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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22
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7answers
2k views

What is potential energy truly?

I have a problematic question for which I have been unable to attain a satisfactory answer. What is potential energy truly? - I have read about how potential energy can be seen as the "highering" ...
27
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3answers
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What prevents this magnetic perpetuum mobile from working?

As a child, I imagined this device, which may seem to rotate indefinitely. I have two questions. Is this perpetual motion machine already known? If it is, could you please give some references? What ...
15
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2answers
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Geometric interpretation of Electromagnetism

For gravity, we have General Relativity, which is a geometric theory for gravitation. Is there a similar analog for Electromagnetism?
14
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8answers
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Is gravity just electromagnetic attraction?

Recently, I was pondering over the thought that is most of the elementary particles have intrinsic magnetism, then can gravity be just a weaker form of electromagnetic attraction? But decided the ...
8
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3answers
3k views

Counting degrees of freedom of gauge bosons

Gauge bosons are represented by $A_{\mu}$, where $\mu = 0,1,2,3$. So in general there are 4 degrees of freedom. But in reality, a photon (gauge boson) has two degrees of freedom (two polarization ...
38
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6answers
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Does alternating current (AC) require a complete circuit?

This popular question about "whether an AC circuit with one end grounded to Earth and the other end grounded to Mars would work (ignoring resistance/inductance of the wire)" was recently asked on the ...
49
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6answers
15k views

What's the difference between magnetic fields H and B?

As per Wikipedia: "The term (Magnetic Field) is used for two distinct but closely related fields denoted by the symbols B and H, where H is measured in units of amperes per meter in the SI. B is ...
24
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5answers
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Fundamental invariants of the electromagnetic field

It is a standard exercise in relativistic electrodynamics to show that the electromagnetic field tensor $F_{\mu\nu}$, whose components equal the electric $E^i=cF^{i0}$ and magnetic $B_i=-\frac12\...
23
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2answers
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What is the conclusion from Aharonov-Bohm Effect?

What is the conclusion that we can draw from the Aharonov-Bohm effect? Does it simply suggest that the vector potential has measurable effects? Does it mean that it is a real observable in quantum ...
14
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5answers
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Why is the conductor an equipotential surface in electrostatics?

Since the electric field inside a conductor is zero that means the potential is constant inside a conductor, which means the "inside" of a conductor is an equal potential region. Why do books also ...
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7answers
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What happens to the magnetic field in this case?

As far as I know, it's possible to create a radially polarised ring magnet, where one pole is on the inside, and the field lines cross the circumference at right angles. So imagine if I made one ...
23
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2answers
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How Special Relativity causes magnetism

So my physics teacher assigned us an article about how special relativity causes magnetism in a wire with a current, even with the low drift velocities of electrons in a current. It seemed that the ...
9
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3answers
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Similarity between the Coulomb force and Newton's gravitational force

Coulomb force and gravitational force has the same governing equation. So they should be same in nature. A moving electric charge creates magnetic field, so a moving mass should create some force ...
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4answers
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Understanding the diagrams of electromagnetic waves

I'm having trouble understanding the diagrams of elctromagnetic waves. I have no problem with any concept in classical mechanics, and I think this can be answered without any relativity (which I don'...
15
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2answers
8k views

How does reflection work?

In Newton's model of light as being composed of particles, it's easy to imagine reflection as being the rebounding of individual corpuscles off a surface. However, since light can also behave like a ...
12
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2answers
2k views

Hexadecapole potential using point particles?

We can get monopole $1/r$, dipole $1/r^2$, quadrupole $1/r^3$ and octupole $1/r^4$ potential falloff by placing opposite point charges at the corners of a point, line, square and cube, respectively. ...
3
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2answers
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The Goos Hanchen shift mechanism

When the light is totally reflected in the interface between dense and less-dense medium, we know that the reflected beam will shift a little. Currently I have known the reflection coef r, will be a ...
9
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3answers
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Coulomb's Law: why is $k = \dfrac{1}{4\pi\epsilon_0}$ [duplicate]

This was supposed to be a long question but something went wrong and everything I typed was lost. Here goes. Why is $k = \dfrac{1}{4\pi\epsilon_0}$ in Coulomb's law? Is this an experimental fact? ...
44
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5answers
25k views

Is Biot-Savart law obtained empirically or can it be derived?

