# Chapter 2: The Derivation of Maxwell Equations and the form of the boundary value problem

In modern time, physics, including geophysics, solves real-world problems by applying first principles of physics with a much higher capability than merely the analytical solutions for simple, classic problems. This is done with great assistance of sophisticated laboratory experiments and powerful computer techniques, including both the hardware and the software. Nevertheless, all mathematical analysis still deeply roots with fundamental mathematical physics. The mathematical physical principles to rule the electromagnetic problems are the Maxwell equations. James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879, Figure 2.1) elegantly integrated the electric, magnetic, and the electro-magnetic induction theories prior to his era and formed a set of differential equations. This integration has been known as the Maxwell equations thereafter.

Figure 2.1. James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879).

The next subsection gives the major derivation of the Maxwell equations. They integrated the Ampere’s law, the Faraday’s law and two mathematical-physical theorems and formed a set of four partial differential equations.

Quantitatively. First. It cane be viewed as the description of response of the medium as a system to certain input. and the other two describe the relationship between the magnetic field H and the magnetic induction B. Ampere’s law can be expressed as: . It states that in a stable magnetic field the integration along a magnetic loop is equal to the electric current the loop enclosed. Two of them describe the relationship between the electric field E and the conductive current J. and the magnetic polarization M. and the resultant is the stress. Hooke’s law is the constitutive relations for linear elasticity. It is noteworthy that the first relation is the well-known Ohm’s law in a microscopic form. For example. Constitutive relations describe the medium’s properties and effects when two physical quantities are related. In electromagnetics. To understand the behavior of these electromagnetic parameters are the central piece to understand the geophysical response when geophysical surveys are employed to solve any engineering. in continuous medium mechanics. In another word. there are also constitutive relationships in electromagnetics. Ampere’s law describes the fact of that an electric current can generate an induced magnetic field. 2. We will devote the entire Chapter 3 to discuss these material property parameters in details. there are four fundamental constitutive relationships to describe the response of a medium to a variety of electromagnetic input. We will devote the entire Chapter 3 to discuss the electromagnetic properties of earth material in terms of these four parameters. we discuss the Ampere’s law. and χ the magnetic susceptibility. the response of a linear-elastic medium to strain can be described by the Hooke’s law. and the electric displacement D. Mathematically. These four parameters exclusively describe the electromagnetic properties of a material. µ the magnetic permeability. and environmental problems.1 The Constitutive relations Similar to the constitutive relations in continuous medium mechanics. It is necessary to point out that some of them are inter-related. exploration.2 The Derivation of Maxwell Equations In this section we derive the Maxwell equations based of the differentiation form of a number of physical principles.2. The relation between stress and strain is the Hooke’s law. these four constitutive relationships are J = σE D = εE B = µH M = χH where σ is the electric conductivity. ε the dielectric permittivity.

The displacement current works exactly the same way as the conductive current J. Thus. Meanwhile. dD/dt.e. i.∫ H ⋅ dl = j L Let us take a simple case to illustrate the Ampere’s law. varying with respect to time. there will be another contributor. put both contributors into the above equation ends up with the first equation of the Maxwell equations: ∇×H = J + ∂D ∂t .2.. as shown in Figure 2. to induce the magnetic field H. and the variation frequency is high enough and extends into the radar frequency. if the electric field E is not stable. there will be another current in the medium known as the displacement current and is proportional to the variation of the electric fined E. and see Appendix I) curlA = ∇ × A = lim ∫ A ⋅ dl L ∆S →0 ∆S n replace A by the magnetic field H and consider the case of that the magnetic field is on the plane of the paper and the electric current is flowing out from the paper with the current normal to the paper we can have curlH = ∇ × H = lim ∫ H ⋅ dl L ∆S →0 ∆S n= j =J ∆S where J is the current density in an infinitesimal area. so that the total current should be J+ dD/dt. and the proportional factor is the dielectric permittivity ε. Recall that the curl of a vector field is defined as (any text book on vector field.

