Questions tagged [electromagnetism]

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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1answer
250 views

Can unbound electrons jump energy levels?

If an unbound electron (or indeed any charged particle) is moving through free space, is there a probability that it can spontaneously change energy by emitting a photon, or does this require the ...
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594 views

Formulation of Transformation optics using a Material Manifold

Dear Community, recently, Transformation optics celebrates some sort of scientific revival due to its (possible) applications for cloaking, see e.g. Broadband Invisibility by Non-Euclidean Cloaking ...
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1answer
113 views

Formula for potential for 2 coaxial tubes

Could someone remind me of the formula for potential function for a system consisting of 2 coaxial tubes maintained at a fixed potential difference and the in between medium has uniform conductivity $...
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2answers
3k views

How long will my fridge magnet stay attached to my fridge?

I have a 500 gram neodymium magnet. It is stuck to my fridge. With the constant pull of gravity trying to pull it off how long would it stay attached to fridge? For arguments sake lets say my fridge ...
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1answer
676 views

What is electric/magnetic field in a medium?

One method of introducing electric field is based on the measurement of the force acting on moving charged particle. By equating F to qE we determine the electric field E if the electric charge q is ...
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1answer
270 views

Physically induced latency in internet connections

As a trade I am a software architect. It does happen that I have to design sites where the servers are located in different parts of the world. Now an essential parameter to consider is latency: that ...
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1answer
2k views

How do home-made capacitator bottles affect a tesla coil?

In the tutorial I'm following, the guy uses 6 snapple bottles to make capaciter (by covering them with foil and filling them with salt water) for a 9kV 30mA input. I have a stronger transformer (15kV ...
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1answer
885 views

Will relative velocity with respect to electrons effect current in wire and magnetic field produced by wire? [closed]

Question: consider a long, straight wire of cross-sectional area $A$ carrying a current $i$. Let there be $n$ free electrons per unit volume. An observer places himself on a trolley moving in ...
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1answer
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Would a metal enclosure (such as a shipping container) protect its contents from the effects an electromagnetic pulse?

I was watching a program about disaster preparedness, and it was suggested that the metal enclosure of a common shipping container (of the intermodal variety) would be sufficient to protect its ...
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1answer
342 views

Does inducing a current in a wire have any effect on the strength of a permanent magnet?

Does inducing a current in a wire result in any changes in the strength of a permanent magnet? Specifically, what would the results of the following controlled experiment be? You set up two ...
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Image charges, laplace equation and uniqueness theorem

Consider a well-known problem of the electric field generated by a system composed of a point charge in proximity of a large earthed conductor. It is said that the potential due to an image charge ...
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2answers
2k views

Why is Polarization of a wave important, and what happens when a wave is polarized in all three dimensions?

I don't quite understand this, I understand that given a wave traveling in a certain direction, it will be polarized in the direction its not travelling in, so if its travelling in the Z direction, k ...
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Blandford-Znajek process: Why/how does the current flow along the magnetic field lines

Related: How would a black hole power plant work? I have put a bit of commentary enumerating my confusions in parentheses I read in Black Holes and Time Warps (Kip Thorne), that quasars can generate ...
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1answer
89 views

Potential at a point

What is the electric dipole moment of the charge distribution with $q$ at $(0,0,1)$, $q$ at $(0,0,-1)$ and $-2q$ at $(0,0,0)$? I would think that it is $\vec{0}$ by the definition $\vec{p}=\sum\...
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1answer
358 views

Question on 1st order Lagrangian Derivation in Faddeev-Jackiw Formalism

I'm looking at this reference (sorry it's a postscript file, but I can't find a pdf version on the web. This paper describes a similar procedure). The topic is the Faddeev-Jackiw treatment of ...
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1answer
2k views

Given charge distribution find electric field

Given a charge distribution $\rho(\vec{r})$ where $\vec{r}$ is the position vector and that $\rho$ is a function of only $|x|$, Why is it that the corresponding electric field $E$ is necessarily of ...
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3answers
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Electric field at a point inside a capacitor

Let's say I have a parallel plate capacitor. How would I find the electric field at a certain point INSIDE the capacitor (inside the dielectric let's say). From what I understand, the flux of the ...
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1answer
12k views

Repulsion of the pieces of a broken magnet [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why does it seem like a broken magnet's poles flip? I have experienced that if we break a bar magnet into two pieces and try to bring those broken faces together it gets ...
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1answer
585 views

Higgs Field compared to EM field

So, I've been reading about the Higgs because of all of this excitement lately with the LHC. I'm just a layman in physics but one thing I understood was that the Higgs field permeates all of space ...
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2answers
196 views

Should $E$ and $B$ change with Gravity?

