Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Most accurate form of maxwell equations?

  1. Jul 31, 2009 #1
    What is everyones thoughts on the most accurate form of these equations with our current understanding of QM and relativity. Including the fact that a photon has greater than 0 rest mass.

    Would the two tensor equations of Covariant formulation of classical electromagnetism be the most accurate?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 31, 2009 #2

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2017 Award

    This is not a fact.
  4. Jul 31, 2009 #3
    I thought QM proves no form of energy can ever be 0, at minimum it must be hbar/2
  5. Jul 31, 2009 #4
    Maxwell's equations ARE classical EM. No less accurate or more accurate forms. Those 4 equations detail all that there is to say about classical EM (which is really quite amazing). If you want to meld electromagnetism with quantum mechanics and special relativity then you're simply not in the classical regime and the combined theory of all those is called QED (Quantum Electrodynamics). If you want to merge that with general relativity then... well... no one knows. That's the current holy grail of particle physics research. What is called a "grand unified theory"
  6. Jul 31, 2009 #5


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    The best theory of classical electrodynamics is the generalization of Maxwell's equations to curved spacetime. By classical I mean non-quantum.
  7. Jul 31, 2009 #6
    You are misusing the term "grand unified theory." Grand unification is the unification of electroweak and strong forces into different aspects of the same force.

    Otherwise I think you hit the nail on the head with regards to the original post.
  8. Jul 31, 2009 #7
    I am looking for the reletavistic quantum electrodynamic form of these equations, it does not need to be classical.
  9. Jul 31, 2009 #8
    The units of h_bar/2 is not energy but momentum or action. Energy can be zero, no problem with it. Photons are massless by definition.
  10. Jul 31, 2009 #9
    Then take the standard QED: it consists of EMF equations and charge motion equations coupled together.
  11. Jul 31, 2009 #10
    ok going to take QED after I finish QM core
  12. Jul 31, 2009 #11
    You're going to have to take a stop at QFT in between.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook