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# UIUC Physics 436 EM Fields & Sources II Fall Semester, 2015 Lect. Notes 12 Prof.

Steven Errede

LECTURE NOTES 12

THE LINARD-WIECHERT RETARDED POTENTIALS Vr r , t AND Ar r , t
FOR A MOVING POINT CHARGE
Suppose a point electric charge q is moving along a specified trajectory = locus of points of

w tr = retarded position vector (SI units = meters) of the point charge q at retarded time tr .

The retarded time (in free space/vacuum) from point charge q to observer is determined by:

ct r r where the time interval t t tr

and: r r t r tr r t w tr

Observation / field point position of the point charge q at the retarded time tr

at time t (doesnt move) w tr = retarded position of charge at retarded time tr

r r r t w tr ct c t tr

r = separation distance of point charge q at the retarded position w tr at the retarded time tr

to the observers position at the field point P r t , which is at the present time, t tr r c .

r = vector separation distance between the two points, as shown in the figure below:
Position of pt. charge Position of pt. charge
q at retarded time, tr q at present time, t

z
Trajectory of pt.
Source Pt.

S w tr
charge, w(tr)

Field Pt.

r r t w tr P r t

w tr
r t
y

x

n.b. At most one point (one and only one point) on the trajectory w tr of the charged

particle can be in communication with the (stationary) observer at field point P r t at the
present time t, because it takes a finite/causal amount of time t t tr for EM news to

propagate from w tr at the retarded time tr to the observation/field point P r t at position

## Professor Steven Errede, Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois 1

UIUC Physics 436 EM Fields & Sources II Fall Semester, 2015 Lect. Notes 12 Prof. Steven Errede

In order to make this point conceptually clear, imagine replacing the point charge q moving

along the retarded trajectory w tr with a moving point light source. The stationary observer at

the field point P r , t at the present time t will see the point light source move along the retarded

trajectory w tr ; but it takes a finite time interval for the light (EM news) to propagate from

where the light source was at the retarded source point location S r tr w tr at the retarded

time tr to the observers location at the field point P r , t at the present time t.

This situation is precisely what an observer sees when looking at stars, planets, etc. in the night sky!

Suppose that {somehow} there were e.g. two such source points along the trajectory w tr

in communication with the observer at the field point P r t at the present time t with
retarded times tr1 and tr2 respectively.

Then: r 1 c t tr1
and: r 2 c t tr2
thus: r 1 r 2 c t tr1 c t tr2 c tr2 tr1

The average velocity of this charged particle in the direction of the observer at r is c !!!
{n.b. the velocity component(s) of this particle in other directions are not counted here}.
However, we know that nothing can move faster than the speed of light c !!!

Only one retarded point w tr can contribute to the potentials Vr r , t and Ar r , t at the

field point P r t at any given moment in the present time, t for v < c !

For v < c, an observer at the field point P r t at a given present time t sees the moving
charged particle q in only one place.
{Note that a massless particle, such as a photon (which in free space/vacuum does move at the speed of light, c)
could/can be seen by a stationary observer as being at more than one place at a given {present} time, t !!!
Note further that it is also possible that no points along the trajectory of the photon are accessible to an observer.}

A nave / cursory reading of the formula for the retarded scalar potential

1 tot r , tr
Vr r , t
4 o v
d
r
1 q
might suggest that the retarded scalar potential for a moving point charge is {also}
4 o r
(as in the static case), except that r = the separation distance is from observer position to the
retarded position of the charge q.
However, this would be wrong for a subtle conceptual reason!
It is true that for a moving point charge q, the denominator factor 1 r can be taken outside of

the integral, but note that {even} for a moving point charge, the integral: tot r , tr d q !!!
v

## 2 Professor Steven Errede, Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois

UIUC Physics 436 EM Fields & Sources II Fall Semester, 2015 Lect. Notes 12 Prof. Steven Errede

In order to calculate the total charge of a configuration, one must integrate tot r , tr over the
entire charge distribution at one instant of time, but {here} the retardation tr t r c forces

us to evaluate tot r , tr at different times for different parts of the charge configuration!!!

Thus, if the source is moving, we will obtain a distorted picture of the total charge!

Before integration: r r t r tr is a function of r t and r tr

After integration: r w tr is fixed after integration: tot r , tr q 3 w tr

r r t w tr is a function of r and t because tr t r c .
One might think that this problem would be understandable e.g. for a moving extended charge
distribution, but that it would disappear/go away/vanish for point charges. However it doesnt !!!
In Maxwells equations of electrodynamics, formulated in terms of electric charge and current

densities tot and J tot , a point charge = limit of extended charge when the size zero.

