Electrodynamics Definition and 86 Discussions

Electromagnetism is a branch of physics involving the study of the electromagnetic force, a type of physical interaction that occurs between electrically charged particles. The electromagnetic force is carried by electromagnetic fields composed of electric fields and magnetic fields, and it is responsible for electromagnetic radiation such as light. It is one of the four fundamental interactions (commonly called forces) in nature, together with the strong interaction, the weak interaction, and gravitation. At high energy, the weak force and electromagnetic force are unified as a single electroweak force.

Electromagnetic phenomena are defined in terms of the electromagnetic force, sometimes called the Lorentz force, which includes both electricity and magnetism as different manifestations of the same phenomenon. The electromagnetic force plays a major role in determining the internal properties of most objects encountered in daily life. The electromagnetic attraction between atomic nuclei and their orbital electrons holds atoms together. Electromagnetic forces are responsible for the chemical bonds between atoms which create molecules, and intermolecular forces. The electromagnetic force governs all chemical processes, which arise from interactions between the electrons of neighboring atoms. Electromagnetism is very widely used in modern technology, and electromagnetic theory is the basis of electric power engineering and electronics including digital technology.
There are numerous mathematical descriptions of the electromagnetic field. Most prominently, Maxwell's equations describe how electric and magnetic fields are generated and altered by each other and by charges and currents.
The theoretical implications of electromagnetism, particularly the establishment of the speed of light based on properties of the "medium" of propagation (permeability and permittivity), led to the development of special relativity by Albert Einstein in 1905.

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  1. janjan

    I Measurement of charge in motion

    In Purcell's E&M Section5.3 "Measurement of charge in motion", he said when a charge is in motion, the force on test charges may not be in the direction of radius vector r. And in next paragraph, he defined Q by averaging over all directions. However, he just measured the radial component of...
  2. M

    I Visual Interpretation of Advanced Electrodynamics

    Hello! I am a junior undergraduate physics major and I am very confused on how to visualize things in my electrodynamics class. Specifically, I am having issues with dielectrics and spheres with constant potentials etc. I usually notice that I am lost in a class when I can no longer draw out a...
  3. Mr.Husky

    Classical Confusion between Electrodynamics texts

    Hello everyone, I recently completed kleppner and kolenkow classical mechanics book. Next I am going to learn Electrodynamics. My brother is a EE major and he gave me his copy of "principles of electromagnetics" Matthew Sadiku 4th edition. But a lot of people here recommend Griffiths. So, 1.)...
  4. Viona

    Spin-Orbit Coupling

    I was reading in the Book: Introduction to Quantum Mechanics by David J. Griffiths. In chapter Time-independent Perturbation Theory, Section: Spin -Orbit Coupling. I understood that the spin–orbit coupling in Hydrogen atom arises from the interaction between the electron’s spin magnetic moment...
  5. A

    Writing the charge density in the form of the Dirac delta function

    Hey guys! Sorry if this is a stupid question but I'm having some trouble to express this charge distribution as dirac delta functions. I know that the charge distribution of a circular disc in the ##x-y##-plane with radius ##a## and charge ##q## is given by $$\rho(r,\theta)=qC_a...
  6. A

    Calculating the force on an electron from two positive point charges

    So this is more of an intuitive question rather than a mathematical one. I present the problem. Assume I have 2 charges of charge +q at a distance r from each other on the z axis. Position of two charges is (0,0,r/2) and (0,0,-r/2). Assume now that I want to calculate the force these two...
  7. namo99

    A charged particle entering a magnetic field -- find the position

  8. L

    Separation of Variables: Find the potential b/w concentric hemispheres

    I'm having troubles setting up this problem. I know we are to use boundary conditions to determine An and Bn since in this case (a<r<b) neither can be set to 0. I don't know how the given potentials translate into boundary conditions, especially the V3 disk.
  9. C

    Is the Configuration of Magnetic Fields Only a Convention?

