electrodynamics

Square of electrodynamic field.

June 5, 2022 math and physics play , , , , ,

[Click here for a PDF version of this post]

The electrodynamic Lagrangian (without magnetic sources) has the form
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:fsquared:20}
\LL = F \cdot F + \alpha A \cdot J,
\end{equation}
where \( \alpha \) is a constant that depends on the unit system.
My suspicion is that one or both of the bivector or quadvector grades of \( F^2 \) are required for Maxwell’s equation with magnetic sources.

Let’s expand out \( F^2 \) in coordinates, as preparation for computing the Euler-Lagrange equations. The scalar and pseudoscalar components both simplify easily into compact relationships, but the bivector term is messier. We start with the coordinate expansion of our field, which we may write in either upper or lower index form
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:fsquared:40}
F = \inv{2} \gamma_\mu \wedge \gamma_\nu F^{\mu\nu}
= \inv{2} \gamma^\mu \wedge \gamma^\nu F_{\mu\nu}.
\end{equation}
The square is
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:fsquared:60}
F^2 = F \cdot F + \gpgradetwo{F^2} + F \wedge F.
\end{equation}

Let’s compute the scalar term first. We need to make a change of dummy indexes, for one of the \( F \)’s. It will also be convenient to use upper indexes in one factor, and lowers in the other. We find
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:fsquared:80}
\begin{aligned}
F \cdot F
&=
\inv{4}
\lr{ \gamma_\mu \wedge \gamma_\nu } \cdot \lr{ \gamma^\alpha \wedge \gamma^\beta }
F^{\mu\nu}
F_{\alpha\beta} \\
&=
\inv{4}
\lr{
{\delta_\nu}^\alpha {\delta_\mu}^\beta
– {\delta_\mu}^\alpha {\delta_\nu}^\beta
}
F^{\mu\nu}
F_{\alpha\beta} \\
&=
\inv{4}
\lr{
F^{\mu\nu} F_{\nu\mu}

F^{\mu\nu} F_{\mu\nu}
} \\
&=
-\inv{2}
F^{\mu\nu} F_{\mu\nu}.
\end{aligned}
\end{equation}

Now, let’s compute the pseudoscalar component of \( F^2 \). This time we uniformly use upper index components for the tensor, and find
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:fsquared:100}
\begin{aligned}
F \wedge F
&=
\inv{4}
\lr{ \gamma_\mu \wedge \gamma_\nu } \wedge \lr{ \gamma_\alpha \wedge \gamma_\beta }
F^{\mu\nu}
F^{\alpha\beta} \\
&=
\frac{I}{4}
\epsilon_{\mu\nu\alpha\beta} F^{\mu\nu} F^{\alpha\beta},
\end{aligned}
\end{equation}
where \( \epsilon_{\mu\nu\alpha\beta} \) is the completely antisymmetric (Levi-Civita) tensor of rank four. This pseudoscalar components picks up all the products of components of \( F \) where all indexes are different.

Now, let’s try computing the bivector term of the product. This will require fancier index gymnastics.
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:fsquared:120}
\begin{aligned}
\gpgradetwo{F^2}
&=
\inv{4}
\gpgradetwo{
\lr{ \gamma_\mu \wedge \gamma_\nu } \lr{ \gamma^\alpha \wedge \gamma^\beta }
}
F^{\mu\nu}
F_{\alpha\beta} \\
&=
\inv{4}
\gpgradetwo{
\gamma_\mu \gamma_\nu \lr{ \gamma^\alpha \wedge \gamma^\beta }
}
F^{\mu\nu}
F_{\alpha\beta}

\inv{4}
\lr{ \gamma_\mu \cdot \gamma_\nu} \lr{ \gamma^\alpha \wedge \gamma^\beta } F^{\mu\nu} F_{\alpha\beta}.
\end{aligned}
\end{equation}
The dot product term is killed, since \( \lr{ \gamma_\mu \cdot \gamma_\nu} F^{\mu\nu} = g_{\mu\nu} F^{\mu\nu} \) is the contraction of a symmetric tensor with an antisymmetric tensor. We can now proceed to expand the grade two selection
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:fsquared:140}
\begin{aligned}
\gpgradetwo{
\gamma_\mu \gamma_\nu \lr{ \gamma^\alpha \wedge \gamma^\beta }
}
&=
\gamma_\mu \wedge \lr{ \gamma_\nu \cdot \lr{ \gamma^\alpha \wedge \gamma^\beta } }
+
\gamma_\mu \cdot \lr{ \gamma_\nu \wedge \lr{ \gamma^\alpha \wedge \gamma^\beta } } \\
&=
\gamma_\mu \wedge
\lr{
{\delta_\nu}^\alpha \gamma^\beta

{\delta_\nu}^\beta \gamma^\alpha
}
+
g_{\mu\nu} \lr{ \gamma^\alpha \wedge \gamma^\beta }

