## Lorentz transformations in Space Time Algebra (STA)

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## Motivation.

One of the remarkable features of geometric algebra are the complex exponential sandwiches that can be used to encode rotations in any dimension, or rotation like operations like Lorentz transformations in Minkowski spaces. In this post, we show some examples that unpack the geometric algebra expressions for Lorentz transformations operations of this sort. In particular, we will look at the exponential sandwich operations for spatial rotations and Lorentz boosts in the Dirac algebra, known as Space Time Algebra (STA) in geometric algebra circles, and demonstrate that these sandwiches do have the desired effects.

## Theorem 1.1: Lorentz transformation.

The transformation
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:580}
x \rightarrow e^{B} x e^{-B} = x’,

where $$B = a \wedge b$$, is an STA 2-blade for any two linearly independent four-vectors $$a, b$$, is a norm preserving, that is
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:600}
x^2 = {x’}^2.

### Start proof:

The proof is disturbingly trivial in this geometric algebra form
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:40}
\begin{aligned}
{x’}^2
&=
e^{B} x e^{-B} e^{B} x e^{-B} \\
&=
e^{B} x x e^{-B} \\
&=
x^2 e^{B} e^{-B} \\
&=
x^2.
\end{aligned}

### End proof.

In particular, observe that we did not need to construct the usual infinitesimal representations of rotation and boost transformation matrices or tensors in order to demonstrate that we have spacetime invariance for the transformations. The rough idea of such a transformation is that the exponential commutes with components of the four-vector that lie off the spacetime plane specified by the bivector $$B$$, and anticommutes with components of the four-vector that lie in the plane. The end result is that the sandwich operation simplifies to
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:60}
x’ = x_\parallel e^{-B} + x_\perp,

where $$x = x_\perp + x_\parallel$$ and $$x_\perp \cdot B = 0$$, and $$x_\parallel \wedge B = 0$$. In particular, using $$x = x B B^{-1} = \lr{ x \cdot B + x \wedge B } B^{-1}$$, we find that
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:80}
\begin{aligned}
x_\parallel &= \lr{ x \cdot B } B^{-1} \\
x_\perp &= \lr{ x \wedge B } B^{-1}.
\end{aligned}

When $$B$$ is a spacetime plane $$B = b \wedge \gamma_0$$, then this exponential has a hyperbolic nature, and we end up with a Lorentz boost. When $$B$$ is a spatial bivector, we end up with a single complex exponential, encoding our plane old 3D rotation. More general $$B$$’s that encode composite boosts and rotations are also possible, but $$B$$ must be invertible (it should have no lightlike factors.) The rough geometry of these projections is illustrated in fig 1, where the spacetime plane is represented by $$B$$.

fig 1. Projection and rejection geometry.

What is not so obvious is how to pick $$B$$’s that correspond to specific rotation axes or boost directions. Let’s consider each of those cases in turn.

## Theorem 1.2: Boost.

The boost along a direction vector $$\vcap$$ and rapidity $$\alpha$$ is given by
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:620}
x’ = e^{-\vcap \alpha/2} x e^{\vcap \alpha/2},

where $$\vcap = \gamma_{k0} \cos\theta^k$$ is an STA bivector representing a spatial direction with direction cosines $$\cos\theta^k$$.

### Start proof:

We want to demonstrate that this is equivalent to the usual boost formulation. We can start with decomposition of the four-vector $$x$$ into components that lie in and off of the spacetime plane $$\vcap$$.
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:100}
\begin{aligned}
x
&= \lr{ x^0 + \Bx } \gamma_0 \\
&= \lr{ x^0 + \Bx \vcap^2 } \gamma_0 \\
&= \lr{ x^0 + \lr{ \Bx \cdot \vcap} \vcap + \lr{ \Bx \wedge \vcap} \vcap } \gamma_0,
\end{aligned}

where $$\Bx = x \wedge \gamma_0$$. The first two components lie in the boost plane, whereas the last is the spatial component of the vector that lies perpendicular to the boost plane. Observe that $$\vcap$$ anticommutes with the dot product term and commutes with he wedge product term, so we have
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:120}
\begin{aligned}
x’
&=
\lr{ x^0 + \lr{ \Bx \cdot \vcap } \vcap } \gamma_0
e^{\vcap \alpha/2 }
e^{\vcap \alpha/2 }
+
\lr{ \Bx \wedge \vcap } \vcap \gamma_0
e^{-\vcap \alpha/2 }
e^{\vcap \alpha/2 } \\
&=
\lr{ x^0 + \lr{ \Bx \cdot \vcap } \vcap } \gamma_0
e^{\vcap \alpha }
+
\lr{ \Bx \wedge \vcap } \vcap \gamma_0.
\end{aligned}

Noting that $$\vcap^2 = 1$$, we may expand the exponential in hyperbolic functions, and find that the boosted portion of the vector expands as
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:260}
\begin{aligned}
\lr{ x^0 + \lr{ \Bx \cdot \vcap} \vcap } \gamma_0 e^{\vcap \alpha}
&=
\lr{ x^0 + \lr{ \Bx \cdot \vcap} \vcap } \gamma_0 \lr{ \cosh\alpha + \vcap \sinh \alpha} \\
&=
\lr{ x^0 + \lr{ \Bx \cdot \vcap} \vcap } \lr{ \cosh\alpha – \vcap \sinh \alpha} \gamma_0 \\
&=
\lr{ x^0 \cosh\alpha – \lr{ \Bx \cdot \vcap} \sinh \alpha} \gamma_0
+
\lr{ -x^0 \sinh \alpha + \lr{ \Bx \cdot \vcap} \cosh \alpha } \vcap \gamma_0.
\end{aligned}

We are left with
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:320}
\begin{aligned}
x’
&=
\lr{ x^0 \cosh\alpha – \lr{ \Bx \cdot \vcap} \sinh \alpha} \gamma_0
+
\lr{ \lr{ \Bx \cdot \vcap} \cosh \alpha -x^0 \sinh \alpha } \vcap \gamma_0
+
\lr{ \Bx \wedge \vcap} \vcap \gamma_0 \\
&=
\begin{bmatrix}
\gamma_0 & \vcap \gamma_0
\end{bmatrix}
\begin{bmatrix}
\cosh\alpha & – \sinh\alpha \\
-\sinh\alpha & \cosh\alpha
\end{bmatrix}
\begin{bmatrix}
x^0 \\
\Bx \cdot \vcap
\end{bmatrix}
+
\lr{ \Bx \wedge \vcap} \vcap \gamma_0,
\end{aligned}

which has the desired Lorentz boost structure. Of course, this is usually seen with $$\vcap = \gamma_{10}$$ so that the components in the coordinate column vector are $$(ct, x)$$.

## Theorem 1.3: Spatial rotation.

Given two linearly independent spatial bivectors $$\Ba = a^k \gamma_{k0}, \Bb = b^k \gamma_{k0}$$, a rotation of $$\theta$$ radians in the plane of $$\Ba, \Bb$$ from $$\Ba$$ towards $$\Bb$$, is given by
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:640}
x’ = e^{-i\theta} x e^{i\theta},

where $$i = (\Ba \wedge \Bb)/\Abs{\Ba \wedge \Bb}$$, is a unit (spatial) bivector.

