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Forces on Fields

Sebens, Charles T. (2017) Forces on Fields. . (Submitted)

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In electromagnetism, as in Newton's mechanics, action is always equal to reaction. The force from the electromagnetic field on matter is balanced by an equal and opposite force from matter on the field. We generally speak only of forces exerted by the field, not forces exerted upon the field. But, we should not be hesitant to speak of forces acting on the field. The electromagnetic field closely resembles a relativistic fluid and responds to forces in the same way. Analyzing this analogy sheds light on the inertial role played by the field's mass, the status of Maxwell's stress tensor, and the nature of the electromagnetic field.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Discussion Paper)
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Additional Information:Thank you to Craig Callender, Dirk-André Deckert, Mario Hubert, and Mark Lange for valuable discussions and helpful feedback on drafts of the paper. Special thanks to Erik Curiel, Dennis Lehmkuhl, and James Weatherall. Thanks also to the anonymous referees who provided useful comments on the paper.
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180612-133231822
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:87013
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:12 Jun 2018 20:48
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 19:51

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