For an extended charge distribution, the retardation effect in r , tr d throws in a factor of:
tot
v

1 1 1 v tr
where: tr

1 rv tr c
1 r tr c

We define the retardation factor 1 rv tr c , where v tr {more precisely v r tr }

is the velocity of the moving charged particle at the source position r tr at the retarded time tr .

This is a purely geometrical effect, one which is analogous/similar to the Doppler effect.
{However, it is not due to special / general relativity (yet)!!}
Consider a long train moving towards a stationary observer. Due to the finite propagation
time of EM signals, the train actually appears (a little) longer than it really is! (If c 10 m/s
rather than 3 108 m/s, this motional effect would be readily apparent in the everyday world!!)
As shown in the figure below, light emitted from the caboose (end of the train) arriving at the

observer at time t must leave the caboose earlier trend than light emitted from the front of the

train trfront , both arrive simultaneously at the observer at the same present time t. The train is
further away from the observer when light from the end of the train is emitted at the earlier time

trend , compared to the trains location for the light emitted from the front of the train at the later

time trfront . The observer thus sees a distorted picture of the moving train at the present time t.

## Professor Steven Errede, Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois 3

UIUC Physics 436 EM Fields & Sources II Fall Semester, 2015 Lect. Notes 12 Prof. Steven Errede

In the time interval tc that the light from the caboose takes to travel the distance L (see figure
above) the train moves a distance L L L . Then since ctc L , then: tc L c .

But during the same time interval tc , the train moves a distance L vtc L L , or:

L L L L L L L L 1
tc but: tc thus: tc L L
v v c c v v 1 v c

## Trains moving towards / approaching an observer appear longer, by a factor of 1 1 v c .

Conversely, it can similarly be shown that trains moving away / receding from an observer
appear shorter by a factor of 1 1 v c .

In general, if the trains velocity vector v makes an angle with the observers line of sight r
(n.b. assuming that the train is far enough away from the observer that the solid angle subtended by
the train is such that rays of light emitted from both ends of train are parallel) the extra distance that
light from the caboose must cover is L cos (see figure below). The corresponding time interval is
tc L cos / c . Note that the train also moves a distance L L L in this same time interval.

L cos

L L L L cos L L L L cos L L
tc L cos / c but: tc tc i.e.
v v c v v c v

1 cos L 1 v cos L 1 1 v
Or: L or: L 1 or: L L L with
v c v v c v v cos 1 cos c
1
c

From the above figure, the angle cos 1 rv = opening angle between r and v .
v 1 1
Thus: cos r where: . Hence: L L L.
c 1 cos 1 r
Again, this retardation effect is due solely to the finite propagation time of the speed of light it
has nothing to do with special / general relativity e.g. Lorentz contraction and/or time dilation
and simultaneity.

## 4 Professor Steven Errede, Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois

UIUC Physics 436 EM Fields & Sources II Fall Semester, 2015 Lect. Notes 12 Prof. Steven Errede

The apparent volume of the train is related to the actual volume of train by:

1 1 1 v t
where tr r and 1 rv tr c 1 r tr
1 rv tr c 1 r tr c

and where r r r r r = unit vector associated with the separation distance between the

position of a {stationary} observer r t at the present time t to a position somewhere on the

train r tr at the retarded time tr . Explicitly: r r r r r r t r tr r t r tr

The stationary observers position vector r t is constant in time, whereas the retarded position

vector of the moving train r tr changes in time.

Hence, whenever we carry out integrals of the type tot r , tr d {or J tot r , tr d }
v v

where the integrand(s) tot r , tr {or J tot r , tr } are associated with {some kind of} moving
charge {current} distribution(s), evaluated at the retarded time tr , the apparent volume of these

1 1 1 v tr
integrals is modified by the factor where: tr , and the
1 rv tr c 1 r tr c
1 1 1
retardation factor 1 rv tr c 1 r tr , i.e. d d d d
1 rv tr c 1 r tr

The figure shown below graphically depicts this effect, for a snapshot-in-time t tr r c :

## True volume at the Apparent volume at

present time t the retarded time tr

Observer position v t v tr
P(r,t) at present
time t (fixed)

## See animated demo of this effect: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relativistic_Doppler_effect

Note that because the motional correction factor makes no reference to the actual physical
size of the particle, it is also relevant/important for point charged particles.

## Professor Steven Errede, Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois 5

UIUC Physics 436 EM Fields & Sources II Fall Semester, 2015 Lect. Notes 12 Prof. Steven Errede

The retarded scalar potential associated with a point electric charge q moving along a

retarded trajectory w tr , with: q r , tr q 3 w tr is:

1 q r , tr 1 1 q 3 w tr 1 1 q 3 w tr
Vr r , t 4 o r v 4 o r v r 1 rv tr c
d d d
4 o v r r

1 q
1 q
1 q

4 o 1 rv w tr c r 4 o 1 r w tr r 4 o r

Where: r r r r r , r r t r tr r t w tr

v w tr
And: 1 rv w tr c 1 r w tr with: w tr ,
c

Where: v w tr = velocity vector of charged particle evaluated at the retarded time tr t r c .