### Start proof:

Without loss of generality, we may pick $$i = \acap \bcap$$, where $$\acap^2 = \bcap^2 = 1$$, and $$\acap \cdot \bcap = 0$$. With such an orthonormal basis for the plane, we can decompose our four vector into portions that lie in and off the plane
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:400}
\begin{aligned}
x
&= \lr{ x^0 + \Bx } \gamma_0 \\
&= \lr{ x^0 + \Bx i i^{-1} } \gamma_0 \\
&= \lr{ x^0 + \lr{ \Bx \cdot i } i^{-1} + \lr{ \Bx \wedge i } i^{-1} } \gamma_0.
\end{aligned}

The projective term lies in the plane of rotation, whereas the timelike and spatial rejection term are perpendicular. That is
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:420}
\begin{aligned}
x_\parallel &= \lr{ \Bx \cdot i } i^{-1} \gamma_0 \\
x_\perp &= \lr{ x^0 + \lr{ \Bx \wedge i } i^{-1} } \gamma_0,
\end{aligned}

where $$x_\parallel \wedge i = 0$$, and $$x_\perp \cdot i = 0$$. The plane pseudoscalar $$i$$ anticommutes with $$x_\parallel$$, and commutes with $$x_\perp$$, so
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:440}
\begin{aligned}
x’
&= e^{-i\theta/2} \lr{ x_\parallel + x_\perp } e^{i\theta/2} \\
&= x_\parallel e^{i\theta} + x_\perp.
\end{aligned}

However
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:460}
\begin{aligned}
\lr{ \Bx \cdot i } i^{-1}
&=
\lr{ \Bx \cdot \lr{ \acap \wedge \bcap } } \bcap \acap \\
&=
\lr{\Bx \cdot \acap} \bcap \bcap \acap
-\lr{\Bx \cdot \bcap} \acap \bcap \acap \\
&=
\lr{\Bx \cdot \acap} \acap
+\lr{\Bx \cdot \bcap} \bcap,
\end{aligned}

so
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:480}
\begin{aligned}
x_\parallel e^{i\theta}
&=
\lr{
\lr{\Bx \cdot \acap} \acap
+
\lr{\Bx \cdot \bcap} \bcap
}
\gamma_0
\lr{
\cos\theta + \acap \bcap \sin\theta
} \\
&=
\acap \lr{
\lr{\Bx \cdot \acap} \cos\theta

\lr{\Bx \cdot \bcap} \sin\theta
}
\gamma_0
+
\bcap \lr{
\lr{\Bx \cdot \acap} \sin\theta
+
\lr{\Bx \cdot \bcap} \cos\theta
}
\gamma_0,
\end{aligned}

so
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:500}
x’
=
\begin{bmatrix}
\acap & \bcap
\end{bmatrix}
\begin{bmatrix}
\cos\theta & – \sin\theta \\
\sin\theta & \cos\theta
\end{bmatrix}
\begin{bmatrix}
\Bx \cdot \acap \\
\Bx \cdot \bcap \\
\end{bmatrix}
\gamma_0
+
\lr{ x \wedge i} i^{-1} \gamma_0.

Observe that this rejection term can be explicitly expanded to
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:520}
\lr{ \Bx \wedge i} i^{-1} \gamma_0 =
x –
\lr{ \Bx \cdot \acap } \acap \gamma_0

\lr{ \Bx \cdot \acap } \acap \gamma_0.

This is the timelike component of the vector, plus the spatial component that is normal to the plane. This exponential sandwich transformation rotates only the portion of the vector that lies in the plane, and leaves the rest (timelike and normal) untouched.

## Problem: Verify components relative to boost direction.

In the proof of thm. 1.2, the vector $$x$$ was expanded in terms of the spacetime split. An alternate approach, is to expand as
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:340}
\begin{aligned}
x
&= x \vcap^2 \\
&= \lr{ x \cdot \vcap + x \wedge \vcap } \vcap \\
&= \lr{ x \cdot \vcap } \vcap + \lr{ x \wedge \vcap } \vcap.
\end{aligned}

Show that
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:360}
\lr{ x \cdot \vcap } \vcap
=
\lr{ x^0 + \lr{ \Bx \cdot \vcap} \vcap } \gamma_0,

and
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:380}
\lr{ x \wedge \vcap } \vcap
=
\lr{ \Bx \wedge \vcap} \vcap \gamma_0.

## Answer

Let $$x = x^\mu \gamma_\mu$$, so that
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:160}
\begin{aligned}
x \cdot \vcap
&=
\gpgradeone{ x^\mu \gamma_\mu \cos\theta^b \gamma_{b 0} } \\
&=
x^\mu \cos\theta^b \gpgradeone{ \gamma_\mu \gamma_{b 0} }
.
\end{aligned}

The $$\mu = 0$$ component of this grade selection is
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:180}
\gpgradeone{ \gamma_0 \gamma_{b 0} }
=
-\gamma_b,

and for $$\mu = a \ne 0$$, we have
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:200}
\gpgradeone{ \gamma_a \gamma_{b 0} }
=
-\delta_{a b} \gamma_0,

so we have
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:220}
\begin{aligned}
x \cdot \vcap
&=
x^0 \cos\theta^b (-\gamma_b)
+
x^a \cos\theta^b (-\delta_{ab} \gamma_0 ) \\
&=
-x^0 \vcap \gamma_0

x^b \cos\theta^b \gamma_0 \\
&=
– \lr{ x^0 \vcap + \Bx \cdot \vcap } \gamma_0,
\end{aligned}

where $$\Bx = x \wedge \gamma_0$$ is the spatial portion of the four vector $$x$$ relative to the stationary observer frame. Since $$\vcap$$ anticommutes with $$\gamma_0$$, the component of $$x$$ in the spacetime plane $$\vcap$$ is
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:240}
\lr{ x \cdot \vcap } \vcap =
\lr{ x^0 + \lr{ \Bx \cdot \vcap} \vcap } \gamma_0,

as expected.

For the rejection term, we have
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:280}
x \wedge \vcap
=
x^\mu \cos\theta^s \gpgradethree{ \gamma_\mu \gamma_{s 0} }.

The $$\mu = 0$$ term clearly contributes nothing, leaving us with:
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:300}
\begin{aligned}
\lr{ x \wedge \vcap } \vcap
&=
\lr{ x \wedge \vcap } \cdot \vcap \\
&=
x^r \cos\theta^s \cos\theta^t \lr{ \lr{ \gamma_r \wedge \gamma_{s}} \gamma_0 } \cdot \lr{ \gamma_{t0} } \\
&=
x^r \cos\theta^s \cos\theta^t \gpgradeone{
\lr{ \gamma_r \wedge \gamma_{s} } \gamma_0 \gamma_{t0}
} \\
&=
-x^r \cos\theta^s \cos\theta^t \lr{ \gamma_r \wedge \gamma_{s}} \cdot \gamma_t \\
&=
-x^r \cos\theta^s \cos\theta^t \lr{ -\gamma_r \delta_{st} + \gamma_s \delta_{rt} } \\
&=
x^r \cos\theta^t \cos\theta^t \gamma_r

x^t \cos\theta^s \cos\theta^t \gamma_s \\
&=
\Bx \gamma_0
– (\Bx \cdot \vcap) \vcap \gamma_0 \\
&=
\lr{ \Bx \wedge \vcap} \vcap \gamma_0,
\end{aligned}

as expected. Is there a clever way to demonstrate this without resorting to coordinates?

