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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Home experiments using wireless LAN or mobile phones about electromagnetism?

Are there any nice experiments using wireless LAN access points or routers or mobile phones to demonstrate physical features of electromagnetic fields, especially em-waves? More precisely I am ...
5
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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?
2
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1answer
2k views

Current from induced emf

If the induced emf in a circuit is negative, and current from this emf is the emf over the resistance, what happens to the negative sign in the induced emf when solving for the current? Surely there's ...
6
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6answers
639 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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4answers
3k views

Is there a travelling speed of for electric field? If yes, what is it?

Consider a conducting wire of 1M and 1000KM. Now if we connect a battery and a bulb to both these wires. Bulb glows instantaneously its because (my guess:) electric filed travels from positive ...
2
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1answer
467 views

What is the pressure between two electric dipole sheets of finite extent?

I have recently become curious about modeling the repulsion of everyday objects in contact with one another. By repulsion I mean as you attempt to walk through a wall, the pain in your nose suddenly ...
14
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2answers
2k views

Deriving the speed of the propagation of a change in the Electromagnetic Field from Maxwell's Equations

I've been told that, from Maxwell's equations, one can find that the propagation of change in the Electromagnetic Field travels at a speed $\frac{1}{\sqrt{\mu_0 \epsilon_0}}$ (the values of which can ...
1
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2answers
328 views

Creation of the Electromagnetic Spectrum [closed]

After seeing this image: http://mynasadata.larc.nasa.gov/images/EM_Spectrum3-new.jpg And reading this: "The long wavelength limit is the size of the universe itself, while it is thought that the ...
1
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2answers
455 views

Magnetism-Related Terminology

A few questions about a magnet and a paperclip: What do you call a material that attracts another material via magnetism? (i.e. the magnet) What do you call the material that is attracted in #1? ...
13
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4answers
782 views

Nonlinear optics as gauge theory

the widely used approach to nonlinear optics is a Taylor expansion of the dielectric displacement field $\mathbf{D} = \epsilon_0\cdot\mathbf{E} + \mathbf{P}$ in a Fourier representation of the ...
2
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3answers
926 views

Does the energy of a magnetic field decrease when it moves a conductor carrying a current?

When a charged particle moves in an electric field, the field performs work on the particle. Thus, the energy of the field decreases, turning into kinetic energy of the particle. Does the magnetic ...
1
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1answer
7k views

Is there a name for the derivative of current with respect to time, or the second derivative of charge with respect to time?

This measurement comes up a lot in my E&M class, in regards to inductance and inductors. Is there really no conventional term for this? If not, is there some historical reason for this omission? ...
11
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8answers
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Is it possible to separate the poles of a magnet?

It might seem common sense that when we split a magnet we get 2 magnets with their own N-S poles. But somehow, I find it hard to accept this fact.(Which I now know is stated by Gauss's Law) I have ...
2
votes
2answers
152 views

Utility of displacements potentials in geophysics

In the elasticity theory, you can derive a wave equation from the fundamental equation of motion for an elastic linear homogeneous isotropic medium: $\rho \partial^2_t \overline{u} = \mu \nabla^2 ...
19
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2answers
3k views

Why do earphone pieces repel each other when music is on?

I know it has to do with electricity flowing and generating a magnetic field, but I would like a thorough explanation (with perhaps a picture). In particular: What is in the ear piece? Why do they ...
3
votes
2answers
381 views

Producing energy from magnetic flux loops

I've simplified this down by quite a lot but as far as I understand it, magnetic fields on the Sun's surface twist together and when it gets all a bit too much they release energy. My question is why ...
4
votes
2answers
362 views

Are gauge choices in electrodynamics really always possible?

If $B$ is magnetic field and $E$ electric Field, then $$B=\nabla\times A,$$ $$E= -\nabla V+\frac{\partial A}{\partial t}.$$ There is Gauge invariance for the trnasformation $$A'\rightarrow ...
1
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2answers
786 views

How is electrical energy transmitted?

My original question was in an effort to understand the electrical analogy to Markov chains, which is explained in Snell's article. There are some neat parallels that involve taking a Markov chain ...
7
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3answers
292 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 ...
6
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2answers
994 views

Decomposition of a vectorial field in free-curl and free-divergence fields

Is it always possible to do that decomposition? I'm asking it because Helmholtz theorem says a field on $\mathbb{R}^3$ that vanishes at infinity ($r\to \infty$) can be decomposed univocally into a ...
7
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2answers
643 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 ...
6
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1answer
2k views

Wi-Fi in the presence of very strong magnets?

A friend of mine claims to have been able to surf the Internet without fuss on a Wi-Fi connection while performing NMR on samples he was analyzing. I would have thought the strong magnets needed for ...
61
votes
10answers
6k views

How can I stand on the ground? EM or/and Pauli?

There is this famous example about the order difference between gravitational force and EM force. All the gravitational force of Earth is just countered by the electromagnetic force between the ...
5
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2answers
2k views

Noticing that Newtonian gravity and electrostatics are equivalent, is there also a relationship between the general relativity and electrodynamics?

