Derivation of eq of motion of q in static E?

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The equation of motion for q in a static E is given by:

[tex] d/dt \gamma mv = qE [/tex]

Some textbooks use the above equation in deriving Maxwell's equtions, but is there a way of deriving this equation from elementary assumptions such as Newton's law in q's frame and Coulomb's law?

Thanks.
 

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bcrowell
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If you know about tensors, then the following may help. If we're going to define something like an electromagnetic field in terms of what it does to a test charge, then that definition has to be expressed in terms of a tensor equation, or else it wouldn't have the same form in all frames of reference. The tensor we want to predict is [itex]dp^j/d\tau[/itex], and the only thing it can depend on besides the field is the particle's motion, described by its four-velocity [itex]v^k[/itex]. Given these facts, the most general tensor equation we can have is of the form [itex]dp^j/d\tau = F^{jk}v_k[/itex]. If all of this is going to match up with Newton's laws in the nonrelativistic limit, then the time-space components of F have to be the electric field.
 

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