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Feynman’s derivation of Maxwell equations and extra dimensions

Feynman’s derivation of Maxwell equations and extra dimensions

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Published by silagadze
The generalization of Feynman’s derivation of Maxwell equations is only possible in seven dimensional space.
The generalization of Feynman’s derivation of Maxwell equations is only possible in seven dimensional space.

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Published by: silagadze on Apr 25, 2009
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05/11/2014

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Annales de la Fondation Louis de Broglie, Volume 27 no 2, 2002
241
Feynman’s derivation of Maxwell equations andextra dimensions
Z. K. Silagadze
Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics, 630 090, Novosibirsk, RussiaABSTRACT. It is shown that Feynman’s derivation of Maxwell equa-tions admits a generalization to the case of extra spatial dimensions.The generalization is unique and is only possible in seven dimensionalspace.
1 Introduction
Some times ago Dyson published a paper [1] about unusual proof of homogeneous Maxwell equations that Feynman had shown him in 1948.Feynman himself “refused to publish it then because he claimed it wasonly a joke” [2]. Subsequent reaction of the scientific community, inboth immediate [3–11] and long terms [12–15], shows that “the joke”was appreciated, and scrutinized with great seriousness.According to Dyson [1], Feynman’s “purpose was to discover a newtheory, not to reinvent the old one” and he did not published the deriva-tion because “his proof of the Maxwell equations was a demonstrationthat his program had failed.”In this note I intend to show that one could really end with a uniquenew theory if we ask a simple question about multi-dimensional gen-eralization of Feynman’s arguments. This question is quite natural inview of present interest in extra dimensions. Of course the Lorentz co-variant version of Maxwell equations admits an obvious n-dimensionalgeneralization. In fact Tanimura had already given [8] an n-dimensionalgeneralization of Feynman’s proof along these lines. But such general-izations are against the spirit of Feynman’s original derivation becausethey involve additional assumptions which make the proof relativisticand orthodoxly sterile.
 
242
Z. K. Silagadze
Relativity is a sacred caw of modern physics. But it may happenthat the Lorentz invariance of our low-energy world is violated at higherenergies [16] where presumably extra dimensions open. The condensedmatter analogy shows [17] that both the special and general relativitymight be just emergent phenomena valid only in the low energy limit.Therefore it is by no means obvious that Lorentz covariance is the properguide when going to extra dimensions. So we will rely on the originalnon-relativistic arguments and try to modify them as little as possible.
2 Feynman’s derivation of Maxwell equations
In fact Feynman’s derivation is quite heretical as it mixes classical andquantum concepts. But the proof has a great virtue of being impressiveand unexpected. So we close eyes to this heresy. The starting points areNewton’s second law
m
˙
v
=
 
(
x,v,t
) (1)and commutation relations between position and velocity[
x
i
,x
j
] = 0
,
[
x
i
,v
j
] =
i
mδ
ij
.
(2)These commutation relations imply that for any functions
(
x,v,t
) and
g
(
x,t
) one has[
x
i
,
(
x,v,t
)] =
i
m∂f ∂v
i
,
[
v
i
,g
(
x,t
)] =
i
m∂g∂x
i
.
(3)Differentiating the second equation in (2) with respect to time and using(1) we get[
v
i
,v
j
] +1
m
[
x
i
,
j
] = 0or
∂F 
j
∂v
i
=
im
2
[
v
i
,v
j
]
.
(4)R.h.s. of this equation does not depend on velocity. Indeed, equations(2),(3) and the Jacobi identity imply
∂ ∂v
k
[
v
i
,v
j
]
[
x
k
,
[
v
i
,v
j
]] =
[
v
i
,
[
v
j
,x
k
]]
[
v
j
,
[
x
k
,v
i
]] = 0
.
 
Feynman’s derivation of Maxwell equations and
...
243Let us define the field
B
(
x,t
) by equation (summation over repeatedindexes is assumed as usual)
im
2
[
v
i
,v
j
] =
ijk
B
k
which implies
B
i
=
im
2
2
ijk
[
v
j
,v
k
]
.
(5)Then equation (4) can be integrated with the result
 
(
x,v,t
) =
 
(
x,t
)+
< v
×
 B
(
x,t
)
> .
(6)Here
< v
×
 B >
=
12
(
v
×
 B
 B
×
v
) and reflects our use of symmetricWeyl-ordering to resolve operator-product ordering ambiguities.So we get Lorentz force law if one can identify
and
B
with electricand magnetic field respectively. To do such identification, however, oneshould show that
and
B
obey maxwell equations. We have no problemswith div
 B
:div
 B
[
v
i
,B
i
]
ijk
[
v
i
,
[
v
j
,v
k
]] = 0
.
The last step is due to the Jacobi identity
ijk
[
v
i
,
[
v
j
,v
k
]] =13
ijk
([
v
i
,
[
v
j
,v
k
]] + [
v
j
,
[
v
k
,v
i
]] + [
v
k
,
[
v
i
,v
j
]]) = 0
.
To prove the second Maxwell equation we rewrite (5) as
 B
=
im
2
v
×
v
and calculate the total time-derivative
d Bdt
=
∂  B∂t
+
< v
·
 B >
=
im
2
(˙
v
×
v
+
v
×
˙
v
) =
im
(
 
×
v
+
v
×
 
) ==
im
 
×
v
+
v
×
 
+
< v
×
 B >
×
v
+
v
×
< v
×
 B >
.
Here again Weyl-ordering is assumed when the time derivative is calcu-lated:
< v
·
 B >
i
=12
v
j
∂B
i
∂x
j
+
∂B
i
∂x
j
v
j
.

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