TY - JOUR

T1 - Charge acceleration and field-lines curvature: A fundamental symmetry and consequent asymmetries

AU - Elitzur, Avshalom C.

AU - Cohen, Eliahu

AU - Beniamini, Paz

PY - 2011/12/28

Y1 - 2011/12/28

N2 - When a charge accelerates, its field-lines curve in a typical pattern. This pattern resembles the curvature induced on the field-lines by a neighboring charge. Not only does the latter case involve a similar curvature, it moreover results in attraction/repulsion. This suggests a hitherto unnoticed causal symmetry: charge acceleration ⇔ field curvature. We prove quantitatively that these two phenomena are essentially one and the same. The field stores some of the charge's mass, yet it is extended in space, hence when the charge accelerates, inertia makes the field lag behind. The resulting stress in the field stores some of the charge's kinetic energy in the form of potential energy. The electrostatic interaction is the approximate mirror image of this process: The potential energy stored within the field turns into the charge's kinetic energy. This partial symmetry offers novel insights into two debated issues in electromagnetism The question whether a charge radiates in a gravitational field receives a new twist: If all the charge's field-lines end with opposite charges that also resist gravity, no radiation is expected. Similarly for the famous absence of a physical manifestation of the Maxwell equations' advanced solution: Just as Einstein argued, the reason for this absence is probabilistic rather than reflecting some inherent time-asymmetry. Despite the apparent equivalence between the "ontological" and "instrumentalist" viewpoints concerning the physical reality of field-lines, there may be cases in which their experimental predictions differ. © 2011 American Institute of Physics.

AB - When a charge accelerates, its field-lines curve in a typical pattern. This pattern resembles the curvature induced on the field-lines by a neighboring charge. Not only does the latter case involve a similar curvature, it moreover results in attraction/repulsion. This suggests a hitherto unnoticed causal symmetry: charge acceleration ⇔ field curvature. We prove quantitatively that these two phenomena are essentially one and the same. The field stores some of the charge's mass, yet it is extended in space, hence when the charge accelerates, inertia makes the field lag behind. The resulting stress in the field stores some of the charge's kinetic energy in the form of potential energy. The electrostatic interaction is the approximate mirror image of this process: The potential energy stored within the field turns into the charge's kinetic energy. This partial symmetry offers novel insights into two debated issues in electromagnetism The question whether a charge radiates in a gravitational field receives a new twist: If all the charge's field-lines end with opposite charges that also resist gravity, no radiation is expected. Similarly for the famous absence of a physical manifestation of the Maxwell equations' advanced solution: Just as Einstein argued, the reason for this absence is probabilistic rather than reflecting some inherent time-asymmetry. Despite the apparent equivalence between the "ontological" and "instrumentalist" viewpoints concerning the physical reality of field-lines, there may be cases in which their experimental predictions differ. © 2011 American Institute of Physics.

UR - https://www.mendeley.com/catalogue/2d541ca7-0bd1-3994-9252-5124114a3365/

U2 - 10.1063/1.3665240

DO - 10.1063/1.3665240

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SN - 0094-243X

VL - 1411

SP - 221

EP - 244

JO - AIP Conference Proceedings

JF - AIP Conference Proceedings

ER -