## Problem: Rotation transformation components.

Given a unit spatial bivector $$i = \acap \bcap$$, where $$\acap \cdot \bcap = 0$$ and $$i^2 = -1$$, show that
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:540}
\lr{ x \cdot i } i^{-1}
=
\lr{ \Bx \cdot i } i^{-1} \gamma_0
=
\lr{\Bx \cdot \acap } \acap \gamma_0
+
\lr{\Bx \cdot \bcap } \bcap \gamma_0,

and
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:560}
\lr{ x \wedge i } i^{-1}
=
\lr{ \Bx \wedge i } i^{-1} \gamma_0
=
x –
\lr{\Bx \cdot \acap } \acap \gamma_0

\lr{\Bx \cdot \bcap } \bcap \gamma_0.

Also show that $$i$$ anticommutes with $$\lr{ x \cdot i } i^{-1}$$ and commutes with $$\lr{ x \wedge i } i^{-1}$$.

## Answer

This problem is left for the reader, as I don’t feel like typing out my solution.

The first part of this problem can be done in the tedious coordinate approach used above, but hopefully there is a better way.

For the last (commutation) part of the problem, here is a hint. Let $$x \wedge i = n i$$, where $$n \cdot i = 0$$. The result then follows easily.

## Potential solutions to the static Maxwell’s equation using geometric algebra

[Click here for a PDF of this post with nicer formatting]

When neither the electromagnetic field strength $$F = \BE + I \eta \BH$$, nor current $$J = \eta (c \rho – \BJ) + I(c\rho_m – \BM)$$ is a function of time, then the geometric algebra form of Maxwell’s equations is the first order multivector (gradient) equation
\label{eqn:staticPotentials:20}
\spacegrad F = J.

While direct solutions to this equations are possible with the multivector Green’s function for the gradient
\label{eqn:staticPotentials:40}
G(\Bx, \Bx’) = \inv{4\pi} \frac{\Bx – \Bx’}{\Norm{\Bx – \Bx’}^3 },

the aim in this post is to explore second order (potential) solutions in a geometric algebra context. Can we assume that it is possible to find a multivector potential $$A$$ for which
\label{eqn:staticPotentials:60}
F = \spacegrad A,

is a solution to the Maxwell statics equation? If such a solution exists, then Maxwell’s equation is simply
\label{eqn:staticPotentials:80}
\spacegrad^2 A = J,

which can be easily solved using the scalar Green’s function for the Laplacian
\label{eqn:staticPotentials:240}
G(\Bx, \Bx’) = -\inv{\Norm{\Bx – \Bx’} },

a beastie that may be easier to convolve than the vector valued Green’s function for the gradient.

It is immediately clear that some restrictions must be imposed on the multivector potential $$A$$. In particular, since the field $$F$$ has only vector and bivector grades, this gradient must have no scalar, nor pseudoscalar grades. That is
\label{eqn:staticPotentials:100}
\gpgrade{\spacegrad A}{0,3} = 0.

This constraint on the potential can be avoided if a grade selection operation is built directly into the assumed potential solution, requiring that the field is given by
\label{eqn:staticPotentials:120}
F = \gpgrade{\spacegrad A}{1,2}.

However, after imposing such a constraint, Maxwell’s equation has a much less friendly form
\label{eqn:staticPotentials:140}
\spacegrad^2 A – \spacegrad \gpgrade{\spacegrad A}{0,3} = J.

Luckily, it is possible to introduce a transformation of potentials, called a gauge transformation, that eliminates the ugly grade selection term, and allows the potential equation to be expressed as a plain old Laplacian. We do so by assuming first that it is possible to find a solution of the Laplacian equation that has the desired grade restrictions. That is
\label{eqn:staticPotentials:160}
\begin{aligned}
\spacegrad^2 A’ &= J \\
\gpgrade{\spacegrad A’}{0,3} &= 0,
\end{aligned}

for which $$F = \spacegrad A’$$ is a grade 1,2 solution to $$\spacegrad F = J$$. Suppose that $$A$$ is any formal solution, free of any grade restrictions, to $$\spacegrad^2 A = J$$, and $$F = \gpgrade{\spacegrad A}{1,2}$$. Can we find a function $$\tilde{A}$$ for which $$A = A’ + \tilde{A}$$?

Maxwell’s equation in terms of $$A$$ is
\label{eqn:staticPotentials:180}
\begin{aligned}
J
&= \spacegrad \gpgrade{\spacegrad A}{1,2} \\
&= \spacegrad^2 A
– \spacegrad \gpgrade{\spacegrad A}{0,3} \\
&= \spacegrad^2 (A’ + \tilde{A})
– \spacegrad \gpgrade{\spacegrad A}{0,3}
\end{aligned}

or
\label{eqn:staticPotentials:200}
\spacegrad^2 \tilde{A} = \spacegrad \gpgrade{\spacegrad A}{0,3}.

This non-homogeneous Laplacian equation that can be solved as is for $$\tilde{A}$$ using the Green’s function for the Laplacian. Alternatively, we may also solve the equivalent first order system using the Green’s function for the gradient.
\label{eqn:staticPotentials:220}
\spacegrad \tilde{A} = \gpgrade{\spacegrad A}{0,3}.

Clearly $$\tilde{A}$$ is not unique, as we can add any function $$\psi$$ satisfying the homogeneous Laplacian equation $$\spacegrad^2 \psi = 0$$.

In summary, if $$A$$ is any multivector solution to $$\spacegrad^2 A = J$$, that is
\label{eqn:staticPotentials:260}
A(\Bx)
= \int dV’ G(\Bx, \Bx’) J(\Bx’)
= -\int dV’ \frac{J(\Bx’)}{\Norm{\Bx – \Bx’} },

then $$F = \spacegrad A’$$ is a solution to Maxwell’s equation, where $$A’ = A – \tilde{A}$$, and $$\tilde{A}$$ is a solution to the non-homogeneous Laplacian equation or the non-homogeneous gradient equation above.

