5
votes
1answer
105 views

E&M and geometry - a historical perspective

Recently, I was contemplating the beautiful formulation of electromagnetism (specifically Maxwell's equations) in terms of differential forms: $$F=\mathrm{d} A\implies \mathrm{d}F=0 ...
1
vote
0answers
29 views

Difference between action-at-a-distance and a field according to Maxwell?

My question is more on a historical note that involves Maxwell’s equations. Besides the information that I have obtained from textbooks, I am mainly getting it from History of Maxwell's Equations and ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

Predicting Faraday's law, Changing Fields

Are there other equations that we can predict Faraday's law from? I know that each of Maxwell's equations are 'fundamental', but I feel like Gauss's law and Ampere's Law are very "nice", and for some ...
1
vote
2answers
54 views

Origin of the word Permittivity

Who coined the word "permittivity"? It appears that first usage was in 1887. Please cite your source.
2
votes
1answer
214 views

Why are lab Magnets painted red?

Wy are lab magnets painted red in color? I tried searching everywhere but couldn't get a satisfactory answer.
3
votes
2answers
341 views

Electromagnetic Momentum

My book says : The fact that electromagnetic radiation of energy carried momentum was known from classical theory and from the experiments of Nichols and Hull in 1903. This relation is also consistent ...
1
vote
1answer
131 views

Maxwell's Equations-Relativity

How did Maxwell develop the magnetic field without relativity? Was it purely experimental? I don't see how else he would have developed any understanding for the magnetic field.
4
votes
2answers
876 views

First experiment which was used to prove existence of Electromagnetic waves

When I was in high school I heard from my physics teacher in the last year of high school when he was starting the chapter of electromagnetic waves that the first person who proved existence of ...
2
votes
2answers
132 views

What is the history behind the factors of 3 in the classification of electromagnetic radiation?

What is the history behind the factors of 3 in the classification of electromagnetic radiation? See e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_spectrum#By_frequency Is this (just) inherited from the ...
5
votes
1answer
417 views

Lorentz force law in Newtonian relativity

I know that in special relativity Electric and Magnetic fields mix together in different reference frames, but my question is about classical mechanics. It seems weird to me is that the Lorentz Force ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

History of Electromagnetic Field Tensor

I'm curious to learn how people discovered that electric and magnetic fields could be nicely put into one simple tensor. It's clear that the tensor provides many beautiful simplifications to the ...