    If I understand correctly, the concept of electric and magnetic fields originated with Faraday and was developed by reconceptualizing forces acting at-a-distance. For example, the electric field concept was developed by looking at the force on a test charge in the presence of a source charge...
  10. AndreasC

    Going through Jackson's Electrodynamics as an undergad who "hates" E/M

    Summary:: Not entirely sure if this is the appropriate board, if I'm mistaken feel free to move it somewhere better. I decided to slowly go through Jackson's infamous Classical Electrodynamics book as a challenge to myself, solving as many exercises as possible. I will document my progress...
  11. Amitkumarr

    To find the Acceleration of a Pentagonal metallic plate

    In order to find force( and hence the Acceleration) on the Pentagonal plate,we must find the Resistance of the plate.But to find the resistance we must know how the current is flowing through the given plate(see attached figure). My question is how is the current flowing through the Pentagonal...
  12. K

    EMF shielding using a conductor

    So I've been trying to figure out how EMF shielding works. More specifically, I've seen videos where placing a metal conductor in front of a circular coil (with AC running through at radio frequencies) apparently shielded anything behind it. After searching online, I repeatedly saw Eddy...
  13. J

    I Does direct interparticle action imply advanced inertial forces?

    In his Nobel lecture (https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/physics/1965/feynman/lecture/) Richard Feynman states that by varying the Schwarzschild-Tetrode-Fokker direct interparticle action $$A=-\sum_i m_i\int\big(\mathbf{\dot X_i}\cdot\mathbf{\dot X_i}\big)^{1/2}d\alpha_i+\frac{1}{2}\sum_{i\ne...
  14. Blakely42

    Learning Nothing from my E&M Course

    Summary:: Griffiths' Electrodynamics Text is Worthless for Teaching It seems like Griffiths just makes things up as he goes along. There's no reasoning. Sometimes he does things one way, sometimes another. Solutions are never really explained, whether I look up homework solutions online or...
  15. Riotto

    A Canonical momentum ##\pi^\rho## of the electromagnetic field

    In David Tong's QFT notes (see http://www.damtp.cam.ac.uk/user/tong/qft/qft.pdf , page 131, Eq. 6.38) the expression for canonical momentum ##\pi^0## is given by ##\pi^0=-\partial_\rho A^\rho## while my calculation gives ##\pi^\rho=-\partial_0 A^\rho## so that ##\pi^0=-\partial_0 A^0##. Is it...
  16. K

    Rotating and tilting charged disk induces a voltage inside a ring

    As I`` m learning for an upcoming exam I found an electrodynamics problem I struggle with. In the first task I need to calculate the magnetic dipole moment of a uniformly charged,thin disk with the Radius R and a total charge Q which rotates with a angular speed omega round its symmetry axis...
  17. maajdl

    A Canonical quantization of Electrodynamics: physical intuition ?

    Hello, I am freshly retired and enjoy going back to the fundamentals. I followed the wonderful courses by Alain Aspect on Coursera on Quantum Optics 1 and 2 . The quantization of Electrodynamics is really easy stuff. Just follow the correspondence between Poisson brakets and Commutators ... and...
  18. U

    Current induced from a changing magnetic field

    This question is motivated by Problem 7.12 in Griffiths Electrodynamics book. I have not included it in the homework section, because I have already solved it correctly. However, I question whether my solution which agrees with the solution's manual is correct. Relevant Equations: $$\Phi =...
  19. Amartansh

    Classical Electromagnetic Scattering

    What are the best resources (books/lectures/articles) to learn Classical Electromagnetic Scattering (forward and inverse modelling)? I am an Electrical Engineer so I would prefer some resource which is from an applied perspective. My specific research topic is related to modeling and analyze 2D...
  20. Aryamaan Thakur

    Electric potential at the edge of a thin charged circular plate

    My question might sound stupid to you but please clear my confusions. I'm taking an circular arc like element on the plate. That arc has a radius of 'r' (AB) and the radius is inclined at an angle 'θ' with OA (∠OAB). The area between arc of radius r and r+dr is dA. dA = 2θr.dr The charge on...
  21. JD_PM

    Arguing about the magnetic force vector

    I am writing about the nature of force in classical mechanics and what does really imply, in terms of change in motion. I am using as an example a circuit, on which we exert a force. I am trying to justify the following scheme (concretely, ##f_{mag}##): The thing is that I am wondering...
  22. A

    What is Current? I know it is a scalar but I found something weird...

