E & M notation: Maxwell's to Heaviside's

  • Thread starter mmwave
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  • #1
mmwave
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Does anyone know of documentation on the steps and process Heaviside used to express Maxwell's Equations in vector notation?

I'm not looking for Maxwell's papers (I've read some and don't understand the notation) and I'm not looking for modern expressions of Maxwell's eq. (available in any E&M textbook) but a sort of blow by blow of the translation of notation.

This is more of an historical interest rather than practical.
(One of the smartest RF engineers I know tried to do his own translation for 'fun' and gave up. I'm sure it's beyond me.)
 

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  • #2
Tyger
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I don't think it's all that difficult. Heaviside just used the vector operator del and expressed Maxwell's Equations with it instead of tediously writing out every partial derivative in the equations. He invented the use of the × for the crossproduct and the dotproduct notation for the divergence.
 
  • #3
mmwave
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Originally posted by Tyger
I don't think it's all that difficult. Heaviside just used the vector operator del and expressed Maxwell's Equations with it instead of tediously writing out every partial derivative in the equations. He invented the use of the × for the crossproduct and the dotproduct notation for the divergence.

I don't think that is correct. Maxwell did not use the modern concept of vector but wrote of 'vortices' and besides there are no quaternions in divergence and curl. :smile:

It was an MIT EE professor who said it was too difficult to do for himself.
 
  • #4
Tyger
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Last edited:
  • #5
mmwave
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Originally posted by Tyger
There's more on Google or MSN, just plug in Maxwell's notation.

http://g.msn.com/9SE/1?http://www.a...-12bc-43e2-a0e0-4d747e7bf44f&POS=1&CM=WU&CE=1

It even says that Maxwell used the vector and scalar parts of the equations separately when expressed in quaternion form, so it wasn't difficult for Heaviside to make the conversion.

Is this one link or two? In any case, it didn't work for me, maybe an edit is in order?

I did my own search but didn't turn up anything like you found.
 
  • #6
Tyger
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Originally posted by mmwave
Is this one link or two? In any case, it didn't work for me, maybe an edit is in order?

I did my own search but didn't turn up anything like you found.

Should have mentioned that it is a PDF file, so you need Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is free.
 
  • #7
mmwave
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I have acrobat and download lots of pdf's. Is it all one link? there seems to be two http:// in it.
 
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  • #8
Tyger
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Try again now. For some reason it did post two URLs, but it worked for me. I edited it to one and it now works.
 

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