There's already a question like this here so that my question could be considered duplicate, but I'll try to make my point clear that this is a different question. Is there a way to derive Biot-...
17
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2answers
5k views

Why doesn't the electric field inside a wire in a circuit fall off with distance from the battery?

We studied electric fields due to point charges. The magnitude of these fields decreases with the square of the distance from the point charge. It seems to me that we could treat the positive ...
25
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3answers
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Maxwell in multiple dimensions: What happens to curl?

I read this answer a while ago, and while thinking about $\nabla$, I realized something. Since the cross product can be written as a determinant, in higher dimensions we require extra vector inputs. ...
15
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9answers
34k views

Does a current carrying wire produce electric field outside?

In the modern electromagnetism textbooks, electric fields in the presence of stationary currents are assumed to be conservative,$$ \nabla \times E~=~0 ~.$$ Using this we get$$ E_{||}^{\text{out}}~=~E_{...
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4answers
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Where can I find simulation software for electricity and magnets? [closed]

Is there easily-available* software to simulate coils, solenoids, and other magnetic and electromagnetic devices? I'd like to play around with some design ideas, such as Halbach arrays, but physics ...
15
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4answers
11k views

Are the Maxwell's equations enough to derive the law of Coulomb?

Are the 8 Maxwell's equations enough to derive the formula for the electromagnetic field created by a stationary point charge, which is the same as the law of Coulomb $$ F~=~k_e \frac{q_1q_2}{r^2}~? ...
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2answers
3k views

current in wire + special relativity = magnetism

Current in wire + moving charge next to wire creates magnetic force in the stationary reference frame OR electric force in the moving reference frame from special relativity due to change in charge ...
16
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3answers
7k views

How to derive Maxwell's equations from the electromagnetic Lagrangian?

In Heaviside-Lorentz units the Maxwell's equations are: $$\nabla \cdot \vec{E} = \rho $$ $$ \nabla \times \vec{B} - \frac{\partial \vec{E}}{\partial t} = \vec{J}$$ $$ \nabla \times \vec{E} + \frac{\...
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6answers
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Electric field associated with moving charge

I have recently started to learn about the electric field generated by a moving charge. I know that the electric field has two components; a velocity term and an acceeleration term. The following ...
9
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1answer
4k views

Does light induce an electric current in a conductor?

I know that electromagnetic waves induce electric currents in conductors and that's the basis for radio, wi-fi etc. I also know that light is also an electromagnetic wave. So, can light induce a ...
8
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3answers
38k views

Why is copper diamagnetic?

Cu has an unpaired electron in 4s, but it is diamagnetic. I thought that it has to be paramagnetic. What am I missing?
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3answers
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What is the symmetry which is responsible for preservation/conservation of electrical charges?

Another Noether's theorem question, this time about electrical charge. According to Noether's theorem, all conservation laws originate from invariance of a system to shifts in a certain space. For ...
4
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1answer
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Two electron beams exert different forces on each other depending on frame of reference?

I am sure there is a simple explanation for my confusion, but I am a little puzzled: We are dealing with two parallel electron cannons that each produces a straight beam of electrons. They are placed ...
10
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3answers
21k views

Do magnets lose their magnetism?

I recently bought some buckyballs, considered to be the world's best selling desk toy. Essentially, they are little, spherical magnets that can form interesting shapes when a bunch of them are used ...
2
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1answer
285 views

Relationship between the material properties of an edge and the fringes behind this edge

The double-slit experiment shows fringes on a screen. Closing one of the slits there is still an interference pattern on the screen behind the slit. Making the slit wider we still see fringes between ...
-2
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1answer
909 views

What is the nature of the magnetic fields? [closed]

In this question, I am hoping to find out if there is an explanation to the magnetic hidden forces. In other words, what causes these fields? Is there any suggested theory, or any confirmed ones ? ...
39
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6answers
99k views

Can someone please explain magnetic vs electric fields?