### Integral form of the gauge transformation.

Additional insight is possible by considering the gauge transformation in integral form. Suppose that
\label{eqn:staticPotentials:280}
A(\Bx) = -\int_V dV’ \frac{J(\Bx’)}{\Norm{\Bx – \Bx’} } – \tilde{A}(\Bx),

is a solution of $$\spacegrad^2 A = J$$, where $$\tilde{A}$$ is a multivector solution to the homogeneous Laplacian equation $$\spacegrad^2 \tilde{A} = 0$$. Let’s look at the constraints on $$\tilde{A}$$ that must be imposed for $$F = \spacegrad A$$ to be a valid (i.e. grade 1,2) solution of Maxwell’s equation.
\label{eqn:staticPotentials:300}
\begin{aligned}
F
&= \spacegrad A \\
&=
-\int_V dV’ \lr{ \spacegrad \inv{\Norm{\Bx – \Bx’} } } J(\Bx’)
– \spacegrad \tilde{A}(\Bx) \\
&=
\int_V dV’ \lr{ \spacegrad’ \inv{\Norm{\Bx – \Bx’} } } J(\Bx’)
– \spacegrad \tilde{A}(\Bx) \\
&=
\int_V dV’ \spacegrad’ \frac{J(\Bx’)}{\Norm{\Bx – \Bx’} } – \int_V dV’ \frac{\spacegrad’ J(\Bx’)}{\Norm{\Bx – \Bx’} }
– \spacegrad \tilde{A}(\Bx) \\
&=
\int_{\partial V} dA’ \ncap’ \frac{J(\Bx’)}{\Norm{\Bx – \Bx’} } – \int_V \frac{\spacegrad’ J(\Bx’)}{\Norm{\Bx – \Bx’} }
– \spacegrad \tilde{A}(\Bx).
\end{aligned}

Where $$\ncap’ = (\Bx’ – \Bx)/\Norm{\Bx’ – \Bx}$$, and the fundamental theorem of geometric calculus has been used to transform the gradient volume integral into an integral over the bounding surface. Operating on Maxwell’s equation with the gradient gives $$\spacegrad^2 F = \spacegrad J$$, which has only grades 1,2 on the left hand side, meaning that $$J$$ is constrained in a way that requires $$\spacegrad J$$ to have only grades 1,2. This means that $$F$$ has grades 1,2 if
\label{eqn:staticPotentials:320}
\spacegrad \tilde{A}(\Bx)
= \int_{\partial V} dA’ \frac{ \gpgrade{\ncap’ J(\Bx’)}{0,3} }{\Norm{\Bx – \Bx’} }.

The product $$\ncap J$$ expands to
\label{eqn:staticPotentials:340}
\begin{aligned}
\ncap J
&=
\gpgradezero{\ncap J_1} + \gpgradethree{\ncap J_2} \\
&=
\ncap \cdot (-\eta \BJ) + \gpgradethree{\ncap (-I \BM)} \\
&=- \eta \ncap \cdot \BJ -I \ncap \cdot \BM,
\end{aligned}

so
\label{eqn:staticPotentials:360}
\spacegrad \tilde{A}(\Bx)
=
-\int_{\partial V} dA’ \frac{ \eta \ncap’ \cdot \BJ(\Bx’) + I \ncap’ \cdot \BM(\Bx’)}{\Norm{\Bx – \Bx’} }.

Observe that if there is no flux of current density $$\BJ$$ and (fictitious) magnetic current density $$\BM$$ through the surface, then $$F = \spacegrad A$$ is a solution to Maxwell’s equation without any gauge transformation. Alternatively $$F = \spacegrad A$$ is also a solution if $$\lim_{\Bx’ \rightarrow \infty} \BJ(\Bx’)/\Norm{\Bx – \Bx’} = \lim_{\Bx’ \rightarrow \infty} \BM(\Bx’)/\Norm{\Bx – \Bx’} = 0$$ and the bounding volume is taken to infinity.

# References

## Generalizing Ampere’s law using geometric algebra.

The question I’d like to explore in this post is how Ampere’s law, the relationship between the line integral of the magnetic field to current (i.e. the enclosed current)
\label{eqn:flux:20}
\oint_{\partial A} d\Bx \cdot \BH = -\int_A \ncap \cdot \BJ,

generalizes to geometric algebra where Maxwell’s equations for a statics configuration (all time derivatives zero) is
\label{eqn:flux:40}
\spacegrad F = J,

where the multivector fields and currents are
\label{eqn:flux:60}
\begin{aligned}
F &= \BE + I \eta \BH \\
J &= \eta \lr{ c \rho – \BJ } + I \lr{ c \rho_\txtm – \BM }.
\end{aligned}

Here (fictitious) the magnetic charge and current densities that can be useful in antenna theory have been included in the multivector current for generality.

My presumption is that it should be possible to utilize the fundamental theorem of geometric calculus for expressing the integral over an oriented surface to its boundary, but applied directly to Maxwell’s equation. That integral theorem has the form
\label{eqn:flux:80}
\int_A d^2 \Bx \boldpartial F = \oint_{\partial A} d\Bx F,

where $$d^2 \Bx = d\Ba \wedge d\Bb$$ is a two parameter bivector valued surface, and $$\boldpartial$$ is vector derivative, the projection of the gradient onto the tangent space. I won’t try to explain all of geometric calculus here, and refer the interested reader to [1], which is an excellent reference on geometric calculus and integration theory.

The gotcha is that we actually want a surface integral with $$\spacegrad F$$. We can split the gradient into the vector derivative a normal component
\label{eqn:flux:160}
\spacegrad = \boldpartial + \ncap (\ncap \cdot \spacegrad),

so
\label{eqn:flux:100}
\int_A d^2 \Bx \spacegrad F
=
\int_A d^2 \Bx \boldpartial F
+
\int_A d^2 \Bx \ncap \lr{ \ncap \cdot \spacegrad } F,

so
\label{eqn:flux:120}
\begin{aligned}
\oint_{\partial A} d\Bx F
&=
\int_A d^2 \Bx \lr{ J – \ncap \lr{ \ncap \cdot \spacegrad } F } \\
&=
\int_A dA \lr{ I \ncap J – \lr{ \ncap \cdot \spacegrad } I F }
\end{aligned}

This is not nearly as nice as the magnetic flux relationship which was nicely split with the current and fields nicely separated. The $$d\Bx F$$ product has all possible grades, as does the $$d^2 \Bx J$$ product (in general). Observe however, that the normal term on the right has only grades 1,2, so we can split our line integral relations into pairs with and without grade 1,2 components
\label{eqn:flux:140}
\begin{aligned}
\oint_{\partial A} \gpgrade{d\Bx F}{0,3}
&=
\int_A dA \gpgrade{ I \ncap J }{0,3} \\
\oint_{\partial A} \gpgrade{d\Bx F}{1,2}
&=
\int_A dA \lr{ \gpgrade{ I \ncap J }{1,2} – \lr{ \ncap \cdot \spacegrad } I F }.
\end{aligned}