Faraday’s law states that a moving magnet can generate an alternating electric field. we take a look of the Faraday’s law.2. Illustration of the Ampere’s law (a) and the Faraday’s law (b). the moving magnet can be represented by the variation of a vector magnetic potential ψ and the Faraday’s law can be mathematically expressed as ∂Ψ ∂t E=− by taking curl or cross product of both sides of the equation we have ∇ × E = −∇ × ∂Ψ ∂ ∂B = − (∇ × Ψ ) = − ∂t ∂t ∂t Next. let us take a look of another 2 equations originated form a mathematical theory – the Gaussian theorem. From the vector field theory (see Appendix I) we have learned that the divergence of a vector field is defined as divA = ∇ ⋅ A = lim ∫∫ A ⋅ ds S ∆v →0 ∆v This relation actually comes from the well-known Gaussian theorem that states the following relationship: . Mathematically. Second.Figure 2.

In contrast. when apply the divergence and Gaussian theorem to the magnetic induction B we have ∇ ⋅ B = lim v →0 ∫∫ B ⋅ ds S v = lim v →0 ∫∫ µH ⋅ ds S v =0 upon the fact that the net magnetic flux goes through the closed surface is zero (Figure 2. the magnetic field is a completely another story with the fact that the magnetic field is a rotation field with only the dipole source at a singular location and the south and north poles are only separated by a infinitesimal distance.3). From the constitutive relationships we knew that D=εE. Let’s take a look of the electric field first. Even when the enclosed surface contains the magnetic source. and we also knew the electric field caused by an electric charge q is E= qr 4πεr 3 Replacing A with D in the definition of divergence and considering the Gaussian theorem and take the closed surface as a spherical shell centered at the location of the electric charge we have ∇ ⋅ D = lim v →0 ∫∫ D ⋅ ds S v = lim v →0 ∫∫ εE ⋅ ds S v = lim v →0 ∫∫ ε 4πεr S qr 3 ds = v q = ρe v where ρe is the charge density in the infinitesimal volume confined by the enclosed surface. in analog with the electric field. . is still zero. Applying the divergence and Gaussian theorem to the electric field E and the magnetic field H results in different results. the net magnetic charge.∫∫∫ ∇ ⋅ Adv = ∫∫ A ⋅ ds v S Gaussian theorem states that the integration of the divergence of a vector field over a certain volume is equivalent to the vector field itself integrated over the entire closed surface that contains the volume. Thus.

In solving the Maxwell’s equation.3. it denotes that the variation of the magnetic field induces the electrical field. and the other for the electrical field. one for the magnetic field. The third and the fourth equations are derived from the Gaussian Theorem. The case of a rotation-free vector field (a) and a source-free vector field (b).Figure 2. either analytically for simple problems or numerically for more complicated problems. The Maxwell’s equations in Cartesian coordinate can be expressed: . In summary. it denotes that the electrical current (both the conductive current J and the displacement current dD/dt) induces the magnetic field. the Maxwell’s equations (Governing the electromagnetic fields) can be expressed in the following form: ∂D ∂t ∂B ∇×E = − ∂t ∇⋅B = 0 ∇ ⋅ D = ρe ∇×H = J + The first equation is derived from the Ampere’s law. The second equation is derived from the Faraday’s law. it is necessary to write up the Maxwell equations into three components in accordance with certain given coordinates.

∂D x ∂H z ∂H y − ) = Jx + ∂t ∂y ∂z ∂D y ∂H ∂H z ( x − ) = Jy + ∂t ∂x ∂z ∂H y ∂H x ∂D z − ( ) = Jz + ∂t ∂y ∂x ∂E y ∂B ∂E ( z − )=− x ∂t ∂z ∂y ∂B y ∂E ∂E ( x − z)=− ∂x ∂t ∂z ∂E y ∂E x ∂B − ( )=− z ∂t ∂y ∂x ∂H x ∂H y ∂H z =0 + + ∂z ∂x ∂y ∂E x ∂E y ∂E z = ρe + + ∂z ∂x ∂y ( Maxwell’s equations in the cylindrical coordinate can be expressed as: ∂D ∂H z ∂H θ ) = Jr + r − ∂z r∂θ ∂t ∂D ∂H ∂H z ( r − ) = Jθ + θ ∂t ∂z ∂r ∂H θ ∂H r ∂D z ( ) = Jz + − r∂θ ∂t ∂r ∂E ∂B ∂E ( z − θ)=− r r∂θ ∂z ∂t ∂B ∂E ∂E ( r − z)=− θ ∂t ∂z ∂r ∂E ∂E ∂B ( θ − r)=− z ∂r r∂θ ∂t ∂H θ ∂H z ∂ (rH r ) + + =0 r∂θ r∂r ∂z ∂E ∂E ∂ (rE r ) + θ + z = ρ e r∂r r∂θ ∂z ( Maxwell’s equations in the spherical coordinate are: .

