\vec{v}_b(t)=v_b\hat{j}$$ In which both $v_a$ and $v_b$ $<<c$. Then ...
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6answers
695 views

Recommended books for undergraduate electrodynamics

What books are recommended for an advanced undergraduate course in electrodynamics?
10
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1answer
384 views

How the inverse square law in electrodynamics is related to photon mass?

I have read somewhere that one of the tests of the inverse square law is to assume nonzero mass for photon and then, by finding a maximum limit for it , determine a maximum possible error in ...
9
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2answers
193 views

Which of these theories on why light slows in media are true?

This question is similar to previously asked questions, but the responses to them are confusing and I think it may be better covered by listing out all the potential answers for clarity. It's a ...
8
votes
4answers
300 views

Is the concept of a field necessary to electrodynamics?

I've read (in Griffith's text) that it is "possible, though cumbersome" to dispense with the field concept in electrodynamics entirely and instead use an action-at-a-distance theory. What exactly is ...
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?
7
votes
4answers
478 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 ...
7
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4answers
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?
6
votes
2answers
998 views

Why does electromagnetic induction actually occur?

In my book, it is written that "An emf is induced in a loop when the number of magnetic field lines that pass through the loop is changing" (Faraday's law) I understand that whenever there is a ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Relativity and Current in Wire

If an observer is stationary relative to a current-carrying wire in which electrons are moving, why does the observer measure the density of moving electrons to be the same as the density of electrons ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Degeneracy Pressure, What is it?

There has been numerous question, some violent even in physics@SE regarding PEP and EM forces. But what baffles me is what is degeneracy pressure? I know there are 4 fundamental forces- EM, gravity, ...
6
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6answers
634 views

Interaction ranges in the Standard Model - Electrodynamics vs QCD

as you might know, the Standard Model of physics can be seen as a $U(1)\times SU(2)\times SU(3)$ gauge theory where each symmetry group accounts for different force fields. The behaviour for the ...
5
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1answer
174 views

What is the action for an electromagnetic field if including magnetic charge

Recently, I try to write an action of an electromagnetic field with magnetic charge and quantize it. But it seems not as easy as it seems to be. Does anyone know anything or think of anything like ...
5
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0answers
195 views

Semiclassical QED and long-range interaction

I'm interested in the (very) low energy limit of quantum electrodynamics. I've seen that taking this limit does not yield Maxwell equations, but a quantum corrected non-linear version of them. If ...
4
votes
2answers
221 views

Why isn't there a potential difference across a disconnected diode?

I know this question sounds silly, as if there was a potential difference a current would be created when the terminals are connected together and this would mean energy has come from somewhere. The ...
4
votes
1answer
316 views

Is there a Hamiltonian for the (classical) electromagnetic field? If so, how can it be derived from the Lagrangian?

The classical Lagrangian for the electromagnetic field is $$\mathcal{L} = -\frac{1}{4\mu_0} F^{\mu \nu} F_{\mu \nu} - J^\mu A_\mu.$$ Is there also a Hamiltonian? If so, how to derive it? I know how ...
4
votes
1answer
242 views

Falling Electron

Suppose there are two objects in the universe. Earth, with a gravitational acceleration of g = 9.8m/s/s, and a typical electron. The electron is dropped from a certain height, say 1000m above the ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

How can a conductor be grounded yet there are induced charges on it?

A classic example for the method of images is the following, quoted from Griffiths's Introduction to Electrodynamics, page 121: "Suppose a point charge $q$ is held a distance $d$ above an infinite ...
4
votes
2answers
814 views

What is the physical process (if any) behind magnetic attraction?

I understand that the electromagnetic force can be described as the exchange of virtual photons. I also understand that it's possible for virtual photons, unlike their real counterparts, to have mass ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

Is there any relationship between Gravity and Electromagnetism? [duplicate]

We all know that the universe is governed by four Fundamental Forces which are The strong force , The weak force , The electromagnetic force and The gravitational force . Now, is there any ...
3
votes
1answer
5k views

Relation between Electric and magnetic fields

I've read that both the electric and magnetic field vectors are perpendicular to each other in an electromagnetic wave. Passing steady current through a straight conductor shows some magnetic flux ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the origin of the Dirac delta term in the dipole electric field?

I am a bit lost how one has deduced the formula for electric field with electric dipole because of some inconsistency between different sources. The Wikipedia article contains a delta function in the ...
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votes
4answers
1k views

Energy conservation in Electrodynamics

Let us suppose that we have a known electromagnetic wave-train of finite size propagating in a certain direction. There is a probe charge on its way. This EMW is an external field for the charge. The ...
2
votes
1answer
234 views

How to properly construct the electromagnetic tensor in curved space-time?

How do I properly construct the electromagnetic tensor in curved space-time? I have my curved spacetime metric $(+,-,-,-)$ and my magnetic vector potential $A$. I tried two ways but not sure which is ...
2
votes
1answer
360 views

why is advanced radiation absent?

the Lienard-Wiechert green functions have future and past null cones of radiation. Maxwell equations allow for a continuous range of mixtures between the retarded and advanced components, but we have ...
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0answers
64 views

Constructing conserved current given the lagrangian

Consider the following Lagrangian for a massive vector field $A_{\mu}$ in Euclidean space time: $$\mathcal L = \frac{1}{4} F^{\alpha \beta}F_{\alpha \beta} + \frac{1}{2}m^2 A^{\alpha}A_{\alpha}$$ ...
1
vote
3answers
353 views

Protons and Electrons Occupying the Same Space

When it comes to atoms electrons can't fall into the nucleus, which besides the off hand uncertainty explanation, I'm not sure which force prevents them from falling into the nucleus. I thought I ...
1
vote
2answers
301 views

Cause of electromagnetic induction?

The rate of change of magnetic flux through a surface (open) is related with the line integral over the closed loop binding the selected surface by one of the Maxwell's equation. But that means even ...
14
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1answer
2k views

Equation describing magnetic hysteresis

So when you're looking at B-H curves for ferromagnetic substances, you often see these magnetic hysteresis curves, which occur, I gather, largely because of domain formation which has some reversible ...
12
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4answers
5k views

How long does a permanent magnet remain a magnet?

I have a bunch of magnets (one of those game-board thingies) given to me when I was a school-going lad over 20 years ago, and the magnets feel just as strong as it was the day it was given. As a ...
10
votes
1answer
406 views

Magnets arranged in a sphere

If I was to take a bunch of magnets and arrange them in a sphere (And keep them there with glue or plastic or something) so that the north pole faces the outside of the sphere and the south pole faces ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

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 ...
8
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4answers
2k 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 ...
7
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1answer
319 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 ...