Electromagnetic Expressions

In summary, the conversation discusses the expressions E=cB for the magnitudes of electric and magnetic fields in electromagnetic waves, and the energy densities in the electric and magnetic fields. These expressions are derived from Maxwell's equations and the action principle, and depend on the frame of reference of the observer. The energy density is found using Noether's theorem or the energy-conservation law, and is proportional to the Poynting vector.
  • #1
Hello all!
I am getting into the electromagnetic waves section in my optics class and in some of these derivations, they are using expressions that I cannot remember how they were derived or the context of them. My book from my E&M class I took awhile back is currently at my house and I am at my school so I can not look it up. The expressions I am talking about are..

Where E and B are the magnitudes of the electric and magnetic fields respectively.

Energy Density in the Electric field

Energy Density in the Magnetic field
[tex]u_{B}=\frac{1}{2} \frac{1}{μ_0}B^2[/tex]

Can anyone show where these expressions come from? It would help my understanding a lot! Thanks!
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  • #2
Everything in classical electromagnetic theory follows from Maxwell's equations or, more elegantly, from the corresponding action principle.

Your first expression is valid for plane waves or in the far-field limit, i.e., at distances from any sources (i.e., charge and current distributions) much larger than the typical wavelength of your em. wave.

To prove it take the Maxwell equations for the free field and look for plane-wave solutions of the form

[tex]\vec{E}(t,\vec{x})=\vec{E}_0 \exp(-\mathrm{i} \omega t+\mathrm{i}\vec{k} \cdot \vec{x}),[/tex]
[tex]\vec{B}(t,\vec{x})=\vec{B}_0 \exp(-\mathrm{i}\omega t+\mathrm{i}\vec{k} \cdot \vec{x}).[/tex]

The other expressions do not make much sense taken separated from each other. There is only an electromagnetic field not an electric and a separated magnetic field. It depends on the frame of reference of the observer, what are electric and magnetic components of the field. In relativity the field-strength components are components of an antisymmetric 2nd-rank tensor.

You find the expression for the energy density of the em. fields with help of Noether's theorem or less systematically by taking the time derivative of the expression,

[tex]\epsilon=\frac{\epsilon_0}{2} \vec{E}^2+ \frac{1}{2 \mu_0} \vec{B}^2[/tex]

and use Maxwell's equation to derive the energy-conservation law in form of a continuity equation. You'll also find that the energy-current density is given by something proportional to the Poynting vector [itex]\vec{S}=\vec{E} \times \vec{B}[/itex].

1. What is an electromagnetic expression?

An electromagnetic expression is a mathematical representation of the relationship between electric and magnetic fields. It describes how these fields interact and propagate in space.

2. What are the fundamental equations of electromagnetic expressions?

The fundamental equations of electromagnetic expressions are Maxwell's equations, which include Gauss's law, Gauss's law for magnetism, Faraday's law, and Ampere's law. These equations describe the behavior of electric and magnetic fields in terms of charge, current, and their interactions.

3. How are electromagnetic expressions used in everyday life?

Electromagnetic expressions have a wide range of applications in everyday life, such as in telecommunications, electronics, and power generation. They are also used in medical imaging, radar, and satellite communications.

4. What is the role of electromagnetism in the universe?

Electromagnetism plays a crucial role in the universe, as it is responsible for many natural phenomena such as light, electricity, and magnetism. It also governs the behavior of atoms and molecules, and is essential for the formation of chemical bonds.

5. How is the study of electromagnetic expressions important for scientific research?

The study of electromagnetic expressions is crucial for scientific research in fields such as physics, engineering, and astronomy. It helps us understand the behavior of electromagnetic waves and how they interact with matter, leading to advancements in technology and our understanding of the universe.

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