Lets examine a typical GR metric: $$ds^2=g_{00}dt^2-g_{11}dx^2-g_{22}dy^2-g_{33}dz^2$$ The "d" going with ds has its correct meaning when the path is specified with respect to a one dimensional ...
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2answers
224 views

Is the magnetic field a feature of our universe, or is it a consequence of the electric field?

Is the magnetic field a feature of our universe, or is it a side effect of the electric field? In other words: if we were to simulate in a computer a system of moving charged particles, taking in ...
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2answers
263 views

Why, intuitively, must a solution in physics be unique?

When solving Laplace's equation or Poisson's equation say, we require that the solution must be unique, which can be shown. In general, what is the physics behind seeking a unique solution? Are ...
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1answer
969 views

Potential of a spherical conductor next to a point charge

Griffiths, when he's talking about the method of images, shows how to calculate the potential distribution when given a point charge that is outside of a spherical conductor which is held at a fixed ...
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2answers
956 views

Orientation of Magnetic Dipoles

Does a magnetic dipole (in a permanent magnet) tend to align with the B-field or with the H-field? The current loop (Ampère) model of the magnetic dipole suggests the former, while the magnetic-...
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2answers
3k views

How are magnetic fields transmitted?

A common analogy for gravity is the ball-on-a-rubber-sheet model. In this model, mass distorts spacetime and creates a 'valley' into which other mass can fall. Is this same principal valid for ...
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2answers
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Energy in an EM wave should depend on frequency

I just finished reading Feynman's Lectures on Physics vol.I, §34-9: "The momentum of light". The author explains that there is a relation between the wave 4-vector $k^{\mu}$ and the energy-momentum 4-...
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3answers
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Why do we need 12 atoms to store 1 bit of data?

Recent research at IBM has found a way to store 1 bit of data in 12 atoms. While that is a big accomplishment compared to what we have today, it does seem like a waste to a non-physics eye like me. ...
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2answers
5k views

How to calculate the force acting on a magnet placed in a magnetic field?

The force on a small element (of length dl) of a current carrying wire, place in a magnetic field B can be calculated using the following equation (which is simply an application of the Lorentz force ...
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2answers
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How to calculate the electric field at a point in space

Let's say I have a uniformly-charged wire bent into a semi-circle around the origin. How can I find the electric field (magnitude and direction) I'm not even sure if I should use Coulomb's or Gauss' ...
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1answer
13k views

Electric field due to nonconducting plastic sheets [closed]

Two very large, nonconducting plastic sheets, each 10.0 cm thick, carry uniform charge densities $\sigma_1, \sigma_2, \sigma_3$ and $\sigma_4$ on their surfaces (the four surfaces are in the following ...
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2answers
4k views

Does a charging capacitor emit an electromagnetic wave?

Assume you charge a (parallel plate) capacitor. This establishes an electric field (the $\mathbf E$ vector points from one plate to the other) and a circular magnetic field (the $\mathbf B$ vector ...
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0answers
344 views

How to find the electric field at a point based on a uniformly charged surface

What is the general solution to finding the electric field at a point based on some (or multiple) charged surfaces. I know that we can perform a line/surface integral if a charge is close to a wire or ...
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1answer
103 views

Close electric field lines in wave guides

In a wave guide, graphics of propagation of Transversal Magnetic modes show closed field lines for the electric field. For example, for a rectangular guide: $E_x (x,y,z) = \frac {-j\beta m \pi}{a k^...
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1answer
248 views

For someone who only studied electromagnetism, what is the modern way to explain electromagnetic fields?

