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Unformatted text preview: Physics 225 Relativity and Math Applications Spring 2010 Unit 14 Solving Maxwells Equations N.C.R. Makins University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign 2010 Physics 225 14.2 14.2 Physics 225 14.3 14.3 Unit 14: Solving Maxwells Equations You saw them initially last week, and here they are again: Maxwells Equations , the four equations that define all of electromagnetic theory. Drum roll please here they are! ! ! " ! E = # $ ! ! " ! B = ! ! " ! E = # $ ! B $ t ! ! " ! B = ! J + # $ ! E $ t This electromagnetic theory, with its quantummechanical extension QED = Quantum ElectroDynamics, is arguably the most preciselytested theory in the world. Experiment and theory have been pushed to more than 7 significant digits, and they still agree. The reason that the four Maxwell equations are all you need comes from a mathematical principle known as the Helmoltz Theorem : The behavior of any vector field is defined entirely by its divergence and curl. In other words: if you know the curl of a vector field ! E and you know its divergence as well, then you know everything about it. 1 So how does one solve Maxwells Equations? How does one use these master equations to actually obtain the electric and magnetic fields produced by any charge or current distribution? In general, there are three techniques: 1. Bruteforce integration over the charge and current distributions. FYI: In your later courses, you will find this technique under the heading Greens functions . Greens functions are solutions of inhomogeneous differential equations for point sources . Once you know the field created by a point source, you just add together integrate all the contributions to the field at any given field point from every source point in the universe. Easy. We know the Greens function solutions for Maxwells equations in the static case when nothing is changing with time: they are Coulombs Law and the BiotSavart Law . Weve been practicing this technique and well continue to do so today. 2. Apply GaussGreenStokes for cases with high symmetry . This is the solution technique you have been using in Physics 212 to obtain (a) the electric field of charged spheres, infinite cylinders, and infinite sheets or slabs from Gauss Law, and (b) the magnetic field of infinite solenoids, infinitely long wires, toroids, and current sheets from Amperes Law. This is a very elegant technique, but it only applies in those seven highsymmetry cases. The material at the end of this unit goes into more detail about this solution technique. 3. Find classes of solutions for the differential equations in different circumstances, and patch them together using boundary conditions . You will study this technique extensively in Physics 435....
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This note was uploaded on 10/06/2011 for the course PHYS 225 taught by Professor Makins during the Spring '10 term at University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign.
 Spring '10
 Makins
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