The retarded current density J tot r , tr for a rigid object is related to its retarded charge

density tot r , tr and its retarded velocity v r , tr by the relation:

J tot r , tr tot r , tr v r , tr .
The retarded vector potential associated with a point electric charge q moving with retarded velocity

v w tr along a retarded trajectory w tr , with: J q r , tr q r , tr v r , tr qv r , tr 3 w tr is:

J q r , tr q r , tr v r , tr qv r , tr 3 w tr
Ar r , t o d o d o d
4 v r 4 v r 4 v r

qv r , tr 3 w tr o qv w tr

o
4 v r 1 rv t c

d

4 1
r

v w t c
r
r r

qv w tr qv w t q
o o v w tr
r
o

4 1 r w tr r 4
r 4 r

Thus, we have obtained the so-called Linard-Wiechert retarded potentials for a point electric

charge q moving with retarded velocity v w tr along a retarded trajectory w tr :

1 q
1 q
Vr r , t

4 o 1 r w tr r 4 o r

o qv w tr
Ar r , t o q v w

tr

4 1 r w tr r

4 r

## 6 Professor Steven Errede, Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois

UIUC Physics 436 EM Fields & Sources II Fall Semester, 2015 Lect. Notes 12 Prof. Steven Errede

v w tr
Where: 1 rv w tr c 1 r w tr with: w tr .
c

v w tr 1 v w tr Vr r , t 1
Note that: Ar r , t Vr r , t Vr r , t w tr using: c 2
o o
2
c c c c

Vr r , t v w tr
Or: Ar r , t w tr with: w tr .
c c

Where Vr is in Volts, Ar is in Newtons/Ampere (= momentum per Coulomb); they are related to

each other by a factor of 1 c and for the case of a moving point electric charge q.

Recall that the relativistic four-potential is: A V c , A , hence {here} the retarded relativistic

four-potential for a moving point charge is: Ar Vr c , Ar Vr c , w tr Vr c .
Griffiths Example 10.3:
Find/determine the Linard-Wiechert retarded potentials associated with point charge q

moving with constant velocity v .

For convenience sake, define tr 0 retarded time the charged particle passes through the origin.

Then: w tr v tr tr vtr because v tr v is a constant vector.

## The retarded time is: tr t r c or: r c t tr ctr with: tr t tr

But: r r r tr r w tr r vtr but we also have: r c t tr ctr

Solve for the retarded time tr by relating: r r vtr c t tr

2
r vtr c 2 t tr c 2 t 2 2ttr tr2
2
Square both sides:
2
But: r vtr r vtr r vtr r 2 2r vtr v 2tr2

Thus: r 2 2r vtr v 2tr2 c 2 t 2 2ttr tr2

Solve this quadratic equation for tr : c2
v 2 tr2 2 c 2t r v tr c 2t 2 r 2 0

a b c

c2t rv c t rv c v 2 r 2 c 2t 2
2 2 2
b b 2 4ac
tr tr **
2a c2 v2

## Professor Steven Errede, Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois 7

UIUC Physics 436 EM Fields & Sources II Fall Semester, 2015 Lect. Notes 12 Prof. Steven Errede

## Consider the limit as v 0: tr t r c what we want!

And, if v = 0, the point charge q is at rest at the origin ( r 0 ), because it is there at time tr 0 .

Then: r r r r r

## We must choose the sign on physical grounds, i.e. we must choose:

c t rv c t rv c v 2 r 2 c 2t 2
2 2 2 2

tr
c2 v2

r r r vtr
r vtr
Now: r ctr c t tr and: .
r ctr c t tr
Therefore, the quantity:

r vtr v r vtr v
r 1 rv c ctr 1
r v v v
c t tr 1 c t tr tr
c t tr c c t tr c c c

r v v 2 1
c t tr tr c 2t r v c 2 v 2 tr
c c c

Then, insert the retarded time tr from the expression (**) {above} with the minus sign, i.e.:

c t rv c t rv c v 2 r 2 c 2t 2
2 2 2 2

## tr into the above formula & carry out the algebra:

c2 v2

1
c t rv c
v 2 r 2 c 2t 2 with: 1 rv c
2
Thus: r 1 rv c r 2 2
{here}
c

The general form of the Linard-Wiechert retarded scalar and vector potentials associated with a

point electric charge q moving with a time-dependent velocity v w tr are:

1 q 1 q
1 q
Vr r , t

4 o 1 rv w tr c r 4 o 1 r w tr r 4 o
r

o qv w tr qv w tr
Ar r , t o o q
v w tr

4 1 rv w tr c r

4 1 r w tr r

4 r

v w tr
Where:

1 rv w tr c 1 r w tr with: w tr
c
.

