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Ph1c Analytical Homework Solutions 1

Spring 2012

1.1

Purcell 5.9 (5 points)

We may compute the Lorentz factor directly from the energy. Remember that
E = T + mc2 = mc2
T
250 keV
=1+
=1+
= 1.5
mc2
500 keV

1/2

5
1
=
0.75
= 1 2

3
px = mc = 1.12 mc.
Because px is negligible, the time spent between the plates is given by
t=

l
= 1.8 1010 s.
c

The force on the electron due to the potential difference is


~ = e V z.
F~ = eE
h
Thus
l eV 1
l eV
=
mc = 0.08 mc
h c
h mc2
pz
pz

= 0.05,
z =
mc
mc

pz = Fz t =

where is the Lorentz factor that includes the vertical motion, which is small in comparison to the horizontal
motion; hence, . The net deviation at the exit of the plates is
z =

1 2
1
at = z ct = 0.135 cm.
2
2

In order to analyze this system in the electrons rest frame, consider the inertial frame moving in the
x
direction. The plates will appear Lorentz contracted with l = l/, w = w, and h = h.

The force on the electron is perpendicular to the direction of motion of this frame; hence, F~ = F~ (see
equation (14) in Ch 5, noting that we are transforming from the lab frame to the electrons rest frame).
However, due to the Lorentz contraction of the plates, the electrons spends less time between them:
t =

l
1 l
t
=
= .
c
c

Therefore, the net momentum change is the same:


pz = Fz t = Fz t = pz .
This is due to the fact that the spatial vector p~ is part of a 4-vector that transforms under Lorentz boosts
in an identical fashion to that of the position 4-vector (t, ~x). The transverse velocity is given in terms of the
momentum change as
1
p = z
mc z
z = z t = z t = z.
z =

Strictly speaking, we did not really consider the system from the electrons rest frame. In addition to the
transformation into the moving frame, we should have transformed into an accelerated frame. However, since
the vertical motion is non-relativistic, we can accomplish this by a Galilean transformation, after which all
the results are trivially the same.

1.2

Purcell 5.14 (5 points)

Because of the highly relativistic nature of the motion, we may disregard the effects of interference upon
the field lines of the individual particles. Because both of the particles stop at the origin, they must feel
a repulsive force that decelerates them. The exact nature of this force need not be understood to gain
qualitative insight into the radiative processes at work. Because infinite forces are unphysical, there must
be a finite deceleration time . Furthermore, Gausss Law
Z
Z
~ = 4
~ dA
E
dV
V

states that field lines can only end upon charges, and thus the field lines of the
R two particles must connect
with each other if the combination of the two particles is to be neutral (i.e. V dV = 0). This connection
will occur in a spherical shell about the neutral composite particle of thickness c and inner radius R = tc.
This is pictured below for times before and after the collision. As discussed in appendix B of Purcell, the
perturbation of the field lines (i.e., the reconnection within the shell) carries electrostatic energy
Z
E2 dV a2 ,
Urad
shell

where a is the acceleration. By appropriately choosing the acceleration, all of the kinetic energy of the
individual particles can be released. The radiation emitted due to this sudden deceleration is called
bremsstrahlung, German for breaking radiation.
In reality this process is a quantum one called pair annihilation, resulting in the emission of two photons
(two are necessary to conserve momentum), which carry off not only the kinetic energy, but the energy
associated with the rest mass as well.
2

1.3

Purcell 5.17 (5 points)

In the rest frame of the protons, the force on the upper proton is
2
2
~ = e z = e z,
F~ = eE
r2
r2
where we have used the fact that in the transverse direction, r = r. The force on the lower proton is equal
and opposite, as required by Newtons third law (note that this has the symmetries required to allow us to
ignore the field contributions to Newtons third law). Because the force is perpendicular to the direction
of motion, it transforms as F~ = F~ / (see appendix A). However, the contribution from the transformed
electric field gives
2
~ = e E
~ = e z.
F~elec = eE
r2
Therefore, there is a missing piece of the force in the amount of

 2
1
e2
e
F~ F~elec =

z = 2 2 z.
2

r
r

This is precisely the magnetic field that would be generated by transforming the electric field relativistically,
as we will see in the next chapter. From the Lorentz force law
2
2
2
~ + ~ B)
~ = e z 2 e z = 1 e z,
F~ = e(E
r2
r2
r2

we can explain the discrepancy by accounting for a magnetic field that is times as strong as the electric
field.

