# Module I: Electromagnetic waves

Lecture 3: EM wave equation with sources

Amol Dighe
TIFR, Mumbai

Outline 1 ~ with sources Wave equation for φ and A 2 Solving the wave equation with sources .

Outline 1 ~ with sources Wave equation for φ and A 2 Solving the wave equation with sources .

When we come to relativity and covariance of equations.~ and φ ? Why the potentials A ~ and B ~ in the We already have the wave equation satisfied by E absence of any charge or current sources: ~ − µσ ∇2 E ~ ~ ∂2E ∂E − µ 2 = 0 ∂t ∂t (1) ~ and similarly for B. the vector and scalar formulate our problem in terms of A potentials. appreciate the importance of A . Therefore (with hindsight) we and B ~ and φ. ~ However when sources (ρ and ~J) are introduced. they affect E ~ in rather complicated ways. we’ll ~ and φ even more. respectively.

Note that φ is also not uniquely defined. since ∇ · A ~ has not Note that this does not define A yet been defined. This is the definition of φ.A and φ: definitions ~ = 0 allows us to write B ~ as the curl of a Maxwell’s equation ∇ · B ~ vector. so the uniqueness theorem is not satisfied. ~ = −∂ B/∂t ~ Maxwell’s equation ∇ × E then implies ~ = −∇ × ∇×E ~ ∂A ∂t (3) This allows us to write ~ ~ = − ∂ A − ∇φ E ∂t where φ is a scalar. we define this vector as A: ~ =∇×A ~ B (2) ~ completely. (4) .

and these new potentials A ~ ~ will still give us the same E and B. Indeed. the Since E ~ ~ 0 . We can choose to do the calculations in any convenient gauge. the final measurable quantities will turn out to be identical / gauge invariant. φ0 = φ + ∂ψ A ∂t (5) ~ 0 and φ0 with any arbitrary scalar ψ. we can carry out simultaneous gauge trasformations ~0 = A ~ − ∇ψ .~ and φ Gauge freedom for A As obserbed earlier. φ0 ) are equivalent potentials (A. φ) and (A This freedom of choosing any ψ corresponds to the “gauge symmetry”. ~ and B ~ are the physically measurable quantities. A and φ are not uniquely defined. .

~ ~ we get Using ∇ × B where ~J = ~Jext + σ E. ! ! ~ ~ ∂A ∂2A ∂φ ~ ~ ∇ × (∇ × A) = µJext + µσ − − ∇φ + µ − 2 − ∇ ∂t ∂t ∂t (6) 2 ~ = −∇ A ~ + ∇(∇ · A). ~ = µ~J + µ(∂ E/∂t). ~ this leads to Using ∇ × (∇ × A)   ~ ~ ∂2A ∂φ ∂A 2~ ~ ~ ∇ A−µσ −µ 2 = −µJext +∇(∇ · A) + ∇(µσφ) + ∇ µ ∂t ∂t ∂t (7) If we now use our gauge freedom to make ~ + µσφ + µ(∂φ/∂t) = 0. (called as the Lorentz gauge). the ∇·A ~ we get the wave equation for A: ~ − µσ ∇2 A ~ ~ ∂A ∂2A − µ 2 = −µ~Jext ∂t ∂t (8) .~ Wave equation for A ~ We have already used two Maxwell’s equations while defining A and φ: they will be satisfied automatically.

which leads to ∇·A ∇2 φ − µσ ∂2φ ρ ∂φ − µ 2 = − ∂t ∂t  (10) ~ Note that the form of the equation for φ is the same as that for A. instead of the current. ~ = ρ/ leads us to ∇·E ! ~ ρ ∂A ∂ ~ − ∇2 φ = ρ ∇· − − ∇φ = ⇒ − (∇ · A) ∂t  ∂t  (9) Now we use the same Lorentz condition as before to replace ~ by −µσφ − µ(∂φ/∂t). with the charge a the source.Wave equation for φ We now see where the remaining Maxwell’s equation. .