## 8 Professor Steven Errede, Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois

UIUC Physics 436 EM Fields & Sources II Fall Semester, 2015 Lect. Notes 12 Prof. Steven Errede

The Linard-Wiechert retarded scalar and vector potentials associated with a point charge q

moving with constant velocity v are:

1 q
1 q 1 qc
Vr r , t

4 o 1 rv c r 4 o r 4 o
c t rv c
2 2 2
v 2 r 2 c 2t 2
qv
o qv qcv
Ar r , t o o

4 1 rv c r 4 r

4
c t rv c
2 2 2
v 2 r 2 c 2t 2

where: 1 rv c = retardation factor {here} and: r rr .

Note again that {here}: Ar r , t Vr r , t c where: v c = constant vector.

## The Electromagnetic Fields Associated with a Moving Point Charge

We are now in a position to derive the retarded electric and magnetic fields associated with a moving
point charge using the Linard-Wiechert retarded potentials associated with a moving point charge:

1 q
1 q
Vr r , t

4 o 1 r w tr r 4 o r

o qv w tr
Ar r , t o q v w

tr

4 1 r w tr r
4 r

with: Ar r , t w tr Vr r , t c with: w tr v w tr c and: c 1 o o {in free space}

where: r r w tr

## and: tr t r c = retarded time

and: 1 rv w tr c = retardation factor.

The equations for the retarded E and B -fields in terms of their retarded potentials are:

Ar r , t
Er r , t Vr r , t and: Br r , t Ar r , t
t

## Again, the differentiation has various subtleties associated with it because:

r r t r tr r t w tr
both quantities are evaluated at
w tr the retarded time tr t r c
and: v tr w tr
t

## Professor Steven Errede, Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois 9

UIUC Physics 436 EM Fields & Sources II Fall Semester, 2015 Lect. Notes 12 Prof. Steven Errede

Note that: r r r r tr r w tr ctr c t tr r is a function of both r and t.

1

Now: Vr r , t
q

1 with: rr r

4 o r 1 rv tr c

q 1 q 1
Thus: Vr r , t
4 o r r v tr c 4 o r r v t c 2
r r v t r c
r

But: r c t tr r c t tr ctr

Then, using Griffiths Product Rule # 4 A B A B B A A B B A

on the second term r v tr c we obtain:

## (1) (2) (3) (4)

1
1 1

1

r v tr c r v tr v tr r r v tr v tr r
c c c c

For term (1):

dv tr tr dv tr tr dv tr tr
r v tr r x x r y y r z z v tr r x dt x r y dt y r z dt z
r r r

d d
Again: since: tr t r c
dtr dt

dv tr tr t t
r v tr dt r x r y r r z r a tr r tr
x y z

dv tr dv tr
where: a tr = acceleration of charged particle at the retarded time tr t r c .
dtr dt

Second term (2): r r r tr r w tr

Thus: v tr r v tr r w tr v tr r v tr w tr

(2 a ) (2 b )

v t r v t x v
r x r y

tr
y

vz t r xx yy zz
z
Term (2a):

vx tr x v y tr y vz tr z v tr !!!

## 10 Professor Steven Errede, Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois

UIUC Physics 436 EM Fields & Sources II Fall Semester, 2015 Lect. Notes 12 Prof. Steven Errede

Term (2b):

v tr w tr vx tr v y tr vz tr w tr
x y z

dw tr tr dw tr tr dw tr tr
vx t r v y tr vz t r
dtr x dtr y dtr z

t t t dw tr
vx tr r v y tr r vz tr r
x y z dtr

dw tr
But: v tr
dtr
t t t

Thus: v tr w tr v tr vx tr r v y tr r vz tr r v tr v tr tr
x y z

n.b. v tr w tr v tr v tr tr is analogous / similar to: r v tr a r tr

Third term (3): r v tr

First, work out: v tr Since: A B Ay Bz Az By x Az Bx Ax Bz y Ax By Ay Bx z

Then:

v t v t v t v t v t v t
v tr z r y r x x r z r y y r x r z
y z z x x y
dv t tr dv y tr tr dvx tr tr dvz tr tr dv y tr tr dvx tr tr
z r x y z
dtr y dtr z dtr z dtr x dtr x dtr y
tr t tr t t t
az tr a y tr r x ax tr az tr r y a y tr r ax tr r z
y z z x x y
t t tr t tr t
a y tr r az tr r x az tr ax tr r y ax tr a y tr r z
z y x z y x

a t r t r

r v tr r a tr tr r a tr tr

## Professor Steven Errede, Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois 11

UIUC Physics 436 EM Fields & Sources II Fall Semester, 2015 Lect. Notes 12 Prof. Steven Errede

with: r r r t r w t
Fourth Term (4): v tr r r r

First, work out: r r w t r w t
r r

0 0 0 0 0 0 Of course!!! Because r is
z y x z y x position vector of field
But: r x y z 0
point/observer P ( r )
y z z x x y

r = constant vector !!!

