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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10
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737 views

If you run an electric current through a wire loop, do the accelerated charges radiate?

Does an accelerated charge always radiate? For example the current electrons in an electric circuit when moving through a turn they are accelerated, do they radiate because of that acceleration? If ...
9
votes
2answers
154 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
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
398 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
623 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
909 views

How to interpret the magnetic vector potential?

In electromagnetism, we can re-write the electric field in terms of the electric scalar potential, and the magnetic vector potential. That is: $E = -\nabla\phi - \frac{\partial A}{\partial t}$, ...
6
votes
1answer
910 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
votes
6answers
623 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
votes
1answer
160 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
votes
0answers
186 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
1answer
257 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
226 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
788 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
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
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
201 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
342 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
53 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
321 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
349 views

Motivation for Potentials

This is a hypothetical question about "pedagogy". Let's say I am trying to take someone who has just a very small amount of knowledge about Newtonian mechanics and convince them that the Lagrangian ...
9
votes
1answer
387 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
1k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
290 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 ...
7
votes
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 ...
6
votes
4answers
284 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Faraday's law - does the induced current's magnetic field affect the change in flux?

I've had this conceptual problem with Faraday's law and inductance for a while now. Take the example of a simple current loop with increasing area in a constant field (as in this answer). So ...
6
votes
3answers
661 views

Aharonov-Bohm Effect and Flux Quantization in superconductors

Why is the magnetic flux not quantized in a standard Aharonov-Bohm (infinite) solenoid setup, whereas in a superconductor setting, flux is quantized?
6
votes
5answers
21k views

Why a glass rod when rubbed with silk cloth aquire positive charge and not negative charge?

I have read many times in the topic of induction that a glass rod when rubbed against a silk cloth acquires a positive charge. Why does it acquire positive charge only, why not negative charge? It ...
6
votes
3answers
421 views

Charging a black hole?

What would happen if we have a black hole and we start shooting at it a single electron at a time, and go on doing it forever? Would the electrons start to bounce off eventually?
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Does magnetic propagation follow the speed of light?

Does magnetic propagation follow the speed of light? E.g. if you had some magnet of incredible strength and attached an iron wire that is one light year long to it, would the other end of the iron ...
5
votes
4answers
452 views

How does the speed of electrons change around a circuit?

I have been thinking about ways of teaching electronics and I'm wondering if the following is true... For starters, when we talk about voltage as energy per unit charge, is this energy manifest ...
5
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2answers
172 views

Basic question on the Aharonov-Bohm effect

I have a very basic question on the Aharonov-Bohm effect. Why is the curve integral $\oint_\Gamma {A}\cdot d{r}$ non-zero ? $\Gamma$ is the "difference" of both paths $P_1$ and $P_2$. If the ...
5
votes
2answers
478 views

How does Earth's interior dynamo work?

I'm interested in getting a basic physical understanding of how Earth's magnetic field is generated. I understand that it's a "dynamo" type of effect, driven by convection currents in the molten outer ...
4
votes
2answers
100 views

Top angular speed of electric motor

I recently came across a question asking the following: If a motor is switched on, it quickly reaches a top speed. Why does it not just go faster and faster and faster? I thought it might be ...
4
votes
1answer
151 views

Experiments looking for monopoles

Background: (skip it if you know it) In the easiest formulation of classical electromagnetism magnetic monopoles do not exist. In fact, the Maxwell's equation $\nabla \cdot \vec{B}=0$ implies (using ...
4
votes
1answer
875 views

Will molten iron stick to a magnet?

I've known for a long time that if you heat a magnet, there is a point it loses its magnetism (the Curie temperature). It isn't clear to me if this applies to induced magnetism like iron sticking to ...
4
votes
1answer
449 views

Does light induce an electric current in a conductor?

I know that electromagnetic waves induce electric currents in conductors and that's the basis for radio, wi-fi etc. I also know that light is also an electromagnetic wave. So, can light induce a ...
4
votes
1answer
206 views

Stability of a rotating ring of multiple electrons at relativistic speeds

There was a time when physicists where concerned about electron internal structure. The rotating ring model was one of the proposals to explain how a charge density could become stable against ...
4
votes
1answer
408 views

Dirac's quantization rule

I first recall the Dirac's quantization rule, derived under the hypothesis that there would exit somewhere a magnetic charge: $\frac{gq}{4\pi} = \frac{n\hbar}{2} $ with $n$ natural. I am wondering ...
4
votes
2answers
647 views

Does a nonzero Poynting vector mean that there is propagation of energy?

I don't know how this "paradox" can be solved. I'm given the following system: A permanent magnet with a magnetic field given by ($\hat{a}$ are unit vectors in the x and y directions) ...
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
183 views

What is the theoretical justification for a fluid flow's being irrotational?

I am not a fluid dynamicist, and I really just began thinking about this problem as my curiousity drew me into building an answer for the question What really allows airplanes to fly?. It is very ...
3
votes
1answer
3k 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
296 views

How to introduce the electromagnetic field in Quantum Field Theory?

There are many ways to introduce the electromagnrtic field in Quantum Field Theory(QFT), such as canonical quantization method which introduces the creation and annihilation oprators by treating the ...
3
votes
1answer
973 views

Fermi level alignment and electrochemical potential between two metals

I'm trying to get a more intuitive/physical grasp of the Fermi level, like I have of electric potential. I know that, for just a single piece of metal in equilibrium, you have to have the electric ...
3
votes
0answers
209 views

Finding the terminal velocity of a magnet dropped in a solenoid

We have to find proportionality of the terminal velocity with the factors of the system: Plot: a small dipole(mass $m$) with dipole moment $\mu$ is dropped in a long solenoid (radius $r$, ...
3
votes
3answers
5k views

What does this quote about the four dimensional divergence of an antisymmetric tensor mean?

In the beginning, God said that the four dimensional divergence of an antisymmetric second rank tensor equals zero and there was light. Can someone explain what is the meaning of this quote by ...