Outline 1 ~ with sources Wave equation for φ and A 2 Solving the wave equation with sources .

e. the wave equations take the form ∇2 φ − ~ − ∇2 A 1 ∂2φ c 2 ∂t 2 ~ 1 ∂2A c 2 ∂t 2 = − ρ 0 = −µ0~J (11) (12) We already know that for the static situation.The wave equations in vacuum In vacuum. i. when the (∂ 2 /∂t 2 ) terms are absent: Z ρ(~x) 1 ρ(~x0 ) 3 0 2 ~ ∇ φ(x) = − d x (13) ⇒ φ(~x) = 0 4π0 |~x − ~x0 | Z ~ 0 J(~x ) 3 0 ~ ~x) = −µ0~J(~x) ⇒ A( ~ ~x) = µ0 ∇2 A( d x (14) 4π |~x − ~x0 | We expect (hope) that the solution to the time-dependent wave equation may be similar. .

t) in terms of their Fourier transforms ψω and gω : Z ∞ Z ∞ −iωt ~ ~ ~ ψ(x. t) (15) c 2 ∂t 2 by using the method of Fourier transform and Green’s function. t) = ψω (x)e dω . g(x. ψω (x) = 2π −∞ 2π −∞ (17) In terms of the Fourier transforms. (16) ∇2 ψ(~x. the wave equation becomes ω2 ψω (~x) = −gω (~x) (18) c2 which we’ll now try solving using the method of Green’s function. t) = −g(~x. gω (x) = g(~x. t) − −∞ −∞ where the Fourier transforms are defined as Z ∞ Z ∞ 1 1 iωt ~ ~ ~ ψ(x.Fourier analysis Let us try solving a general equation 1 ∂2 ψ(~x. t) = gω (~x)e−iωt dω . t)eiωt dt . ∇2 ψω (~x) + . t) and the source g(~x. Write the solution ψ(~x. t)e dt .

The method of Green’s function The method of Green’s functions implies that: If G(~x.e. so we expect a spherically symmetric solution. i. ~x0 )d 3 x 0 ∇2 G(~x. The Green’s equation is spherically symmetric. The Green’s equation is then 1 ∂2 [rG(r )] + k 2 G(r ) = −δ(r ) r ∂r 2 (21) This has a solution (that may be checked by substitution): G(r ) = 0 1 ±ikr 1 e ⇒ G(~x. ~x0 ) + (19) (20) This may be checked by explicit substitution. ~x0 ) is a solution to the Green’s equation ω2 G(~x. G(~x − ~x0 ) is simply G(r ). ~x0 ) = −δ(~x − ~x0 ) c2 then the solution to ψω (~x) is obtained as Z ψω (~x) = gω (~x0 )G(~x. ~x0 ) = e±ik |~x−~x | 4πr 4π|~x − ~x0 | (22) .

Solution for ψω (~x) and ψ(~x. t) = d x 4π ~x0 |~x − ~x0 | This is the solution to our wave equation (24) (25) . t) The Green’s function method has now given us the solution for ψω (~x): Z 1 gω (~x0 ) ±ik |~x−~x0 | 3 0 ψω (~x) = e d x (23) 4π |~x − ~x0 | Inverse Fourier transform gives us the solution for ψ(~x. this becomes Z 1 gω (~x0 . t± ) 3 0 ~ ψ(x. t): Z Z 1 gω (~x0 ) i(ωt±k |~x−~x0 |) 3 0 e d x dω ψ(~x. t) = 4π ~x0 ω |~x − ~x0 | In terms of t± ≡ t ± |~x − ~x0 |/c.

Thus. . the speed of light is c. the disturbance caused by the sources travels with the speed c. This is akin to a signal taking time |~x − ~x0 |/c to travel from the source at ~x0 to affect the potential at x. at times t± = t ± |~x − ~x0 |/c. which appears through t+ and t− : the advanced and retarded times respectively. When we are dealing with the effect of time-varying sources on the potentials. This implies that the potentials at any point depend on the source distribution at some other times: in particular.Properties of the solution to wave equation The solution formally looks the same as the solution for the static case. advanced solutions are not physical since they would violate causality. except the time dependence. That is.

t − |x−cx | . t − |~x−~x0 | Z c 1 1 [ρ(~x0 )] 3 0 3 0 ~ φ(x. are:   Z ρ ~x0 . t) = d x = d x 4π0 4π0 |~x − ~x0 | |~x − ~x0 | (26)   Z ~J ~x0 . caused by time-varying sources.The retarded potentials The retarded potentials. t − |~x−~x0 | Z ~ 0 c [J(~x )] 3 0 µ0 ~ ~x. t) = µ0 A( d 3x 0 = d x 0 ~ ~ 4π 4π |x − x | |~x − ~x0 | (27)   ~ ~0 where [f (~x)] is a convention used to write f ~x.

gauge freedom Definitions of the potentials A ~ and φ in the presence Lorentz gauge and wave equations for A of sources (charges and currents) Solution to the wave equation in vacuum.Recap of topics covered in this lecture ~ and φ. using Fourier transforms and Green’s function ~ and φ Advanced and retarded solutions for the potentials A .