Let’s expand these explicitly in terms of the component fields and densities to check against the conventional relationships, and see if things look right. The line integrand expands to
\label{eqn:flux:180}
\begin{aligned}
d\Bx F
&=
d\Bx \lr{ \BE + I \eta \BH }
=
d\Bx \cdot \BE + I \eta d\Bx \cdot \BH
+
d\Bx \wedge \BE + I \eta d\Bx \wedge \BH \\
&=
d\Bx \cdot \BE
– \eta (d\Bx \cross \BH)
+ I (d\Bx \cross \BE )
+ I \eta (d\Bx \cdot \BH),
\end{aligned}

the current integrand expands to
\label{eqn:flux:200}
\begin{aligned}
I \ncap J
&=
I \ncap
\lr{
\frac{\rho}{\epsilon} – \eta \BJ + I \lr{ c \rho_\txtm – \BM }
} \\
&=
\ncap I \frac{\rho}{\epsilon} – \eta \ncap I \BJ – \ncap c \rho_\txtm + \ncap \BM \\
&=
\ncap \cdot \BM
+ \eta (\ncap \cross \BJ)
– \ncap c \rho_\txtm
+ I (\ncap \cross \BM)
+ \ncap I \frac{\rho}{\epsilon}
– \eta I (\ncap \cdot \BJ).
\end{aligned}

We are left with
\label{eqn:flux:220}
\begin{aligned}
\oint_{\partial A}
\lr{
d\Bx \cdot \BE + I \eta (d\Bx \cdot \BH)
}
&=
\int_A dA
\lr{
\ncap \cdot \BM – \eta I (\ncap \cdot \BJ)
} \\
\oint_{\partial A}
\lr{
– \eta (d\Bx \cross \BH)
+ I (d\Bx \cross \BE )
}
&=
\int_A dA
\lr{
\eta (\ncap \cross \BJ)
– \ncap c \rho_\txtm
+ I (\ncap \cross \BM)
+ \ncap I \frac{\rho}{\epsilon}
-\PD{n}{} \lr{ I \BE – \eta \BH }
}.
\end{aligned}

This is a crazy mess of dots, crosses, fields and sources. We can split it into one equation for each grade, which will probably look a little more regular. That is
\label{eqn:flux:240}
\begin{aligned}
\oint_{\partial A} d\Bx \cdot \BE &= \int_A dA \ncap \cdot \BM \\
\oint_{\partial A} d\Bx \cross \BH
&=
\int_A dA
\lr{
– \ncap \cross \BJ
+ \frac{ \ncap \rho_\txtm }{\mu}
– \PD{n}{\BH}
} \\
\oint_{\partial A} d\Bx \cross \BE &=
\int_A dA
\lr{
\ncap \cross \BM
+ \frac{\ncap \rho}{\epsilon}
– \PD{n}{\BE}
} \\
\oint_{\partial A} d\Bx \cdot \BH &= -\int_A dA \ncap \cdot \BJ \\
\end{aligned}

The first and last equations could have been obtained much more easily from Maxwell’s equations in their conventional form more easily. The two cross product equations with the normal derivatives are not familiar to me, even without the fictitious magnetic sources. It is somewhat remarkable that so much can be packed into one multivector equation:
\label{eqn:flux:260}
\oint_{\partial A} d\Bx F
=
I \int_A dA \lr{ \ncap J – \PD{n}{F} }.

# References

[1] A. Macdonald. Vector and Geometric Calculus. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2012.

## A comparison of Geometric Algebra electrodynamic potential methods

[Click here for a PDF of this post with nicer formatting]

## Motivation

Geometric algebra (GA) allows for a compact description of Maxwell’s equations in either an explicit 3D representation or a STA (SpaceTime Algebra [2]) representation. The 3D GA and STA representations Maxwell’s equation both the form

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:1280}
L \boldsymbol{\mathcal{F}} = J,

where $$J$$ represents the sources, $$L$$ is a multivector gradient operator that includes partial derivative operator components for each of the space and time coordinates, and

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:1020}
\boldsymbol{\mathcal{F}} = \boldsymbol{\mathcal{E}} + \eta I \boldsymbol{\mathcal{H}},

is an electromagnetic field multivector, $$I = \Be_1 \Be_2 \Be_3$$ is the \R{3} pseudoscalar, and $$\eta = \sqrt{\mu/\epsilon}$$ is the impedance of the media.

When Maxwell’s equations are extended to include magnetic sources in addition to conventional electric sources (as used in antenna-theory [1] and microwave engineering [3]), they take the form

\label{eqn:chapter3Notes:20}
\spacegrad \cross \boldsymbol{\mathcal{E}} = – \boldsymbol{\mathcal{M}} – \PD{t}{\boldsymbol{\mathcal{B}}}

\label{eqn:chapter3Notes:40}
\spacegrad \cross \boldsymbol{\mathcal{H}} = \boldsymbol{\mathcal{J}} + \PD{t}{\boldsymbol{\mathcal{D}}}

\label{eqn:chapter3Notes:60}
\spacegrad \cdot \boldsymbol{\mathcal{D}} = q_{\textrm{e}}

\label{eqn:chapter3Notes:80}
\spacegrad \cdot \boldsymbol{\mathcal{B}} = q_{\textrm{m}}.

The corresponding GA Maxwell equations in their respective 3D and STA forms are

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:300}
\lr{ \spacegrad + \inv{v} \PD{t}{} } \boldsymbol{\mathcal{F}}
=
\eta
\lr{ v q_{\textrm{e}} – \boldsymbol{\mathcal{J}} }
+ I \lr{ v q_{\textrm{m}} – \boldsymbol{\mathcal{M}} }

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:320}
\grad \boldsymbol{\mathcal{F}} = \eta J – I M,

where the wave group velocity in the medium is $$v = 1/\sqrt{\epsilon\mu}$$, and the medium is isotropic with
$$\boldsymbol{\mathcal{B}} = \mu \boldsymbol{\mathcal{H}}$$, and $$\boldsymbol{\mathcal{D}} = \epsilon \boldsymbol{\mathcal{E}}$$. In the STA representation, $$\grad, J, M$$ are all four-vectors, the specific meanings of which will be spelled out below.

How to determine the potential equations and the field representation using the conventional distinct Maxwell’s \ref{eqn:chapter3Notes:20}, … is well known. The basic procedure is to consider the electric and magnetic sources in turn, and observe that in each case one of the electric or magnetic fields must have a curl representation. The STA approach is similar, except that it can be observed that the field must have a four-curl representation for each type of source. In the explicit 3D GA formalism
\ref{eqn:potentialMethods:300} how to formulate a natural potential representation is not as obvious. There is no longer an reason to set any component of the field equal to a curl, and the representation of the four curl from the STA approach is awkward. Additionally, it is not obvious what form gauge invariance takes in the 3D GA representation.

### Ideas explored in these notes

• GA representation of Maxwell’s equations including magnetic sources.
• STA GA formalism for Maxwell’s equations including magnetic sources.
• Explicit form of the GA potential representation including both electric and magnetic sources.
• Demonstration of exactly how the 3D and STA potentials are related.
• Explore the structure of gauge transformations when magnetic sources are included.
• Explore the structure of gauge transformations in the 3D GA formalism.
• Specify the form of the Lorentz gauge in the 3D GA formalism.