r xx yy zz

From the result of term (3) above: v tr a tr tr we see that: w tr v tr tr

0

v t r r v t r r w t r v t r w t r v t r v t r t r

Collecting all of the above individual results (1) (4) for the term:
1
r r v t r c r r v t r
c

1

r r v tr v tr r r v tr v tr r
c

(1) (2) (3) (4)

We see that:

1

r r v tr c ctr a tr r tr v tr v tr v tr tr
c

r a t r t r v t r v t r t r

But:
A B C B AC C A B

r a tr a r tr tr r a a r tr tr r a

And:
v v tr v v tr tr v v

## Then, some truly amazing/fortuitous cancellations occur:

1
r r v tr c ctr a tr
c
r t v t v t v t t
r r r r r

r t t r a t v t v t t t v t v t

a tr r r r r r r r r r

1

ctr v tr r a tr v 2 tr tr
c

## 12 Professor Steven Errede, Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois

UIUC Physics 436 EM Fields & Sources II Fall Semester, 2015 Lect. Notes 12 Prof. Steven Errede

Thus:
q 1
Vr r , t
4 o r r v t c 2
r r v t r c
r
q 1 1
2
ctr v tr r a tr v 2 tr tr
4 o r r v t c c
r

q 1 v tr 1 2 2
c v t r a t
r tr
4 o r r v t c 2 c c
r

r

r r r tr r w tr
Now, what is tr {here}?? tr t t t
c c c

But we already found that: r ctr , and noting that: r r r

1 1 1
Then: r r r r r r r
2 r r 2r

Now: A B A B B A A B B A {Griffiths Product Rule # 4}

r r r r r r r r r r 2r r 2 r r
1 1 1
r r r
2r 2r

2r r 2 r r r r
r r r

But:
r v tr tr {from term (4) above} r r r v t t
r r

r r r r r t r r w t
r r

r r r w t r from (2) above:

And: x y z r w tr v tr r tr
r x x r y y r z z v tr r tr
x y z

r v tr r tr
1
ctr r r r r r
r

1
r v tr tr r v tr r tr
r
BAC CAB rule

1
Thus: ctr r v tr
r

r tr v tr r tr tr r v tr more cancellations occur!!

## Professor Steven Errede, Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois 13

UIUC Physics 436 EM Fields & Sources II Fall Semester, 2015 Lect. Notes 12 Prof. Steven Errede

1
Or: ctr r r v tr tr
r

1 r r 1 r
Now solve for tr : c r v tr tr r tr
r r r 1 r v t c r v tr rc
r r

r r r 1 1 r r
t r
r v tr rc rc r v tr rc 1 rv tr c c 1 rv tr c

c

1 r r r
Thus: tr , r r rr and 1 rv tr c = retardation factor
c 1 rv tr c c r

q 1 v tr 1 2 2
Vr r , t c v t r a t
r tr
4 o r 2 c c
r

Then:
q 1 v tr 1
2
2 c 2 v 2 tr r a tr r
4 o r c c

q 1 c 2 v 2 tr r a tr
v tr
Thus: Vr r , t r
4 o r 2 c2 c

1 v tr r a tr v tr
2
q 1
Or: Vr r , t 1 r
4 o r 2 c c2 c

o qv tr o qv tr v tr
Now: Ar r , t n.b. 2 Vr r , t

4 1 rv tr c r 4 r c

Ar r , t o v tr 1 v tr
q o
q
t

4 t r 1 rv tr c 4 t r r v tr c

Then:

o 1 v tr 1
q v tr
4 r r v tr c t t r r v tr c

v tr dv tr tr tr dv tr
Now: a tr where: a tr
t dtr t t dtr

tr
What is {here} ??
t

## 14 Professor Steven Errede, Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois

UIUC Physics 436 EM Fields & Sources II Fall Semester, 2015 Lect. Notes 12 Prof. Steven Errede

Now: ctr c t tr r

c 2 tr2 c 2 t tr r 2 r r
2
Or: differentiate this expression with respect to t.

