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# Woodard: The following is a confusing problem because simultaneity is a frame-dependent concept, and

because Jackson is a little disingenuous about not needing to consider explicit Lorentz transforms. However,
the basic idea is very important, and you must master it: if you work out a tensor-quantity in any frame and
express your result as a tensor-function of well-defined tensors, this same expression must be correct in any
frame.

Jackson: The electric and magnetic fields of a charge in uniform motion are obtained from coulombs law in
the charges rest frame, and the fact that the field-strength F
o|
is an antisymmetric-tensor of rank 2,
; ; [I.1]

This can be done without considering the explicit Lorentz transform! The idea is the following: for a charge in
uniform motion, the only relevant variables are the charges 4-velocity U
o
and the relative coordinate
p q
X x x
o o o
, where { , }
p q
x x
o o
are the 4-vector coordinates of the observation point and the charge,
respectively. The only antisymmetric tensor that can be formed is X U X U
o | | o
. Thus, the electromagnetic
field (tensor) F
o|
must be this tensor multiplied by some scalar function of the possible scalar products X X
o
o
, X U
o
o
, or U U
o
o
, all of which are invariants.

a) consider the following geometry,
[I.2]

The coordinates of P and q at a common time in K can be written,
( ) ( ) , ; , ; 0
p q
x ct x ct t
o o
= = - = b v b v [I.3]

By considering the general form of F
o|
in the rest-frame of the charge, show that,

2 2 3/2
( ( ) )
q X U X U
F
c c U X X X
o | | o
o|
o o
o o

[I.4]

Verify that [I.4] yields [I.1] in frame K.

Woodard: note that boosting to the rest frame of the charge and using 0 - = v b
1
yields,
( ) ( )
1
, ; ,
p q
x ct t x ct

## ' ' = = b v 0 [I.5]

First use undergraduate-physics to work out E and B in the primed frame at position t b v .
Lorentz-boost to q-rest frame,

1
Im not sure what b isit seems to be some sort of length-scale

( 1)
n n
m m n mn m n m m n mn

v
| |
| | | o | | | | | o
( (
A = =
( (
+ + ( (

[I.6]

Considering

0 0 | - = - = v b b , we get,

( )
( )
3
1
,
get the fields
( )
1
:
at x ; they are
,
p
p
q
x ct t
q t
x ct t

' ( =
' | |
( (
( =
|
( (
|
' '
' = (
\ .

b v
E b v
B 0
0 b v
[I.7]

Next: assemble them into the primed field strength tensor, and then express F
v
' as X U U X
v v
' ' ' ' times a
function of the invariants ' ' - U X and ' ' - X X ; note that ( , ) U c

' = 0 and
p q
X x x

' ' ' , even though the two
events are not simultaneous in the primed frame.

X
U

' (
=
(
'

[I.8]

Finally: show that the unprimed result agrees with.

Woodard: you are to carry out the same exercise, but now express your answer for the primed field strength
tensor in terms of the 4-vector Y

' , which his deinfed as the separation between observation and charge events
which are simultaneous in the rest frame of the charge. The point is, of course, that you still get a completely-
correct expression.

Woodard: you are to express the result in terms of the 4-vector Z

' , which is defined as the separation
between observation and charge when the observation events occurs at the time needed for light to propagate
from the charge event. The point is: you get a correct expression for the field-strength tensor. It doesnt matter
how you express it in terms of tensors. Any valid expression will be right. You can exploit this method by
choosing whatever tensors are most convenient for whatever problem you are solving.