## Traditional vector algebra

### No magnetic sources

When magnetic sources are omitted, it follows from \ref{eqn:chapter3Notes:80} that there is some $$\boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}}$$ for which

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:20}
\boxed{
\boldsymbol{\mathcal{B}} = \spacegrad \cross \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}},
}

Substitution into Faraday’s law \ref{eqn:chapter3Notes:20} gives

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:40}
\spacegrad \cross \boldsymbol{\mathcal{E}} = – \PD{t}{}\lr{ \spacegrad \cross \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}} },

or
\label{eqn:potentialMethods:60}
\spacegrad \cross \lr{ \boldsymbol{\mathcal{E}} + \PD{t}{ \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}} } } = 0.

A gradient representation of this curled quantity, say $$-\spacegrad \phi$$, will provide the required zero

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:80}
\boxed{
\boldsymbol{\mathcal{E}} = -\spacegrad \phi -\PD{t}{ \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}} }.
}

The final two Maxwell equations yield

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:100}
\begin{aligned}
-\spacegrad^2 \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}} + \spacegrad \lr{ \spacegrad \cdot \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}} } &= \mu \lr{ \boldsymbol{\mathcal{J}} + \epsilon \PD{t}{} \lr{ -\spacegrad \phi -\PD{t}{ \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}} } } } \\
\spacegrad \cdot \lr{ -\spacegrad \phi -\PD{t}{ \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}} } } &= q_e/\epsilon,
\end{aligned}

or
\label{eqn:potentialMethods:120}
\boxed{
\begin{aligned}
\spacegrad^2 \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}} – \inv{v^2} \PDSq{t}{ \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}} }
– \spacegrad \lr{
\inv{v^2} \PD{t}{\phi}
+\spacegrad \cdot \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}}
}
&= -\mu \boldsymbol{\mathcal{J}} \\
\spacegrad^2 \phi + \PD{t}{} \lr{ \spacegrad \cdot \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}} } &= -q_e/\epsilon.
\end{aligned}
}

Note that the Lorentz condition $$\PDi{t}{(\phi/v^2)} + \spacegrad \cdot \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}} = 0$$ can be imposed to decouple these, leaving non-homogeneous wave equations for the vector and scalar potentials respectively.

### No electric sources

Without electric sources, a curl representation of the electric field can be assumed, satisfying Gauss’s law

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:140}
\boxed{
\boldsymbol{\mathcal{D}} = – \spacegrad \cross \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}}.
}

Substitution into the Maxwell-Faraday law gives
\label{eqn:potentialMethods:160}
\spacegrad \cross \lr{ \boldsymbol{\mathcal{H}} + \PD{t}{\boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}}} } = 0.

This is satisfied with any gradient, say, $$-\spacegrad \phi_m$$, providing a potential representation for the magnetic field

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:180}
\boxed{
\boldsymbol{\mathcal{H}} = -\spacegrad \phi_m – \PD{t}{\boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}}}.
}

The remaining Maxwell equations provide the required constraints on the potentials

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:220}
-\spacegrad^2 \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}} + \spacegrad \lr{ \spacegrad \cdot \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}} } = -\epsilon
\lr{
-\boldsymbol{\mathcal{M}} – \mu \PD{t}{}
\lr{
-\spacegrad \phi_m – \PD{t}{\boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}}}
}
}

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:240}
\spacegrad \cdot
\lr{
-\spacegrad \phi_m – \PD{t}{\boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}}}
}
= \inv{\mu} q_m,

or
\label{eqn:potentialMethods:260}
\boxed{
\begin{aligned}
\spacegrad^2 \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}} – \inv{v^2} \PDSq{t}{\boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}}} – \spacegrad \lr{ \inv{v^2} \PD{t}{\phi_m} + \spacegrad \cdot \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}} } &= -\epsilon \boldsymbol{\mathcal{M}} \\
\spacegrad^2 \phi_m + \PD{t}{}\lr{ \spacegrad \cdot \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}} } &= -\inv{\mu} q_m.
\end{aligned}
}

The general solution to Maxwell’s equations is therefore
\label{eqn:potentialMethods:280}
\begin{aligned}
\boldsymbol{\mathcal{E}} &=
-\spacegrad \phi -\PD{t}{ \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}} }
– \inv{\epsilon} \spacegrad \cross \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}} \\
\boldsymbol{\mathcal{H}} &=
\inv{\mu} \spacegrad \cross \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}}
-\spacegrad \phi_m – \PD{t}{\boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}}},
\end{aligned}

subject to the constraints \ref{eqn:potentialMethods:120} and \ref{eqn:potentialMethods:260}.

### Potential operator structure

Knowing that there is a simple underlying structure to the potential representation of the electromagnetic field in the STA formalism inspires the question of whether that structure can be found directly using the scalar and vector potentials determined above.

Specifically, what is the multivector representation \ref{eqn:potentialMethods:1020} of the electromagnetic field in terms of all the individual potential variables, and can an underlying structure for that field representation be found? The composite field is

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:280b}
\boldsymbol{\mathcal{F}}
=
-\spacegrad \phi -\PD{t}{ \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}} }
– \inv{\epsilon} \spacegrad \cross \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}} \\
+ I \eta
\lr{
\inv{\mu} \spacegrad \cross \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}}
-\spacegrad \phi_m – \PD{t}{\boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}}}
}.

Can this be factored into into multivector operator and multivector potentials? Expanding the cross products provides some direction

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:1040}
\begin{aligned}
\boldsymbol{\mathcal{F}}
&=
– \PD{t}{ \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}} }
– \eta \PD{t}{I \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}}}
– \spacegrad \lr{ \phi – \eta I \phi_m } \\
&\quad + \frac{\eta}{2 \mu} \lr{ \rspacegrad \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}} – \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}} \lspacegrad }
+ \frac{1}{2 \epsilon} \lr{ \rspacegrad I \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}} – I \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}} \lspacegrad }.
\end{aligned}

Observe that the
gradient and the time partials can be grouped together

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:1060}
\begin{aligned}
\boldsymbol{\mathcal{F}}
&=
– \PD{t}{ } \lr{\boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}} + \eta I \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}}}
– \spacegrad \lr{ \phi + \eta I \phi_m }
+ \frac{v}{2} \lr{ \rspacegrad (\boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}} + I \eta \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}}) – (\boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}} + I \eta \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}}) \lspacegrad } \\
&=
\inv{2} \lr{
\lr{ \rspacegrad – \inv{v} {\stackrel{ \rightarrow }{\partial_t}} } \lr{ v \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}} + \eta v I \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}} }

\lr{ v \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}} + \eta v I \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}}} \lr{ \lspacegrad + \inv{v} {\stackrel{ \leftarrow }{\partial_t}} }
} \\
&+\quad \inv{2} \lr{
\lr{ \rspacegrad – \inv{v} {\stackrel{ \rightarrow }{\partial_t}} } \lr{ -\phi – \eta I \phi_m }
– \lr{ \phi + \eta I \phi_m } \lr{ \lspacegrad + \inv{v} {\stackrel{ \leftarrow }{\partial_t}} }
}
,
\end{aligned}

or

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:1080}
\boxed{
\boldsymbol{\mathcal{F}}
=
\inv{2} \Biglr{
\lr{ \rspacegrad – \inv{v} {\stackrel{ \rightarrow }{\partial_t}} }
\lr{
– \phi
+ v \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}}
+ \eta I v \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}}
– \eta I \phi_m
}

\lr{
\phi
+ v \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}}
+ \eta I v \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}}
+ \eta I \phi_m
}
\lr{ \lspacegrad + \inv{v} {\stackrel{ \leftarrow }{\partial_t}} }
}
.
}

There’s a conjugate structure to the potential on each side of the curl operation where we see a sign change for the scalar and pseudoscalar elements only. The reason for this becomes more clear in the STA formalism.

