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Lagrangian for E and B fields, not vector potential?

  1. Jun 12, 2010 #1
    Anyone know of a Lagrangian given in terms of E and B (or equivalently the tensor F) that yields Maxwell equations? A link or reference would be appreciated.

    I can write down such a Lagrangian which yields the two second-order Maxwell equations, but not the usual four 1st order equations. And I'm not sure: are the second order equations equivalent to the first order form?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 12, 2010 #2
    [tex] L=-\frac{1}{4}F_{\mu\nu}F^{\mu\nu} [/tex]

    But then F is defined in terms of (the derivatives of) the potential, not E and B.
     
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