    While I was going through "Introduction to Electrodynamics" by David J. Griffith I see the line "Current is a vector quantity". But we know it doesn't obey the vector algebra (addition ). Then how it can be a vector?... Please help me
  23. ubergewehr273

    B Doubt on an EM problem regarding gauss law

    There's this problem 2.18 in the book "Introduction to electrodynamics" by Griffith. The problem says the following, "Two spheres, each of radius R and carrying uniform charge densities ##+\rho## and ##-\rho##, respectively, are placed so that they partially overlap (Image_01). Call the vector...
  24. W

    Retarded time calculations: Electrodynamics

    Homework Statement A positive charge ##q## is fired head-on at a distant positive charge ##Q## that is held stationary. It comes in at speed ##v_0## and comes to an instantaneous halt at distance ##r_f## away from Q. What is the amount of energy radiated due to acceleration in this time...
  25. W

    Electrodynamics: Derivatives involving Retarded-Time

    Hi all, I have ran into some mathematical confusion when studying the aforementioned topic. The expression for retarded time is given as $$t_R = t - R/c$$ ##R = | \vec{r} - \vec{r'} |##, where ##\vec{r}## represents the point of evaluation and ##\vec{r'}## represents the source position. I...
  26. W

    Maxwell's equations and exterior algebra

    Maxwell's equations in differential form notation appeared as a motivating example in a mathematical physics book I'm reading. However, being a mathematical physics book it doesn't delve much into the physical aspects of the problem. It deduces the equations by setting dF equal to zero and d(*F)...
  27. W

    Volume current densities

    Hi all, I have been reading Griffiths' book on Electrodynamics and have come across a point (image attached below) where he states that volume current densities are 0 on the surface of the current-carrying objects. He then uses these properties in pretty-important integrals. However, I...
  28. W

    Quantum Mechanics and Electrodynamics/Electrostatics

    Hi all, I have a question relating to the title above. The uncertainty relation tells us that an electron that is localised (in terms of its PDF) is space has a large uncertainty in momentum space. However in classical electrostatics/dynamics we seem to make attempts to do things like...
  29. AwesomeTrains

    Effective refractive index of a stratified medium

    Hello PF, I'm reading a paper for a project. In the paper they derive an equation for the effective refractive index ##n=\sqrt{\epsilon^{e} \mu^{e}}## of two stacked layers ##(n_1^2 = \epsilon_1 \mu_1, a)## and ##(n_2^2 = \epsilon_2 \mu_2, b)## where ##a,b## are the lengths and in my case...
  30. omega_minus

    I Getting Maxwell's Equations from Field Tensor (Griffith 4ed)

    Hello, I am reading Griffith's "Introduction to Electrodynamics" 4ed. I'm in the chapter on relativistic electrodynamics where he develops the electromagnetic field tensor (contravariant matrix form) and then shows how to extract Maxwell's equations by permuting the index μ. I am able to...
  31. W

    Lagrangian Field Theory - Maxwell's Equations

    Homework Statement $$ L = -\frac{1}{2} (\partial_{\mu} A_v) (\partial^{\mu} A^v) + \frac{1}{2} (\partial_{\mu} A^v)^2$$ calculate $$\frac{\partial L}{\partial(\partial_{\mu} A_v)}$$ Homework Equations $$ A^{\mu} = \eta^{\mu v} A_v, \ and \ \partial^{\mu} = \eta^{\mu v} \partial_{v}$$ The...
  32. CDL

    Studying Higher Year Physics Studies with a Shaky Foundation

    I have just finished my first semester of third year undergraduate physics, and have a 3-4 week break before my next semester, in which I will be taking a third course in electromagnetism (classical electrodynamics). It is my second course with a full focus on electromagnetism, since in first...
  33. W

    Phase relation between the electric & magnetic fields in a plasma

    Homework Statement So I have got the question below. I am asked to find the phase difference between the electric field and magnetic field of electromagnetic waves traveling in a plasma, using the electrical conductivity expression. Now I have found the frequency of the waves and I know that...
  34. U

    Studying What do I need before starting to learn electrodynamics?

    I am a high school sophomore and I want to take part in Physics Olympiads which is exactly why I want to learn electrodynamics. I have ordered 'An Introduction to Electrodynamics' by D.J. Griffiths. I am halfway through MIT OCW mechanics course and I know Calculus equivalent to standard Calculus...
  35. ubergewehr273

    Case of a charged capacitor

    It is given that an uncharged capacitor is connected with a battery. Clearly, it gets quickly charged and flow of current stops in the circuit. What is the reason behind a charged capacitor in completely restricting the flow of current ?
  36. ubergewehr273

    Non symmetric case of Ampere's law

    When we use Ampere's law, the most basic case that of an infinite current carrying wire is taken whose magnetic field is evaluated at a distance r from the wire. However there's nothing wrong in using the law for non symmetric scenarios. If this is the case how do you explain the B field at a...
  37. ubergewehr273

    A Doubt about Ampere's law

    When we try to find magnetic field due to a set of current carrying wires in a region we draw an imaginary amperian loop and using ampere's law find the magnitude of the magnetic field. ##\oint \vec B \cdot d\vec l = \mu_{0}i_{enclosed}## The RHS involves only the enclosed current inside the...
  38. sams