2 2
c tr c 2 t tr r r
2

t t t

tr r
2c t tr 1
2
2r
t t

But: r r r t r tr r t w tr ctr c t tr and also: r r t w tr

2 2 t t r
Thus:
t
c tr 2c c t tr 1 r 2cr 1 r 2r 2r r t w tr
t t t t

0
t r w tr r Because r = vector to field point P r
cr 1 r r n.b. 0
t t t t is a constant vector i.e. stationary observer!

tr tr w tr dw tr tr t

dw tr
Thus: cr 1 rc 1 r r r v t r r v tr
t t t dtr t t dtr
t t t
rc 1 r r v tr r Solve for r
t t t

tr t t tr rc
rc rc r v tr r rc r v tr r
t t t t rc r v tr

tr rc rc 1 1 1
Thus:

t rc r v tr rc 1 rv tr c

1 rv tr c
tr 1 1
where: 1 rv tr c = retardation factor
t 1 rv tr c

v tr tr a tr a tr
Then: a tr
t t

1 rv tr c

## Professor Steven Errede, Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois 15

UIUC Physics 436 EM Fields & Sources II Fall Semester, 2015 Lect. Notes 12 Prof. Steven Errede

1 u x u 1 x u x 1 u x
Using: 1 u 2 2
x x x u x
Then:
1 1

t r r v tr c r r v t c t
2 r r v t r c
r

1 r 1
2
r v tr
r t c t

1 r 1 r v tr
2
v t r r
r t c t t

But: r ctr c t tr
r t tr t t t tr 1 1
c t tr c c r c 1 r where:
t t t t t t t 1 rv tr c

r 1 1
c 1 c

1 rv tr c 1
rv tr
r v t r
Thus: c
t r

r r w tr r w tr

0
dw tr tr v tr v tr dv tr tr 1
But: and: a tr
t t t t dtr t t dtr t
Thus:

1 1 r 1 r v tr
v t r r
t r r v tr c r
2
t c t t

1 r v tr 1 v tr r a tr
2

2

r r c
1 1
r v tr v tr r a tr
2

r
2
c

Ar r , t o 1 v tr 1
q v tr
t 4 r t t r r v tr c

Then:

1 a tr v tr 1
o q 2
r v t v 2
t r a t
r
4 r r c
r r

Ar r , t 1 q 1 v tr 1 1
a tr rv tr v tr r a tr using o 2
2
Or: 2
t 4 o c r r c c o

## 16 Professor Steven Errede, Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois

UIUC Physics 436 EM Fields & Sources II Fall Semester, 2015 Lect. Notes 12 Prof. Steven Errede

Ar r , t
Does this expression = Griffiths result for , eqn 10.63 bottom of page 437 ?? YES, it does!
t

v 2 tr v tr r a tr v tr

Ar r , t q
t

1
4 o 3 r 2 c 2

ra tr rv tr v tr c

c

But:

c 1 v tr c 1 1 rv tr c v tr rv tr v tr
Thus:

v 2 tr v tr r a tr v tr

Ar r , t 1 q
c 1 v tr ra tr
t 4 o r c
3 2 2
c c

v 2 tr v tr r a tr v tr

1 q
cv tr ra tr cv tr
4 o 3 r 2c 2 c c

r 2 2

1
4 o
q
rc
3 3 2 rcv

t r r 2
a t r
c
c v t r r

a t r v tr

r 2 2

1
4 o
q
rc
3 3 2 rc

v t r ra

t r c
c

c v t r r

a tr v t r

But:

rc 1 rv tr c rc r r v tr c c rc r v tr

Ar r , t q r
rc r v tr v tr ra tr c c 2 v 2 tr r a tr v tr
1
3 3 2

t 4 o r c c

Or:

Ar r , t r
rc r v tr v tr ra tr / c c 2 v 2 tr r a tr v tr
1 qc
3

t 4 o rc r v t c
r

## Griffiths Equation 10.63 on page 437

Then {finally!} the retarded electric field for a moving point electric charge q:

Ar r , t
Er r , t Vr r , t
t

q 1 1 v t 2 r a t
v tr
Er r , t 1
r

r
r
4 o r 2 c c2 c

q 1 1 v tr 1
2 a tr rv tr v tr r a tr
2

4 0 r c r c

## Professor Steven Errede, Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois 17

UIUC Physics 436 EM Fields & Sources II Fall Semester, 2015 Lect. Notes 12 Prof. Steven Errede

With some more algebra, more vector identities, and defining a retarded vector u tr cr v tr ,
the retarded electric field for a moving point charge can equivalently be written as:
q r
Er r , t c 2 v 2 tr u tr r u tr a tr
3

4 o r u t
r

Vr r , t v w tr v tr
Since: Ar r , t w tr with: w tr then: Ar r , t 2 Vr r , t
c c c

The retarded magnetic field of a moving point charge q can be written as:
1 1
c c

