The answer to a previous question suggests that a moving, permanently magnetized material has an effective electric polarization $\vec{v}\times\vec{M}$. This is easy to check in the case of straight-line motion, using a Lorentz boost.

I suspect this formula is still correct for motion that is not in a straight line, but I'm not interested in reinventing the wheel. Does anyone know of a textbook or journal article that derives this $\vec{v}\times\vec{M}$ term? Even better, does anyone know of experimental observation of this effect?

Followup question: What is the electric field generated by a spinning magnet?


2 Answers 2


To close the loop, Andrew, the answer to your newest question is:

The best and most famous reference about the electrodynamics of moving bodies is

Einstein, Albert (1905-06-30). "Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter Körper". Annalen der Physik 17: 891–921. See also a digitized version at Wikilivres:Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter Körper.

The English translation, "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies", is here:


The content of this paper became known as the special theory of relativity. I am just partly joking because for uniformly moving media, the Lorentz boost to the rest frame is still the most natural way to proceed.

  • $\begingroup$ Fair enough, if I'm going to insist I'm interested in non-uniform motion, I should ask a question about non-uniform motion. Here's one to start with: physics.stackexchange.com/questions/6581/… $\endgroup$
    – Andrew
    Commented Mar 9, 2011 at 23:47
  • $\begingroup$ I'll accept this as the answer to the uniform motion case, and ask a followup question for cases that can't be addressed with a Lorentz boost. $\endgroup$
    – Andrew
    Commented Mar 10, 2011 at 16:26

Chapter VII in Kong's Electromagnetic Wave Theory contains not only the derivation of the field transformations, but also of the material parameters, the wave vector and the frequency (Doppler shift).


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