3 Dielectric permittivity and magnetic permeability We have shown that the constitutive equations are: J = σE D = εE B = µH M = χH For a more convenient mathematical manipulation and using the SI unit system. and the ones with subscript r as the relative permeability and relative permittivity (or the so-called dielectric constant).∂Hθ ∂D ∂ ( H ϕ sin θ ) − ) = Jr + r ∂θ ∂ϕ ∂t ∂H ∂ ∂D ( r − (rH ϕ sin θ )) = Jθ + θ ∂ϕ ∂r ∂t ∂D 1 ∂ (rH θ ) ∂H r ( ) = Jϕ + ϕ − r ∂r ∂θ ∂t 1 ∂ ∂E ∂B ( ( Eϕ sin θ ) − θ ) = − r r sin θ ∂θ ∂ϕ ∂t 1 ∂E ∂ ∂B ( r − (rEϕ sin θ )) = − θ r sin θ ∂ϕ ∂r ∂t ∂B 1 ∂ (rEθ ) ∂Er ( )=− ϕ − r ∂r ∂θ ∂t ∂H ϕ ∂ ∂ (r 2 H r ) + ( Hθ sin θ ) + =0 2 r ∂r r sin θ∂θ r sin θ∂ϕ ∂Eϕ ∂ ∂ = ρe ( r 2 Er ) + ( Eθ sin θ ) + 2 r ∂r r sin θ∂θ r sin θ∂ϕ 1 r sin θ 1 r sin θ ( 2. In vacuum we have ε0 = 1 × 10 −9 ( Farads / meter ) 36π µ 0 = 4π × 10 −7 ( Henries / meter ) . the magnetic permeability µ and the electric permittivity ε can be written into two parts as: µ = µ0 µ r ε = ε 0ε r with the parameters with subscript zero defined as the magnetic permeability and the electric permittivity in vacuum.

e. It expresses how easy or how hard a material can be magnetized and how much it contributes to the magnetic induction B. A can always be expressed as the sum of the gradient of a scalar potential Φ and the curl of a vector potential ψ. First we need to recall that in the vector field theory we have shown that any given vector field A can be expressed as A = ∇Φ + ∇ × Ψ i. ..e..and it is easy to recognize that the speed of light is the electromagnetic wave velocity in vacuum as 2 c0 = 1 µ 0ε 0 1 = 9 × 1016 ( Jol / kg ) = 3 × 108 ( meter / sec ) c0 = µ 0ε 0 The parameters of material property shown in these constitutive relationships are not totally independent with one another. the two come out from the Ampere’s law and the Faraday’s law. however. Their interrelationship is not constant over the frequency band. From the magnetostatic point of view the magnetic permeability and the magnetic susceptibility are related in the form of χ = µ r − 1. In this section we will de-couple these two equations and make their diffusion and wave propagation nature more explicit by some mathematical manipulations.4 The formation of the Helmholtz Equations It is noticeable that the first two equations. it is relative more cumbersome to solve and makes the physical nature more implicit. And the following two equalities are always held. or µ r = 1 + χ and it is easy to see that M = χH = ( µ r − 1)H = µ r H − H = B µ0 −H or B = µ 0 H + µ 0 M = µ 0 H + µ 0 χH = µ 0 (1 + χ )H = µ 0 µ r H Apparently. 2. the electric field and the magnetic field are coupled with each other. They are clearly states the coupling nature of the electromagnetic induction. Mathematically. i. susceptibility χ is a more intrinsic parameter than permeability µ to describe the magnetic property of a material.