1.4
1.4.a

Purcell 6.12 (5 points)


(2.5 points)

Referring to fig. (a) above, the field at the center of the cube due to AB cancels with EF . Similarly, the
field at the center of the cube due to CD cancels with GH. By symmetry, a finite current element gives a
magnetic field in its direction (note that this is different for different elements, because the definition of
the direction depends on the azimuthal axis), and the field due to current elements BC and F G combine
to give a net field in the x
direction. Similarly, the contributions from DE and AH combine to give a net
field in the x
direction also (all that has changed form the BC/F G case is a rotation). Therefore, the total
magnetic field at the center of the cube is in the x
direction.
Note that fig. (a) drawn here does not define the coordinate system in the same way as the figure in
Purcell. Using Purcells drawing, the field at the center of the cube points in the y direction.
1.4.b

(2.5 points)

The principle of superposition can be used with currents as well as magnetic and electric fields. Therefore,
a current I~ superimposed on a current I~ gives a zero net current and hence no magnetic field (there may
still be an electric field). Finally, noting by symmetry that the arrangement of the coils in fig. (c) gives no
net field at the center, we may superimpose these coils on the arrangement in fig. (a) to give fig. (e) without
altering the magnetic field at the center. Hence, the current loop in fie. (e) produces precisely the same field
at the center of the cube.

1.5

Purcell 6.16 (5 points)

First, consider a full cylinder of radius R (i.e., one in which no section has been removed). The rotational
symmetry together with the fact that the current is flowing solely in the plane defined by the symmetry axis
z and the radial coordinate direction r gives that the field is in the direction and has constant magnitude
on circles of constant radius. Then, we use Amperes law to determine the field strength for a given radius
(assuming a uniform current density):
I

~ =
~ dl
B

B r d = 2rB =
0

4
4 r2
Ienc =
I
c
c R2

~ = 2Ir .
B
cR2
~ = 0 at P where r = 0. Using superposition, we can construct a full cylinder of
Specifically, note that B
radius b by adding a second smaller cylinder of the same current density and radius a to the larger, hollowed
cylinder of radius b. Thus, the field of the hollowed cylinder at any point must be the negative of that of
the smaller cylinder plus that of the full cylinder. At the point P , we would be at the surface of the smaller
cylinder; hence,
~ hollow (P ) = B
~ small (P ) = 2Ienc x
B
.
ca
In order to determine Ienc in terms of the current of the hollowed cylinder, note that
Ienc + I = Itot =
Ienc =

b2
Ienc
a2

I
.
(b2 /a2 ) 1

With a = 2 cm, b = 4 cm, and I = 900 A, we get Ienc = 300 A and


~ hollow (P ) = (30 G)
B
x.

1.6

Purcell 6.25 (5 points)

~ = B0 z, and the vector potential is defined by


~ A
~ = B.
~ Let us work in
We have a magnetic field B
cylindrical coordinates so that






~ A
~ = 1 Az A + A Az + 1 A A z


z
z

~ is independent of z. Then,
Because the field is symmetric along the z axis, let us guess that Az = 0 and A
the first two terms vanish as desired. Now, we note that if A / were constant, then there would be a
discontinuity at = 2, so we demand A / = 0. We are left with


1 A
A
A
~
~
A=
z = B0 z.
z =
+

Hence,

1
B0 .
2
The assumptions we made in deriving this result are related to the freedom to make gauge transformations.
That is, if
~ = A
~ + f,
~
A
A =

then

~ =
~ A
~ =
~ A
~+
~ f
~ =
~ A
~ = B.
~
B

~ is not unique to give a specified B.


~
Thus, the choice of A
~ in terms of Cartesian coordinates as
We may rewrite the result for A

1
1~
1
y y
x) = B0 (x
y y
x) = B
~r.
A = A (x

2
2
This last result is general for homogeneous magnetic fields, as you can readily verify. Starting in Cartesian
~ are
coordinates is likely the most straightforward. A couple obvious choices for A
~ = B0 (y
A
x + x
y)
2
~ = B0 x
A
y.