## Potentials in the STA formalism.

Maxwell’s equation in its explicit 3D form \ref{eqn:potentialMethods:300} can be
converted to STA form, by introducing a four-vector basis $$\setlr{ \gamma_\mu }$$, where the spatial basis
$$\setlr{ \Be_k = \gamma_k \gamma_0 }$$
is expressed in terms of the Dirac basis $$\setlr{ \gamma_\mu }$$.
By multiplying from the left with $$\gamma_0$$ a STA form of Maxwell’s equation
\ref{eqn:potentialMethods:320}
is obtained,
where
\label{eqn:potentialMethods:340}
\begin{aligned}
J &= \gamma^\mu J_\mu = ( v q_e, \boldsymbol{\mathcal{J}} ) \\
M &= \gamma^\mu M_\mu = ( v q_m, \boldsymbol{\mathcal{M}} ) \\
\grad &= \gamma^\mu \partial_\mu = ( (1/v) \partial_t, \spacegrad ) \\
I &= \gamma_0 \gamma_1 \gamma_2 \gamma_3,
\end{aligned}

Here the metric choice is $$\gamma_0^2 = 1 = -\gamma_k^2$$. Note that in this representation the electromagnetic field $$\boldsymbol{\mathcal{F}} = \boldsymbol{\mathcal{E}} + \eta I \boldsymbol{\mathcal{H}}$$ is a bivector, not a multivector as it is explicit (frame dependent) 3D representation of \ref{eqn:potentialMethods:300}.

A potential representation can be obtained as before by considering electric and magnetic sources in sequence and using superposition to assemble a complete potential.

### No magnetic sources

Without magnetic sources, Maxwell’s equation splits into vector and trivector terms of the form

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:380}
\grad \cdot \boldsymbol{\mathcal{F}} = \eta J

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:400}
\grad \wedge \boldsymbol{\mathcal{F}} = 0.

A four-vector curl representation of the field will satisfy \ref{eqn:potentialMethods:400} allowing an immediate potential solution

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:560}
\boxed{
\begin{aligned}
&\boldsymbol{\mathcal{F}} = \grad \wedge {A^{\mathrm{e}}} \\
&\grad^2 {A^{\mathrm{e}}} – \grad \lr{ \grad \cdot {A^{\mathrm{e}}} } = \eta J.
\end{aligned}
}

This can be put into correspondence with \ref{eqn:potentialMethods:120} by noting that

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:460}
\begin{aligned}
\grad^2 &= (\gamma^\mu \partial_\mu) \cdot (\gamma^\nu \partial_\nu) = \inv{v^2} \partial_{tt} – \spacegrad^2 \\
\gamma_0 {A^{\mathrm{e}}} &= \gamma_0 \gamma^\mu {A^{\mathrm{e}}}_\mu = {A^{\mathrm{e}}}_0 + \Be_k {A^{\mathrm{e}}}_k = {A^{\mathrm{e}}}_0 + \BA^{\mathrm{e}} \\
\gamma_0 \grad &= \gamma_0 \gamma^\mu \partial_\mu = \inv{v} \partial_t + \spacegrad \\
\grad \cdot {A^{\mathrm{e}}} &= \partial_\mu {A^{\mathrm{e}}}^\mu = \inv{v} \partial_t {A^{\mathrm{e}}}_0 – \spacegrad \cdot \BA^{\mathrm{e}},
\end{aligned}

so multiplying from the left with $$\gamma_0$$ gives

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:480}
\lr{ \inv{v^2} \partial_{tt} – \spacegrad^2 } \lr{ {A^{\mathrm{e}}}_0 + \BA^{\mathrm{e}} } – \lr{ \inv{v} \partial_t + \spacegrad }\lr{ \inv{v} \partial_t {A^{\mathrm{e}}}_0 – \spacegrad \cdot \BA^{\mathrm{e}} } = \eta( v q_e – \boldsymbol{\mathcal{J}} ),

or

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:520}
\lr{ \inv{v^2} \partial_{tt} – \spacegrad^2 } \BA^{\mathrm{e}} – \spacegrad \lr{ \inv{v} \partial_t {A^{\mathrm{e}}}_0 – \spacegrad \cdot \BA^{\mathrm{e}} } = -\eta \boldsymbol{\mathcal{J}}

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:540}
\spacegrad^2 {A^{\mathrm{e}}}_0 – \inv{v} \partial_t \lr{ \spacegrad \cdot \BA^{\mathrm{e}} } = -q_e/\epsilon.

So $${A^{\mathrm{e}}}_0 = \phi$$ and $$-\ifrac{\BA^{\mathrm{e}}}{v} = \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}}$$, or

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:600}
\boxed{
{A^{\mathrm{e}}} = \gamma_0\lr{ \phi – v \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}} }.
}

### No electric sources

Without electric sources, Maxwell’s equation now splits into

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:640}
\grad \cdot \boldsymbol{\mathcal{F}} = 0

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:660}
\grad \wedge \boldsymbol{\mathcal{F}} = -I M.

Here the dual of an STA curl yields a solution

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:680}
\boxed{
\boldsymbol{\mathcal{F}} = I ( \grad \wedge {A^{\mathrm{m}}} ).
}

Substituting this gives

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:720}
\begin{aligned}
0
&=
\grad \cdot (I ( \grad \wedge {A^{\mathrm{m}}} ) ) \\
&=
\gpgradeone{ \grad I ( \grad \wedge {A^{\mathrm{m}}} ) } \\
&=
-I \grad \wedge ( \grad \wedge {A^{\mathrm{m}}} ).
\end{aligned}

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:740}
\begin{aligned}
-I M
&=
\grad \wedge (I ( \grad \wedge {A^{\mathrm{m}}} ) ) \\
&=
\gpgradethree{ \grad I ( \grad \wedge {A^{\mathrm{m}}} ) } \\
&=
-I \grad \cdot ( \grad \wedge {A^{\mathrm{m}}} ).
\end{aligned}

The $$\grad \cdot \boldsymbol{\mathcal{F}}$$ relation \ref{eqn:potentialMethods:720} is identically zero as desired, leaving

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:760}
\boxed{
\grad^2 {A^{\mathrm{m}}} – \grad \lr{ \grad \cdot {A^{\mathrm{m}}} }
=
M.
}