the left hand side of the above becomes 1 ∇ × ∇ × H = ∇(∇ ⋅ H ) − ∇ 2 H = ∇( ∇ ⋅ B) − ∇ 2 H = −∇ 2 H µ Thus eventually we get ∇ 2 H = σµ ∂2H ∂H + εµ 2 ∂t ∂t Using the same argument and similar approach we can get similar results for the second equation of the Maxwell equations (the Faraday’s law) and we get a pair of the following equations: ∂ 2H ∂H ∇ H = σµ + εµ 2 ∂t ∂t ∂ 2E ∂E ∇ 2 E = σµ + εµ 2 ∂t ∂t 2 . the one derived from the Ampere’s law and the one from Faraday’s law. and recall that the magnetic field is always only the curl of a vector potential (magnetic field is a source-free field).. First let us get the curl of the first equation and we have ∇×∇×H = ∇×J + ∇× = ∇ × (σE) + ∇ × (ε = σ (∇ × E) + ε ∂E ) ∂t ∂D ∂t ∂ (∇ × E) ∂t ∂B ∂ ∂B = σ (− ) − ε ∂t ∂t ∂t ∂H ∂ 2H = −σµ − εµ 2 ∂t ∂t The relationship of the second equation of the Maxwell equations (the Faraday’s law) and the constitutive relationship were used in the above derivation. i. By using the relationship of Eqn (2.x).∇ × ∇Φ ≡ 0 ∇⋅∇× Ψ ≡ 0 also we have ∇ × ∇ × A = ∇(∇ ⋅ A) − ∇ 2 A we will put these relationships into the first two equations of the Maxwell equations.e.

i.e. only one physical quantity (field). either the electric field or the magnetic field.x) we have ∂E ∂ 2E ∇ E = σµ + εµ 2 ∂t ∂t 2 = −iωσµE − ω εµE σ = −ω 2 εµ (1 + i )E ωε 2 = −k 2 E Follow a similar approach we can get the same results for the magnetic field and we thus can arrive at a set of two the so-called Helmholtz equations. The Helmholtz equations ∇2H + k 2H = 0 ∇ 2E + k 2E = 0 with the definition for σ i) ωε as the squared complex wave number.. appears in one equation. That is to say. Put this definition into the second equation of eqn(2. E = E0e − iωt . ∂E = −iωE0e − iωt = −iωE . After decoupling the electric field and the magnetic field we can further the discussion by look into the relativity of the material parameters for the electric and electromagnetic properties. if the ratio is much less than one.e. Without lose of generality.Obviously the two equations have been decoupled. the ksquare has a significant real part so that the Helmholtz equation is essentially representing a wave equation. It is clear that in the above equation when the second term in the bracket on the right hand side has a value much larger than one then the k-square has a significant imaginary part so that the Helmholtz equation is essentially representing a diffusion equation. i.. Vice versa. ∂t ∂ 2E = (−iω )(−iω )E0e − iωt = −ω 2E 2 ∂t Hereinafter we let that E is a newly defined quantity without time varying component and omitted the subscript zero for the easy writing. in the complete equations k 2 = ω 2 µε (1 + . we can assume the time variation of the electric field is in a simple harmonic form.