{\delta_\mu}^\alpha \lr{ \gamma_\nu \wedge \gamma^\beta }
+
{\delta_\mu}^\beta \lr{ \gamma_\nu \wedge \gamma^\alpha } \\
&=
{\delta_\nu}^\alpha \lr{ \gamma_\mu \wedge \gamma^\beta }

{\delta_\nu}^\beta \lr{ \gamma_\mu \wedge \gamma^\alpha }

{\delta_\mu}^\alpha \lr{ \gamma_\nu \wedge \gamma^\beta }
+
{\delta_\mu}^\beta \lr{ \gamma_\nu \wedge \gamma^\alpha }.
\end{aligned}
\end{equation}
Observe that I’ve taken the liberty to drop the \( g_{\mu\nu} \) term. Strictly speaking, this violated the equality, but won’t matter since we will contract this with \( F^{\mu\nu} \). We are left with
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:fsquared:160}
\begin{aligned}
4 \gpgradetwo{ F^2 }
&=
\lr{
{\delta_\nu}^\alpha \lr{ \gamma_\mu \wedge \gamma^\beta }

{\delta_\nu}^\beta \lr{ \gamma_\mu \wedge \gamma^\alpha }

{\delta_\mu}^\alpha \lr{ \gamma_\nu \wedge \gamma^\beta }
+
{\delta_\mu}^\beta \lr{ \gamma_\nu \wedge \gamma^\alpha }
}
F^{\mu\nu}
F_{\alpha\beta} \\
&=
F^{\mu\nu}
\lr{
\lr{ \gamma_\mu \wedge \gamma^\alpha }
F_{\nu\alpha}

\lr{ \gamma_\mu \wedge \gamma^\alpha }
F_{\alpha\nu}

\lr{ \gamma_\nu \wedge \gamma^\alpha }
F_{\mu\alpha}
+
\lr{ \gamma_\nu \wedge \gamma^\alpha }
F_{\alpha\mu}
} \\
&=
2 F^{\mu\nu}
\lr{
\lr{ \gamma_\mu \wedge \gamma^\alpha }
F_{\nu\alpha}
+
\lr{ \gamma_\nu \wedge \gamma^\alpha }
F_{\alpha\mu}
} \\
&=
2 F^{\nu\mu}
\lr{ \gamma_\nu \wedge \gamma^\alpha }
F_{\mu\alpha}
+
2 F^{\mu\nu}
\lr{ \gamma_\nu \wedge \gamma^\alpha }
F_{\alpha\mu},
\end{aligned}
\end{equation}
which leaves us with
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:fsquared:180}
\gpgradetwo{ F^2 }
=
\lr{ \gamma_\nu \wedge \gamma^\alpha }
F^{\mu\nu}
F_{\alpha\mu}.
\end{equation}
I suspect that there must be an easier way to find this result.

We now have the complete coordinate expansion of \( F^2 \), separated by grade
\begin{equation}\label{eqn:fsquared:200}
F^2 =
-\inv{2}
F^{\mu\nu} F_{\mu\nu}
+
\lr{ \gamma_\nu \wedge \gamma^\alpha }
F^{\mu\nu}
F_{\alpha\mu}
+
\frac{I}{4}
\epsilon_{\mu\nu\alpha\beta} F^{\mu\nu} F^{\alpha\beta}.
\end{equation}
Tomorrow’s task is to start evaluating the Euler-Lagrange equations for this multivector Lagrangian density, and see what we get.

notes for phy450, relativistic electrodynamics, now available on paper from amazon.

March 4, 2019 math and physics play , , ,

My notes from the spring 2011 session of  Relativistic Electrodynamics (PHY450H1S) are now updated to use a 6×9″ format (387 pages), and are available on paper from amazon.  This was the second course I took as a non-degree physics student, and was taught by Prof. Erich Poppitz.

These notes pages, 6×9″) are available in a few formats:

  • In paper (black and white) through amazon’s kindle-direct-publishing for $11 USD.
  • In color, for free as a PDF.
  • from github as latex, scripts, and makefiles.

Links or instructions for the formats above are available here.

Changelog.

phy450.V0.1.9.pdf

  • switch to 6×9″ format
  • fix a whole bunch of too-wide equations, section-headings, … that kdp finds objectionable.
  • suppress page numbers for 1st page of preface, contents, index and bib. This is a hack for my hack of classicthesis, because I don’t have the 6×9 layout right, and the page numbers for that first page end up in an unprintable region that kdp doesn’t allow.
  • add periods to chapter, figure, section, problem captions.
  • remove lots of blank lines before and after equations (which latex turns into paragraphs). That cuts 10s of pages from the book length!
  • move version numbers into separate file (make.revision)

Geometric algebra notes collection split into two volumes

November 10, 2015 math and physics play , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve now split my (way too big) Exploring physics with Geometric Algebra into two volumes:

Each of these is now a much more manageable size, which should facilitate removing the redundancies in these notes, and making them more properly book like.

Also note I’ve also previously moved “Exploring Geometric Algebra” content related to:

  • Lagrangian’s
  • Hamiltonian’s
  • Noether’s theorem

into my classical mechanics collection (449 pages).

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