After reading most of the electromagnetism chapters of Feynman's lectures on physics, I would like to understand in more detail, at least an idea, of what causes the electromagnetic fields. Not sure ...
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1answer
244 views

How can there be a path to ground with thick shoes and a carpet?

I'm connecting a test light to one pin of an halogen lamp. When I touch the metallic part on the back of the test light, the light glows, as it is supposed to. However, I have thick shoes and I am ...
2
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1answer
327 views

Where does the photon's energy come from in X-ray bremsstrahlung?

In an X-ray tube, bremsstrahlung is generated by accelerating electrons toward a target metal. As a photon is emitted, something loses energy. I suppose that the target metal remains fixed and is re-...
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1answer
2k views

Hole in the disc shaped magnet

Let's suppose we have a magnetic disc. One half is magnetic north pole and the other half is magnetic south pole. Now suppose we drill a hole in the disc. Does anybody has an idea how the magnetic ...
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4answers
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How is this classical “paradox” resolved in electromagnetism?

A magnet and a coil move relative to each other. In the frame of reference of the magnet, there is a magnetic field and consequently a force acting on the charges in the coil according to the Lorentz ...
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1answer
71 views

generation of arbitrary potentials

Suppose you have as many electrically charged particles as needed (even countably many) and consider the open unit ball centered at some point in space. For every continuous real valued function on ...
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1answer
520 views

Do Maxwell’s Equations contain the Ideal Gas Law?

Maxwell’s Equations contain some other Laws as special cases. Does it possibly include the Ideal Gas Law as well? – the idea being that material substances can be modeled by appropriate subsets of the ...
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2answers
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Will Gauss's law still hold in case of deviation from inverse square law?

Assume a spherical metallic shell over which a charge $Q$ is distributed uniformly. Applying Gauss's law $\displaystyle\oint\textbf{E}\cdot d\textbf{a}=\frac{Q_{\text{enc.}}}{\epsilon_0}$ by ...
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1answer
1k views

Would the north poles of two magnets repel each other if a weaker south pole was inserted between them?

My son asked me this question and I was stumped - my intuition says that is the south pole was strong enough the attraction between the north and south poles would outweigh the repulsion between the ...
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1answer
252 views

Violation of conservation of energy and potential energy between objects

I would like to clarify my question. I have numbered them to be independent questions For any conservative fields, $\vec{F} = -\nabla U$. Which means the restoring force is opposite to the increasing ...
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1answer
746 views

electric dipole momentum calculation

I'm studying the linear electric susceptibility, using Schroedinger equation and perturbation theory of the interaction potential $$V=-\mu \cdot E$$ and the book arrive to an expression where $$\...
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3answers
254 views

What is the physical reason a $+5V$ equipotential coutour cannot intersect a $-5V$ equipotential coutour?

Now I've been told that equipotential contours with different values can never intersect. That is, if one level is 5V and one is -5V, they can't intersect. This make sense to me mathematically (one ...
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2answers
730 views

Which symmetry is associated with conservation of flux?

Which symmetry is associated with conservation of flux (e.g., in electromagnetism)? For example, when working with Gauss's law in electromagnetism, net flux through an arbitrary volume element ...
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2answers
643 views

Why do physicists believe protons and electrons are present in equal numbers?

I tended to consider that negative and positive charges are present in equal numbers in the universe to be a known, obvious fact. But is it so? How can we rule out the possibility that there is some ...
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1answer
574 views

Gauss's Law vs Newton's Law

This is thought experiment. I couldn't get a good answer because I keep getting negative mass. Gauss's Law say that eletric field is proportional to charge, how much charged is enclosed. Newton's ...
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2answers
2k views

On Electromagnetic Self Energy

In the process of pair annihilation an electron and a positron annihilate each other to produce a pair of photons, conserving momentum and energy. As the oppositely charged particles approach each ...
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1answer
267 views

Quantum Locking and gravity

Can a device be constructed of a super conducting disk connected to a electromagnet that generates a field such that the disc locks "in" the field generated by the electromagnet such that the device ...