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Lecture# Electromagnetic Potentials of Moving Charged Particles

Description

This lecture covers the Liénard-Wiechert potentials, which are the electromagnetic potentials of a moving charged particle. The slides discuss the mathematical expressions for these potentials, including the consistency check for charge conservation and the concept of retarded potentials. The lecture also delves into cleaner notations for the potentials and trajectories of charged particles in different spacetime scenarios.

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In course

Related concepts (35)

PHYS-324: Classical electrodynamics

The goal of this course is the study of the physical and conceptual consequences of Maxwell equations.

Electromagnetic tensor

In electromagnetism, the electromagnetic tensor or electromagnetic field tensor (sometimes called the field strength tensor, Faraday tensor or Maxwell bivector) is a mathematical object that describes the electromagnetic field in spacetime. The field tensor was first used after the four-dimensional tensor formulation of special relativity was introduced by Hermann Minkowski. The tensor allows related physical laws to be written very concisely, and allows for the quantization of the electromagnetic field by Lagrangian formulation described below.

Retarded potential

In electrodynamics, the retarded potentials are the electromagnetic potentials for the electromagnetic field generated by time-varying electric current or charge distributions in the past. The fields propagate at the speed of light c, so the delay of the fields connecting cause and effect at earlier and later times is an important factor: the signal takes a finite time to propagate from a point in the charge or current distribution (the point of cause) to another point in space (where the effect is measured), see figure below.

Electromagnetism

In physics, electromagnetism is an interaction that occurs between particles with electric charge via electromagnetic fields. The electromagnetic force is one of the four fundamental forces of nature. It is the dominant force in the interactions of atoms and molecules. Electromagnetism can be thought of as a combination of electrostatics and magnetism, two distinct but closely intertwined phenomena.

Electromagnetic four-potential

An electromagnetic four-potential is a relativistic vector function from which the electromagnetic field can be derived. It combines both an electric scalar potential and a magnetic vector potential into a single four-vector. As measured in a given frame of reference, and for a given gauge, the first component of the electromagnetic four-potential is conventionally taken to be the electric scalar potential, and the other three components make up the magnetic vector potential.

Electromagnetic field

An electromagnetic field (also EM field or EMF) is a classical (i.e. non-quantum) field produced by moving electric charges. It is the field described by classical electrodynamics (a classical field theory) and is the classical counterpart to the quantized electromagnetic field tensor in quantum electrodynamics (a quantum field theory). The electromagnetic field propagates at the speed of light (in fact, this field can be identified as light) and interacts with charges and currents.