if σ<<ωε. Let us take the magnetic boundary condition as the example to illustrate the calculation. this is a parabolic equation. the electric conductivity is the controlling parameter in the process. The physical feature is the wave propagation like process. this is a hyperbolic equation. while the tangential component of the electric field and the magnetic field should be continuous cross the material interface. 2. or diffusion process. Dielectric polarization is the controlling process other than conduction. We also define and discuss in details on the electric conduction and dielectric polarization in material properties in Chapter 3. Mathematically. From the Gaussian theorem we have ∫∫∫ ∇ ⋅ Adv = ∫∫ A ⋅ ds v S . We will discuss in a more detailed fashion on the diffusion equation in electromagnetic induction. we have ∂H ∂t ∂E ∇ 2 E ≈ σµ ∂t ∇ 2 H ≈ σµ Since most earth materials do not have strong magnetic susceptibility. similar to the diffusion equation used to describe heat conduction. and the wave equation in ground penetrating radar. On the other hand.∇ 2 H = σµ ∂ 2H ∂H + εµ 2 ∂t ∂t ∂ 2E ∂E ∇ 2 E = σµ + εµ 2 ∂t ∂t if σ>>ωε. similar to the mechanic waves. Thus the above equation represents a conductive. we have ∂ 2H ∂t 2 ∂ 2E 2 ∇ E ≈ εµ 2 ∂t ∇ 2 H ≈ εµ In this equation the dielectric permittivity is the prevailing parameter (again. groundwater flow etc. electric displacement. magnetic permeability is relative weak for most earth materials). and magnetic induction should be continuous when cross a material interface or boundary.5 Electromagnetic boundary conditions Electromagnetic shows that the normal component of current. Mathematically.

Using subscript 1 and 2 to denote the induction in two medium we get B1 and B2. These relationships of boundary conditions can be mathematically expressed as .4. the flux through the area of the side surface is also zero. we can get the following set of the so-called electromagnetic boundary conditions. Finally we get n ⋅ (B 2 − B1 ) = 0 . and eventually let the thickness of the disc ∆h tends to be zero. Illustration of the electromagnetic boundary conditions. In these statements we assume there is no free electric charge everywhere. we can see that after define the small volume enclosed by this small disc. From the Maxwell equation we knew that the divergence of the magnetic induction is zero. this leads to the last step in the above derivation. The upper and lower surfaces have the same area but opposite external normal direction. or B2 n = B1n This means that the normal component of the magnetic induction B is continuous crossing the medium boundary. thus the dot products of the magnetic induction and the surface normal have opposite polarity. In the above derivation.Replacing A by the magnetic induction vector B and make a small disc with the thickness of ∆h and its central line is coincident with the boundary of two media (Figure 2. Combining with other physical principles as shown in the Maxwell’s equations.4) we have ∫∫∫ ∇ ⋅ Bdv = ∫∫ B ⋅ ds = ∫∫ B ⋅ ds + ∫∫ B ⋅ ds + ∫∫ B ⋅ ds v S uppersurface lowersurface sidesurface = ∫∫ B ⋅ ds + ∫∫ B ⋅ ds +0 = ∫∫ B uppersurface lowersurface S1 2 ⋅ nds − ∫∫ B 1 ⋅ nds = 0 S1 Figure 2.

here is the attenuation coefficient. The neper is often used to express the ratio of amplitude. x2 x2 so that the conversion is α = ln( 20log 10 ( 1 Np = ln( x1 ) x2 ln( x1 ) x2 dB = 20log10 (e x ln( 1 ) x2 x1 ) x2 ) 20 ln( dB = x1 )log10 (e) x2 dB = 20 log10 (e)dB = 8. such as gain. loss.686 = 20log(e)=20/(ln 10). The neper is analogous to the decibel. and b>0 log a b 1 = 0.686dB x ln( 1 ) x2 The following equalities are used in deriving the above relation. Attenuation: The unit of attenuation coefficient is in Nepers for science and decibels (dB) for engineering.4342945 ln(10) In summary. . where 8. neper (Np) is a unit used to express ratios.686 dB. The definitions are x1 x ) (Np). and the boundary conditions. the Np is a dimensionless unit. and log b a = log10 (e) = 1 . Like the dB. if a>0. except that the Naperian base e=2.718281828 is used in computing the ratio in nepers. we are ready to discuss the electromagnetic phenomena in the earth materials.n ⋅ (J 2 − J 1 ) = 0 n ⋅ (B 2 − B 1 ) = 0 n ⋅ (D 2 − D1 ) = 0 n × (H 2 − H 1 ) = 0 n × ( E 2 − E1 ) = 0 After we discussed the physical equations (the Maxwell’s equations). x = ln e x = e lnx . and α = 20log10 ( 1 ) (dB). One neper (Np) = 8. whereas the decibel is usually used to express power ratios. and relative values. the constitutive relationships.