    I Finding Real and Imaginary Parts of the complex wave number

    In Griffiths fourth edition, page 413, section 9.4.1. Electromagnetic Waves in Conductors, the complex wave number is given according to equation (9.124). Calculating the real and imaginary parts of the complex wave number as in equation (9.125) lead to equations (9.126). I have done the...
  39. vanhees71

    The Homopolar Generator: An Analytical Example - Comments

    Greg Bernhardt submitted a new PF Insights post The Homopolar Generator: An Analytical Example Continue reading the Original PF Insights Post.
  40. L

    Electric dipole EM field using Lorentz Transformation

    Homework Statement An electric dipole instantaneously at rest at the origin in the frame K' has potentials \Phi'=\mathbf{p}\cdot\mathbf{r}'/r'^3 and \mathbf{A}'=0 (and thus only an electric field). The frame K' moves with uniform velocity \mathbf{v}=\vec{\beta }c in the frame K. Show that in...
  41. whatisgoingon

    XY plane as the interface between two media

    Homework Statement The xy-plane serves as the interface between two different media. Medium 1 (z < 0) is filled with a material whose µr=6, and medium 2 (z > 0) is filled with a material whose µr=4. If the interface carries a current (1/µ0)ˆy (y- hat) mA/m, and B2 = 5ˆx (x-hat) + 8ˆz (z-hat)...
  42. C

    Oscillation of a point charge perpendicular to field lines

    Homework Statement Two particles A and B each carry a charge Q and are separated by a fixed distance D. A particle c with charge q and mass m is kept at the midpoint of A and B. If C is displaced perpendicular to AB by a distance x where x<<<D, find the time period of the oscillation of the...
  43. sams

    A Difference between conduction & convection current density?

    Hello Everyone, Could anyone please explain the difference between the conduction current density (J=σE) and the convection current density (J=ρvd)? I really appreciate any examples or applications to further elaborate these two theories. Note: vd is the particles' average drift velocity...
  44. M

    Flux Through A Sphere Surrounding A Parallelepiped

    Homework Statement The rectangular parallelepiped with sides ## a > b > c ## is filled with charge of constant density ## \rho ##. A sphere of radius ## 2a ## is constructed with its center at the origin. Find the flux through the surface of this sphere Homework Equations $$ \oint E...
  45. Moayd Shagaf

    Classical Griffiths Electrodynamics vs Pollack Electromagnetism.

    I try to learn electrodynamics as theoretical physicist, Now I study from Griffiths, I find it very good book and do the job! but the problem I need to learn electrodynamic to do future topics like Quantum Electrodynamics, and Pollack I find it good and modern, so my question is what is the best...
  46. H

    Faraday's law help

    Homework Statement An infinitely long wire carries current I=I_0sin(wt). A distance a from this wire is an w by l loop with resistance R with induced voltage V and induced current i. Find the induced voltage and current in the loop. Homework Equations Faraday's law is given by \varepsilon =...
  47. spareine

    Sketch of the electric field of a laser beam

    I am trying to sketch the electric field E in snapshot of a linearly polarized laser beam. Is it correct that the E vectors bend from vertical to longitudinal near the cylindrical surface of the beam, and that all field lines within a half wave segment are closed loops?
  48. Vaibhav Sahu

    Propagation of EM Waves in metamaterials

    We have materials that have negative effective permittivity and permeability. In such materials, when the product of permittivity and permeability is negative, solving the wave equation yields a wave with a purely imaginary wave number. Does this mean complete attenuation of the wave ?
  49. qnach

    I Original references for Hertz's experiments

    There are many website about the apparatus of Hertz's experiments, i.e. http://www.sparkmuseum.com/BOOK_HERTZ.HTM http://earlyradiohistory.us/1901hz.htm http://people.seas.harvard.edu/~jones/cscie129/nu_lectures/lecture6/hertz/Hertz_exp.html There are many pictures showing the apparatus of...
  50. 1

    Why can't I use this equation for the magnetic field?

    Homework Statement Homework Equations ##\oint \vec{H} \cdot d\vec{l} = I_{free,enclosed}## ##\vec{B} = \mu_0 (1+\chi _m)\vec{H}## The Attempt at a Solution I found the magnetic field inside to be ##\vec{B} = \mu_0 (1+\chi _m)\frac{Is}{2 \pi a^2} \phi##. But why can't I use the same equation...