I've looked through about 20 different explanations, from the most basic to the most complex, and yet I still don't understand this basic concept. Perhaps someone can help me. I don't understand the ...
25
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5answers
4k views

How can there be net linear momentum in a static electromagnetic field (not propagating)?

I understand from basic conservation of energy and momentum considerations, it is clear in classical electrodynamics that the fields should be able to have energy and momentum. This leads to the usual ...
23
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3answers
8k 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 ...
18
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9answers
3k views

“Reality” of EM waves vs. wavefunction of individual photons - why not treat the wave function as equally “Real”?

In thinking how to ask this question (somewhat) succinctly, I keep coming back to a Microwave Oven. A Microwave Oven has a grid of holes over the window specifically designed to be smaller in ...
16
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3answers
2k views

What is the origin of the factor of $-1/4$ in the Maxwell Lagrangian?

I have seen numerous 'derivations' of the Maxwell Lagrangian, $$\mathcal{L} ~=~ -\frac{1}{4}F_{\mu \nu}F^{\mu \nu},$$ but every one has sneakily inserted a factor of $-1/4$ without explaining why. ...
26
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4answers
6k views

Is the EmDrive, or “Relativity Drive” possible?

In 2006, New Scientist magazine published an article titled Relativity drive: The end of wings and wheels1 [1] about the EmDrive [Wikipedia] which stirred up a fair degree of controversy and some ...
9
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1answer
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Why does electrical current start to flow?

What happens microscopically when an electrical current starts to flow? I'd like to understand microscopically what happens in detail when electrons start moving (quasi-classically). Electrons can ...
37
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4answers
11k views

What is the explanation of the non-existence of magnetic monopoles? [closed]

Electric monopoles do exist, but why cannot magnetic monopoles exist? The question is closed because I need to clarify it, but I don't know how I could ask it another way. However, I've recieved ...
14
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5answers
1k views

Where's the energy in a boosted capacitor?

Suppose I look at a parallel plate capacitor in its rest frame and calculate the electrostatic energy, $E$. Next, I look at the same capacitor in a primed frame boosted in the direction perpendicular ...
13
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4answers
2k views

Least-action classical electrodynamics without potentials

Is it possible to formulate classical electrodynamics (in the sense of deriving Maxwell's equations) from a least-action principle, without the use of potentials? That is, is there a lagrangian which ...
9
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2answers
2k views

Why is the return current through a printed circuit board's ground plane concentrated below the circuit trace?

The Wikipedia article on ground plane says In addition, a ground plane under printed circuit traces [the paths that the circuit currents take] can reduce crosstalk between adjacent traces. When two ...
0
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1answer
9k views

Violation of Newton's 3rd law and momentum conservation [closed]

Why and when does Newton's 3rd law violate in relativistic mechanics? Check this link.
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2answers
2k views

Why is the “canonical momentum” for the Dirac equation not defined in terms of the “gauge covariant derivative”?

The canonical momentum is always used to add an EM field to the Schrödinger/Pauli/Dirac equations. Why does one not use the gauge covariant derivative? As far as I can see, the difference is a factor <...
8
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5answers
24k views

Method of calculating eddy currents of a conductor, is this correct?

I have a conductor with volume $V$, passing a magnetic field($B$) with velocity($v$): I'm trying to calculate the Eddy currents to figure out the magnitude of the drag force($F_d$) generated the Eddy'...
3
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3answers
5k views

Electrodynamics textbooks that emphasize applications

Please recommend undergraduate-level textbooks on electrodynamics which emphasize practical applications and real life examples. Please describe the book's level and contents and its intended audience ...
2
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3answers
3k views

What do we mean with magnetic monopole and dipole?

What do we mean with magnetic monopole and dipole? I can not find a way to relate magnetic monopoles and dipoles with electric ones. I do not understand their outcomes. Also,what is their role in ...

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