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Physics - Quantum Physics | From Electrostatics to Optics - A Concise Electrodynamics Course

From Electrostatics to Optics

A Concise Electrodynamics Course

Scharf, Günter

Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 1994, VIII, 255 pp. 26 figs.


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  • About this textbook

We live in the electronic age. Millions of people stare at television sets; com­ puters penetrate our working life; and the heartbeat of many older people is regulated by a pace-maker. Even music is becoming electric. The good old mechanical Swiss watch has meanwhile been replaced by an electronic watch made in Hong Kong, which is ten times as accurate and costs a tenth of the price. (The cheap Swiss watches are today also electric and the parts are probably made in Hong Kong. ) In physics, the retirement of mechanics as the basis of science already took place in the 19th century, when it was found that light and electromag­ netism must be described by a field theory and not by a mechanical theory. That was a radically new idea: The basic objects in Newton's mechanics are point particles with coordinates qi(t) and momenta Pi(t) depending on time. If the index i runs from 1 to f, the system has finitely many (f or 2f) degrees of freedom. The basic quantities of field theory, on the otl1. er hand, are a few vector fields E(t,x), B(t,x), v(t,x) which depend on ti~e and space. The velocity field v( t, x) is fundamental in continuum mechan­ ics, which is certainly a field theory like electrodynamics, not a mechanical 3 particle theory. Since at every place x in lR. the fields at a given time are free to take on values, the system has infinitely many degrees of freedom.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Electrostatics - Elektrodynamik - Lorentz transformation - Lorentz-Transformation - Maxwell-Theorie - Optics - Phänomenologie - Relativität - Strahlung - electrodynamics - maxwell theory - phenomenology - relativity

Related subjects » Applied & Technical Physics - Quantum Physics

Table of contents 

0. Preliminaries.- 0.0 Historical Introduction.- 0.1 Some Topics of Analysis in ?3.- 0.2 The Laplace Equation.- 0.3 Problems.- 1. Electrostatics in Vacuum.- 1.1 Electric Charge, Field Strength and the Equations of Electrostatics.- 1.2 Multipole Expansion.- 1.3 Boundary Value Problems and Eigenfunction Expansion.- 1.4 Green’s Functions.- 1.5 Energy of the Electric Field.- 1.6 Problems.- 2. The Relativity Principles and Maxwell’s Equations.- 2.1 A Review of Special Relativity.- 2.2 Tensors in Minkowski Space.- 2.3 Lorentz Force and the Electromagnetic Field Tensor.- 2.4 Maxwell’s Equations.- 2.5 Discussion of Maxwell’s Equations, Induction Law.- 2.6 Conservation Laws.- 2.7 Problems.- 3. Electrodynamics in Vacuum.- 3.1 Stationary Magnetic Fields.- 3.2 Motion of Particles in Electromagnetic Fields.- 3.3 Electromagnetic Radiation.- 3.4 Production of Radiation, Electromagnetic Potentials.- 3.5 Electromagnetic Fields of Moving Particles.- 3.6 Lagrange Formalism of Electrodynamics.- 3.7 Problems.- 4. Phenomenological Electrodynamics in Simple Matter.- 4.1 Derivation of the Phenomenological Maxwell’s Equations.- 4.2 Phenomenological Maxwell’s Equations and Constitutive Relations.- 4.3 Macroscopic Conservation Laws, Boundary Conditions.- 4.4 Motion of Particles Through Matter.- 4.5 Problems.- 5. Optics.- 5.1 Reflection and Refraction.- 5.2 Light Scattering.- 5.3 Geometrical Optics.- 5.4 Diffraction.- 5.5 The Laser — An Optical Trumpet.- 5.6 Problems.- 6. Epilogue: Quantum Electrodynamics.

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