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Introduction

• In this course, we will study/investigate

– the nature of the ELECTROMAGNETIC INTERACTION – at (very) low energies, i.e. E ~ 0 GeV

• 1 GeV = 109 electron volts = 1.602×10−10 Joules

•

**The electromagnetic interaction is ONE of FOUR known FORCES (or INTERACTIONS) of Nature:
**

– Electromagnetic Force

• binds electrons & nuclei together to form atoms- binds atoms together to form molecules, liquids, solids. . . .

– Strong Force

• binds protons & neutrons together to form nuclei

– Weak Force

• responsible for radioactivity (e.g. β decay) (weak force important @ high energies)

– Gravity

• binds matter together to form stars, planets, solar systems, galaxies, etc.

Introduction (cont.)

At the MICROSCOPIC (i.e. QUANTUM) LEVEL (elementary particle physics) the forces of nature are mediated by the exchange of a “force-carrying” particle e.g. between two “charged” particles:

**EM force • At microscopic level, EM force mediated by
**

– (virtual) photons – two electrically charged particles “know” about each other by exchanging virtual photons.

COULOMB’S LAW • It has been experimentally observed (Charles Augustin Coulomb, 1785) that the net, time-averaged force (i.e. summed over many, many virtual photons) between two stationary point charges Qa & Qb:

– Acts along the line joining the two point charges, Qa & Qb (i.e. radial force!) – Is linearly proportional to the product of the two point charges,

• Qa * Qb (n.b. Force is charge-signed!) • Net force is repulsive if Qa is same sign as Qb. • Net force is attractive if Qa is opposite sign as Qb.

– Is inversely proportional to the square of the separation distance between the two point charges.

COULOMB’S LAW (conti.) • The net force exerted by point charge Qa ON point charged Qb is given by:

Fab is a radial force, one which points from (to) point A to (from) point B, depending on sign of the charge product (QaQb) Qa Qb < 0 is attractive force (F < 0) Qa Qb > 0 is repulsive force (F > 0)

COULOMB’S LAW (conti.) • The NET force exerted by point charge Qb ON point charge Qa:

Fba is radial force, point from (to) point B to (from) point A, depending on sign of charge product (QaQb) • Qa Qb < 0 is attractive force (F < 0) • Qb Qa > 0 is repulsive force (F > 0)

COULOMB’S LAW (conti.) - Newton’s 1st Law

COULOMB’S LAW (conti.)

ε0 is the macroscopic, time-averaged electric permittivity of vacuum – the physical vacuum behaves like a dielectric medium!!!

COULOMB’S LAW (conti.)

• Factor of 4π = “flux factor” for solid angle associated with flux of virtual photons emitted by point charge!!! • Virtual photons “emitted” from QA are emitted into 4π steradians @ point A: • Force decreases a 1/r2

COULOMB’S LAW (conti.) – dielectric properties • if dielectric properties of free space (vacuum) were different than they are, then Coulomb’s Law would be different. • Consider a universe in which we could change the EM properties of the vacuum at will:

• Note further/we shall see that: c = speed of light =

COULOMB’S LAW (conti.) – compare with Newton’ Law of Gravity

Compare to Coulomb’ Law

**THE ELECTRIC FIELD • Also known as the Electric Field Intensity • Review:
**

– We’ve introduced/discussed the net/time averaged Force, e.g. of Qa acting on Qb:

**• We now introduce the concept of
**

a net/time averaged electrostatic field

THE ELECTRIC FIELD (conti.)

THE ELECTRIC FIELD (conti.)

Then

THE ELECTRIC FIELD (conti.) • To TEST for the presence/existence of “source” charge(s) qs, we can use one testing charge, QT

Notation:

THE ELECTRIC FIELD (conti.)

Unit of E:

Rigorous definition of electric field intensity - limiting process

The presence of a finite-singed test charge QT necessarily perturbs the source charge distribution that one is attempting to measure!! As the test charge is made smaller and smaller, the perturbing effect on the original/unperturbed source charge distribution is made smaller and smaller In the limit QT → O, the true source charge distribution is obtained Usually, we might think of e.g. QT = 1 e and e.g. qs = 1019 e, thus qs >> QT, and thus perturbing effects are negligible.

Electric field lines • Review:

• Convention Direction of electric field lines for qs = +e and qs= −e

Electric field lines (conti.) • Equal but opposite charges

Electric field lines (conti.) • Equal charges

THE PRINCIPLE of LINEAR SUPERPOSITION • Question:

THE PRINCIPLE of LINEAR SUPERPOSITION (conti.) • As we know,

• So,

THE PRINCIPLE of LINEAR SUPERPOSITION (conti.) • for arbitrary continuous charge distributions

THE PRINCIPLE of LINEAR SUPERPOSITION (conti.)

THE PRINCIPLE of LINEAR SUPERPOSITION (conti.)

THE PRINCIPLE of LINEAR SUPERPOSITION (conti.)

Complete description of all possible charge distributions

Example 2.1 • Find the electric field a distance z above the midpoint of a straight line segment of length 2L, which carries a uniform line charge λ (Fig. 2.6). • symmetry of this problem

Example 2.1 (conti.)

Example 2.1 (conti.)

Example 2.1 (conti.)

Example 2.1 (conti.)

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