Maxwell's Equations

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Maxwell’s Equations & Light

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. – Genesis 1:3 This post is going to need the standard math disclaimer. Though there’s math that looks horrible, you don’t actually have to know any math to follow the ideas. Give it a try! Over this week we’ve looked at the four Maxwell…

Maxwell’s Equations #4

Fundamentally Maxwell’s equations describe the origins of electric and magnetic fields. Given a set of conditions on the right hand side of the equations, you’ll have fields described by the left hand side. Between the four equations the fields are uniquely specified, and there is nothing more to include. Thus far we’ve seen electric fields…

Maxwell’s Equations #3

So far we’ve seen that electric charges create electric fields. We’ve also seen that magnetic charges would create magnetic fields if there were any such things, but there aren’t. If you’re in the business of creating electric fields, as the entire electric power industry is, one way of doing so is to pile up a…

Maxwell’s Equations #2

In our examination of the first of Maxwell’s four equations, we saw that magnetic charge doesn’t exist as far as we can tell. On the other hand, electric charge permeates every aspect of our existence. The motion of charged electrons is one of the central pillars of modern civilization. The way that electric charge creates…

Maxwell’s Equations #1

All this week we’re going to be briefly looking at James Clerk Maxwell’s greatest contribution to physics – his theory of electromagnetism. The consequences and applications of the theory fill many volumes, but the conceptual and mathematical foundations of the theory can be expressed as four short and relatively simple equations. These are Maxwell’s equations,…