B r , t Ar r , t 2 v tr Vr r , t 2 Vr r , t v tr v tr Vr r , t

n.b. The relation on the RHS used Griffiths Product Rule # 7: f A f A A f

We already calculated v tr a tr tr {term (3) above, page 11 of these lecture notes}
1 r r
and we found that: tr {see page 14 of these lecture notes}:
c 1 rv tr c c

r a tr r
Hence: v tr a tr tr a tr where: 1 rv tr c
c cr

q
Vr r , t {from page 9} and Vr r , t is as given above {on page 14}.
4 o r

Thus: n.b. v tr v tr 0

1 1 a tr r
q
Br r , t Ar r , t
4 o c 2 r cr

q v tr 1 v tr r a tr v tr
2

1
r
4 o r 2 c c c

After some more algebra, and again using the retarded vector: u tr cr v tr
the retarded magnetic field of a moving point electric charge q is:
1 q r
Br r , t r c 2 v 2 tr v tr r a tr v tr r u tr a tr
c 4 o r u t 3
r

Compare this expression to that for the retarded electric field of a moving point electric charge:
q r
Er r , t c 2 v 2 tr u tr r u tr a tr
4 o r u t
3
r

## 18 Professor Steven Errede, Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois

UIUC Physics 436 EM Fields & Sources II Fall Semester, 2015 Lect. Notes 12 Prof. Steven Errede

The terms in the square brackets have some striking similarities between Br r , t vs. Er r , t .

Because of the cross product of terms such as r v tr contained in the square brackets of the

expression for Br r , t , notice that since: u tr cr v tr or: v tr cr u tr

Then: r v tr r cr u tr c
r r r u tr r u tr , i.e. r v tr r u tr .
0

Then, using the A B C B AC C A B rule, and r v tr r u tr we see that:

r c 2 v 2 tr v tr r a tr v tr r u tr a tr

r c v tr u tr r a tr u tr r u tr a tr
2 2

r u tr a tr

r c 2 v 2 tr u tr r u tr a tr

1 q r
Thus: Br r , t
r c 2 v 2 tr u tr r u tr a tr
c 4 o r u t 3
r

q r
But: Er r , t
4 o r u t

3 c 2
v 2
t r u t r r u tr a tr
r

We again see that: Br r , t 1c r Er r , t i.e. Br is Er ; note also that Br is r where

r r r tr r w tr = separation distance vector from retarded source point to field point.

The first term in Er r , t involving c 2 v 2 tr u tr falls off / decreases as r 2 . If both the
1 q
velocity and acceleration are zero, then we obtain the static limit result: E r r
4 o r 2

The first term in Er r , t is known as the Generalized Coulomb field, a.k.a. velocity field
which describes the macroscopic, collective behavior of virtual photons!!

The second term in Er r , t , involving the triple product r u a falls off / decreases as
1 r i.e. this term dominates at large separation distances!

The second term in Er r , t is responsible for radiation hence the 2nd term is known as the

radiation field. Since it is also proportional to a tr it is also known as the acceleration field
which describes the macroscopic, collective behavior of real photons!!

The same terminology obviously also applies to the retarded magnetic field Br r , t .

## Professor Steven Errede, Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois 19

UIUC Physics 436 EM Fields & Sources II Fall Semester, 2015 Lect. Notes 12 Prof. Steven Errede

The EM force exerted on a point test charge qT at the observation/field point r at the present
time, t due to the retarded electric and magnetic fields associated with a moving point charge q

is given by the retarded Lorentz force law: Fr r , t qT Er r , t qT vT r , t Br r , t where

vT r , t = the velocity of the point test charge qT at the observation/field point r at the present
time, t.

Fr r , t qT Er r , t qT vT r , t Br r , t
r

qqT

4 o r u t
3
c 2 v 2 t r u t r r u t r a t r

r

vT t

r c 2 v 2 tr u tr r u tr a tr
c

where: r r r tr r w tr and: u tr cr v tr

The Lorentz force Fr r , t is the net force acting on a point test charge qT moving with

velocity vT r , t {n.b. which is evaluated at the present time {i.e. the non-retarded} time t }.

The Lorentz Force Fr r , t is due to the retarded electric and magnetic fields Er r , t and

Br r , t associated with the point charge q moving with {its own} retarded velocity v tr and

acceleration a tr .

n.b. The lower-case quantities r tr r w tr , v tr , u tr cr v tr and a tr are all
evaluated at the retarded time tr t r c .

## 20 Professor Steven Errede, Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois

UIUC Physics 436 EM Fields & Sources II Fall Semester, 2015 Lect. Notes 12 Prof. Steven Errede

## Griffiths Example 10.4:

Calculate the electric and magnetic fields of a point charge q moving with constant velocity.

Constant velocity a tr 0 (no acceleration).

q r c 2 v 2 tr u tr with: u tr cr v tr
3
Then: Er r , t
4 o r u t
r

Trajectory: w tr v tr tr vtr for constant velocity.

