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Lecture# Gauge Invariance and Poisson Equation

Description

This lecture covers the concept of gauge invariance in solving Maxwell equations, focusing on the Lorenz gauge and its implications. It also discusses the Poisson equation in 3D Euclidean space, providing insights into wave equations and the Laplacian operator.

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In course

PHYS-324: Classical electrodynamics

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

Related concepts (25)

Gauge theory

In physics, a gauge theory is a field theory in which the Lagrangian is invariant under local transformations according to certain smooth families of operations (Lie groups). The term gauge refers to any specific mathematical formalism to regulate redundant degrees of freedom in the Lagrangian of a physical system. The transformations between possible gauges, called gauge transformations, form a Lie group—referred to as the symmetry group or the gauge group of the theory. Associated with any Lie group is the Lie algebra of group generators.

Inhomogeneous electromagnetic wave equation

In electromagnetism and applications, an inhomogeneous electromagnetic wave equation, or nonhomogeneous electromagnetic wave equation, is one of a set of wave equations describing the propagation of electromagnetic waves generated by nonzero source charges and currents. The source terms in the wave equations make the partial differential equations inhomogeneous, if the source terms are zero the equations reduce to the homogeneous electromagnetic wave equations. The equations follow from Maxwell's equations.

Gauge fixing

In the physics of gauge theories, gauge fixing (also called choosing a gauge) denotes a mathematical procedure for coping with redundant degrees of freedom in field variables. By definition, a gauge theory represents each physically distinct configuration of the system as an equivalence class of detailed local field configurations. Any two detailed configurations in the same equivalence class are related by a gauge transformation, equivalent to a shear along unphysical axes in configuration space.

Magnetic vector potential

In classical electromagnetism, magnetic vector potential (often called A) is the vector quantity defined so that its curl is equal to the magnetic field: . Together with the electric potential φ, the magnetic vector potential can be used to specify the electric field E as well. Therefore, many equations of electromagnetism can be written either in terms of the fields E and B, or equivalently in terms of the potentials φ and A. In more advanced theories such as quantum mechanics, most equations use potentials rather than fields.

Wave equation

The (two-way) wave equation is a second-order linear partial differential equation for the description of waves or standing wave fields - as they occur in classical physics - such as mechanical waves (e.g. water waves, sound waves and seismic waves) or electromagnetic waves (including light waves). It arises in fields like acoustics, electromagnetism, and fluid dynamics. Single mechanical or electromagnetic waves propagating in a pre-defined direction can also be described with the first-order one-way wave equation, which is much easier to solve and also valid for inhomogeneous media.