In classical mechanics, we had Newton's law of gravity $F \propto \frac{Mm}{r^2}$. Because of this, all laws of classical electrostatics applied to classical gravity if we assumed that all charges ...
4
votes
2answers
606 views

Alkali atom - photon interaction in zero magnetic field

An alkali atom has a single outer electron that interacts with incoming photons of the right wavelength (for alkalies it's in the visible & IR range). If there is an external magnetic field, the ...
0
votes
1answer
590 views

Heim Theory and FTL [closed]

Years ago there was some hype around a theory that would supposedly allow for FTL. But I have since heard nothing of this. Is anything happening with the theory? How would a magnetic field allow us ...
7
votes
2answers
405 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 ...
11
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1answer
355 views

How many atoms per light year does light encounter when traversing interstellar space?

Interstellar space is pretty empty but there a small number of of atoms (mostly hydrogen?) floating around. How many atoms per light year would a photon encounter while traversing interstellar space?
10
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3answers
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Electromagnetic Field as a Connection in a Vector Bundle

I would like to know more about Ehresmann connections in vector bundles and how they relate to the electromagnetic field and the electron in quantum mechanics. Background: The Schrödinger equation ...
5
votes
4answers
667 views

Help fill in my understanding of the Polywell fusion reactor

Polywell is a proposed new type of fusion reactor, which is designed to use magnetic fields to overcome the problems with the Elmore-Tuck-Watson fusor. I'm trying to understand exactly how it works. ...
2
votes
2answers
332 views

Why isn't the ISS electrically charged?

If metal moves in a magnetic field it creates a current. So when the ISS (or any other satellite/object) orbits, is it charged such that if you connected a light, in a circuit, it would light up? ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it possible/correct to describe electromagnetism using curved space(-time)? [duplicate]

Comparing the simples form of the forces of both phenomena: the law of Newton for gravitation $V\propto \frac{1}{r}$, and the Coulomb law for electrostatics $V\propto \frac{1}{r}$, one might think ...
3
votes
4answers
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Why does evenly heating soup with a microwave take so long?

My anecdotal observations (which could be incorrect, they're totally unscientific) indicate that it takes almost as long to evenly heat a big bowl of soup in a microwave as it does to heat it on the ...
1
vote
2answers
294 views

Notation of plane waves

Consider a monochromatic plane wave (I am using bold to represent vectors) $$ \mathbf{E}(\mathbf{r},t) = \mathbf{E}_0(\mathbf{r})e^{i(\mathbf{k} \cdot \mathbf{r} - \omega t)}, $$ $$ ...
1
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2answers
363 views

Maxwell equations: how to know the behavior of charge and current?

In school-level tasks, when (almost) all substances are linear, homogeneous and isotropic, we have $D=\epsilon E$, $H=B/\mu$ and thus Maxwell "in material" equations (1) say how $E$ and $B$ depend on ...
12
votes
6answers
4k views

Is it possible to project a magnetic field at a location in space?

A magnetic field strength drops-off quickly as the distance from a magnet increases. Is there any way to use electromagnetic fields to create a magnetic field at a location. For example, if there are ...
25
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the mechanism behind the slowdown of light/photons in a transparent medium?

So light travels slower in glass (for example) than in a vacuum. What causes light to slow down? Or: How does it slow down? If light passes through the medium, is it not essentially traveling in the ...
3
votes
1answer
226 views

Using Relaxation Method to Model Negative Dielectrics in an electric field?

How can you use the relaxation method to model negative dielectrics? The relaxation method is usually used to model electrostatics problems but negative dielectrics are only see in dynamic systems. ...
21
votes
10answers
6k views

What equation describes the wavefunction of a single photon?

The Schrödinger equation describes the quantum mechanics of a single massive non-relativistic particle. The Dirac equation governs a single massive relativistic spin-½ particle. The photon is a ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Can extra-solar gamma rays reach the Earth's surface?

Can gamma rays of high enough energy entering our planet's atmosphere reach the surface (50% probability)? Or, in other words, is there a window for extremely high-energy gamma rays like for the ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Would a magnet attract a paperclip indefinitely?

Let's say we have a magnet stuck to a metal bar, suspended above the ground. If I attach a paperclip to the magnet, where is the energy to hold the paperclip coming from (against the force of ...
40
votes
13answers
9k views

Home experiments to derive the speed of light?

Are there any experiments I can do to derive the speed of light with only common household tools?
20
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5answers
2k views

How are forces “mediated”?

I hope this is the right word to use. To me, these forces seem kind of fanciful (except for General Relativity and Gravity, which have a geometric interpretation). For example, how do two charged ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the mechanism of magnetic core saturation?

Why does a magnetic core saturate? What is its actual mechanism?
8
votes
3answers
686 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 ...
6
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1answer
4k views

How do 2 magnets spin by themselves if positioned precisely?

A few years ago I went to a museum, where there was a board with 2 bar magnets, on a pole each so they could rotate. If you rotated them so the lined up with the same poles (N) facing each other, ...
12
votes
4answers
9k views

Where do magnets get the energy to repel?

If I separate two magnets whose opposite poles are facing, I am adding energy. If I let go of the magnets, then presumably the energy that I added is used to move the magnets together again. However, ...
5
votes
4answers
497 views

Velocity of Object from electromagnetic field

I am wondering if someone could provide me with a formula that would tell me at what velocity a projectile can be launched from something using an electromagnetic field. The idea is much like a rail ...