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Electric and magnetic fields

  1. Sep 22, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Hi,

    My professor offered the following question: Is it possible to have an electromagnetic field that appears as a purely electric field in one inertial frame and as a purely magnetic field in some other inertial frame?


    2. Relevant equations



    3. The attempt at a solution

    I agree that if there is a point charge at rest there exists only electric field lines. And I also agree that if the charge is put in motion that from the frame of the lab there is an electric and magnetic field but from a frame attached to the charge there is only an electric field. But I can't convince myself there could be one frame where there is only an electric field and another frame in which there is only a magnetic field. Can someone point me in the direction of what I am missing? Is this a qualitative or quantitative issue? Am I oversimplifying this?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 23, 2009 #2

    tiny-tim

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    Science Advisor
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    Hi Starproj! :smile:

    Hint: what invariants do you know involving E and B? :wink:
     
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