The retarded time: tr t r c with: r tr r w tr r v tr tr and: r ctr c t tr

Since: u tr cr v tr , then:

ru tr r cr v tr

cr rv tr

c r r tr rv tr

cr cw tr rv tr

cr cv tr tr c t tr v tr

cr ctr v tr ctv tr ctr v tr

c r v tr t

r u tr r cr v tr cr r v tr

Note also:

It can be shown that, since {here} v tr v constant velocity vector, then: v tr v t v ,
and thus:

r u tr c t rv c v 2 r 2 c 2t 2
(See p. 8 above, i.e. Griffiths
2 2 2
Example 10.3, p. 433)

## Rc 1 v 2 sin 2 / c 2 (See Griffiths Problem 10.14, p. 434)

Rc 1 2 sin 2 where v c

where R r vt = vector from the present location of the point electric charged particle to the

observation/field point P r t at the present time t moving with constant velocity v .

## Professor Steven Errede, Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois 21

UIUC Physics 436 EM Fields & Sources II Fall Semester, 2015 Lect. Notes 12 Prof. Steven Errede

The angle cos 1 Rv is the opening angle between R and the constant velocity vector v ,
as shown in the figure below:

P R, t Observation/Field Point

R
Present position
of point charge q cos 1 R v
@ time t.
q v = constant velocity vector

E

r , t
q 1 2 R v
= constant
Thus: 3 2 with:
4 o 1 2 sin 2 2 R
c

This expression for E r , t shows that E r , t points along the line from the present position of

the point charged particle to the observation/field point P R, t which is strange, since the EM
news came from the retarded position of the point charge. We will see/learn that the explanation
for this is due to {special} relativity peek ahead in Physics 436 Lect. Notes 18.5, p. 10-17.

Due to the 2 sin 2 term in the denominator of this expression, the E -field of a fast-moving
point charged particle is flattened/compressed into a pancake to the direction of motion,

increasing the E -field strength in the direction by a factor of 1 1 2 , whereas in the
forward/backward directions { i.e. and/or anti- to the direction of motion} the strength of the

E -field is reduced by a factor of 1 2 relative to that of the E -field strength when the point
electric charge is at rest, as shown in the figure:

E r ,t
q 1
2
R
2
4 o 1 2 sin 2

3
2
R

v
with: = constant
c

Lines of E are compressed into a pancake to the direction of motion as v c

r r vtr r vt t tr v R v
For B r , t we have: r since tr t r c or r ctr
r r r r c
Thus:
0

1v
1

1 R v
c r c

B r , t r E r , t E r , t
1
R E r , t E r , t n.b. R E
c cr cc

1v 1
B r ,t E r ,t E r ,t
q 1 2 R These expressions for E and
Or: 2 B were first obtained by
4 o c 1 2 sin 2 3 2
cc c
R Oliver Heaviside in 1888.

## 22 Professor Steven Errede, Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois

UIUC Physics 436 EM Fields & Sources II Fall Semester, 2015 Lect. Notes 12 Prof. Steven Errede

The lines of B circle around the point charge q as shown in the figure:

When v c (i.e. 1 ) the Heaviside expressions for E and B reduce to:

1 q
E r ,t R essentially Coulombs law for a point electric charge
4 o R 2
q

B r , t o 2 v R essentially Biot-Savart law for a point electric charge
4 R

## The figure below shows a snapshot-in-time at time t2 sec of the classical/macroscopic

electric field lines associated with a point electric charge q, initially at rest {at to 0 sec , where
the green dot is located}, that undergoes an abrupt, momentary acceleration {i.e. a short impulse
lasting t t1 to t1 sec , where the yellow dot is located} in the horizontal direction, to the
left in the figure. After the impulse has been applied, the charge continues to move to the left with
constant velocity v, at time t2 sec the charge is where the pink dot is located.

The classical/macroscopic electric field lines associated with one epoch in time must
connect to their counterparts in another epoch of time. Here, in this situation, the spatial slopes
of the E-field lines are discontinuous due to the abrupt, momentary nature of the acceleration.
The spherical shell associated with the discontinuity(ies) in the electric field lines in the
transition region between the two epochs expands at the speed of light, as the EM news
propagates outward/away from the accelerated charge.

## Professor Steven Errede, Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois 23

UIUC Physics 436 EM Fields & Sources II Fall Semester, 2015 Lect. Notes 12 Prof. Steven Errede

Note that this picture also meshes in nicely (and naturally!) with the microscopic perspective
namely that, when a point charge is accelerated it radiates real photons, which subsequently
propagate away from the electric charge at the speed of light. Real photons have a transverse
electric field relative to their propagation direction (whereas virtual photons associated with the
static/Coulomb field are longitudinally polarized). The spherical shell associated with the
discontinuity(ies) in the electric field lines of the transition region is precisely where the real
photons are located in this snapshot-in-time picture, having propagated that far out from the
charge after application of the abrupt, momentary impulse-type acceleration of the electric charge.