We can clearly see in page $6$ of Pozar's Microwave Engineering Faraday's law written under this form

$$\nabla \times \bar{\mathcal{E}}= \frac{\partial \bar{\mathcal{B}}}{\partial t}-\bar{\mathcal{M}}$$ $\bar{\mathcal{E}}$ is the electric field, in volts per meter (V/m).

$\bar{\mathcal{B}}$ is the magnetic flux density, in webers per meter squared (Wb/m²).

$\bar{\mathcal{M}}$ is the (fictitious) magnetic current density, in volts per meter (V/m²).

I can't find in any other reference (Jackson, Griffiths,...) a form of Faraday's law in which $\bar{\mathcal{M}}$ appears. Is the form above simply a mistake?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ See Griffiths eqn. 7.44 $\endgroup$
    – d_b
    Jun 2, 2020 at 16:00

1 Answer 1


It is not a mistake. In your quote Pozar explicitly states that this magnetic current density $\mathcal{M}$ is a fictitious one. There are no magnetic currents for there are no magnetic charges. RF engineers, more specifically antenna engineers do like to introduce a practical analogy to the real current $\mathcal{J}$ of true electrical charges. The underlying reason for this is the very real analogy between a true $+e,-e$ electric dipole and its radiation pattern and a magnetic dipole moment of a loop current and its radiation pattern. The static field of an electric dipole and that of a steady state loop current is the same far away from their sources. Prompted by this similarity that carries on into the radiation pattern of their corresponding far fields one can represent the behavior of a loop antenna as resulting from a pair of fictitious oscillating magnetic charges $+m,-m$ that form a radiating dipole, a magnetic Hertzian dipole. A somewhat more sophisticated example would be to treat a radiating slot antenna as a magnetic analogue of a conventional electric wire antenna (see, also Babinet's principle). You can even go a step further a treat an array of radiating slots as being of a sheet of magnetic surface currents, etc.


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