So the general solution with both electric and magnetic sources is

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:800}
\boxed{
\boldsymbol{\mathcal{F}} = \grad \wedge {A^{\mathrm{e}}} + I (\grad \wedge {A^{\mathrm{m}}}),
}

subject to the constraints of \ref{eqn:potentialMethods:560} and \ref{eqn:potentialMethods:760}. As before the four-potential $${A^{\mathrm{m}}}$$ can be put into correspondence with the conventional scalar and vector potentials by left multiplying with $$\gamma_0$$, which gives

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:820}
\lr{ \inv{v^2} \partial_{tt} – \spacegrad^2 } \lr{ {A^{\mathrm{m}}}_0 + \BA^{\mathrm{m}} } – \lr{ \inv{v} \partial_t + \spacegrad }\lr{ \inv{v} \partial_t {A^{\mathrm{m}}}_0 – \spacegrad \cdot \BA^{\mathrm{m}} } = v q_m – \boldsymbol{\mathcal{M}},

or
\label{eqn:potentialMethods:860}
\lr{ \inv{v^2} \partial_{tt} – \spacegrad^2 } \BA^{\mathrm{m}} – \spacegrad \lr{ \inv{v} \partial_t {A^{\mathrm{m}}}_0 – \spacegrad \cdot \BA^{\mathrm{m}} } = – \boldsymbol{\mathcal{M}}

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:880}
\spacegrad^2 {A^{\mathrm{m}}}_0 – \inv{v} \partial_t \spacegrad \cdot \BA^{\mathrm{m}} = -v q_m.

Comparing with \ref{eqn:potentialMethods:260} shows that $${A^{\mathrm{m}}}_0/v = \mu \phi_m$$ and $$-\ifrac{\BA^{\mathrm{m}}}{v^2} = \mu \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}}$$, or

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:900}
\boxed{
{A^{\mathrm{m}}} = \gamma_0 \eta \lr{ \phi_m – v \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}} }.
}

### Potential operator structure

Observe that there is an underlying uniform structure of the differential operator that acts on the potential to produce the electromagnetic field. Expressed as a linear operator of the
gradient and the potentials, that is

$$\boldsymbol{\mathcal{F}} = L(\lrgrad, {A^{\mathrm{e}}}, {A^{\mathrm{m}}})$$

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:980}
\begin{aligned}
\boldsymbol{\mathcal{F}}
&=
L(\grad, {A^{\mathrm{e}}}, {A^{\mathrm{m}}}) \\
&= \grad \wedge {A^{\mathrm{e}}} + I (\grad \wedge {A^{\mathrm{m}}}) \\
&=
\inv{2} \lr{ \rgrad {A^{\mathrm{e}}} – {A^{\mathrm{e}}} \lgrad }
+ \frac{I}{2} \lr{ \rgrad {A^{\mathrm{m}}} – {A^{\mathrm{m}}} \lgrad } \\
&=
\inv{2} \lr{ \rgrad {A^{\mathrm{e}}} – {A^{\mathrm{e}}} \lgrad }
+ \frac{1}{2} \lr{ -\rgrad I {A^{\mathrm{m}}} – I {A^{\mathrm{m}}} \lgrad } \\
&=
\inv{2} \lr{ \rgrad ({A^{\mathrm{e}}} -I {A^{\mathrm{m}}}) – ({A^{\mathrm{e}}} + I {A^{\mathrm{m}}}) \lgrad }
,
\end{aligned}

or
\label{eqn:potentialMethods:1000}
\boxed{
\boldsymbol{\mathcal{F}}
=
\inv{2} \lr{ \rgrad ({A^{\mathrm{e}}} -I {A^{\mathrm{m}}}) – ({A^{\mathrm{e}}} – I {A^{\mathrm{m}}})^\dagger \lgrad }
.
}

Observe that \ref{eqn:potentialMethods:1000} can be
put into correspondence with \ref{eqn:potentialMethods:1080} using a factoring of unity $$1 = \gamma_0 \gamma_0$$

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:1100}
\boldsymbol{\mathcal{F}}
=
\inv{2} \lr{ (-\rgrad \gamma_0) (-\gamma_0 ({A^{\mathrm{e}}} -I {A^{\mathrm{m}}})) – (({A^{\mathrm{e}}} + I {A^{\mathrm{m}}}) \gamma_0)(\gamma_0 \lgrad) },

where

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:1140}
\begin{aligned}
-\grad \gamma_0
&=
-(\gamma^0 \partial_0 + \gamma^k \partial_k) \gamma_0 \\
&=
-\partial_0 – \gamma^k \gamma_0 \partial_k \\
&=
\spacegrad
-\inv{v} \partial_t
,
\end{aligned}

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:1160}
\begin{aligned}
\gamma_0 \grad
&=
\gamma_0 (\gamma^0 \partial_0 + \gamma^k \partial_k) \\
&=
\partial_0 – \gamma^k \gamma_0 \partial_k \\
&=
\spacegrad
+ \inv{v} \partial_t
,
\end{aligned}

and
\label{eqn:potentialMethods:1200}
\begin{aligned}
-\gamma_0 ( {A^{\mathrm{e}}} – I {A^{\mathrm{m}}} )
&=
-\gamma_0 \gamma_0 \lr{ \phi -v \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}} + \eta I \lr{ \phi_m – v \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}} } } \\
&=
-\lr{ \phi -v \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}} + \eta I \phi_m – \eta v I \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}} } \\
&=
– \phi
+ v \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}}
+ \eta v I \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}}
– \eta I \phi_m
\end{aligned}

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:1220}
\begin{aligned}
( {A^{\mathrm{e}}} + I {A^{\mathrm{m}}} )\gamma_0
&=
\lr{ \gamma_0 \lr{ \phi -v \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}} } + I \gamma_0 \eta \lr{ \phi_m – v \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}} } } \gamma_0 \\
&=
\phi + v \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}} + I \eta \phi_m + I \eta v \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}} \\
&=
\phi
+ v \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}}
+ \eta v I \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}}
+ \eta I \phi_m
,
\end{aligned}

This recovers \ref{eqn:potentialMethods:1080} as desired.

## Potentials in the 3D Euclidean formalism

In the conventional scalar plus vector differential representation of Maxwell’s equations \ref{eqn:chapter3Notes:20}…, given electric(magnetic) sources the structure of the electric(magnetic) potential follows from first setting the magnetic(electric) field equal to the curl of a vector potential. The procedure for the STA GA form of Maxwell’s equation was similar, where it was immediately evident that the field could be set to the four-curl of a four-vector potential (or the dual of such a curl for magnetic sources).

In the 3D GA representation, there is no immediate rationale for introducing a curl or the equivalent to a four-curl representation of the field. Reconciliation of this is possible by recognizing that the fact that the field (or a component of it) may be represented by a curl is not actually fundamental. Instead, observe that the two sided gradient action on a potential to generate the electromagnetic field in the STA representation of \ref{eqn:potentialMethods:1000} serves to select the grade two component product of the gradient and the multivector potential $${A^{\mathrm{e}}} – I {A^{\mathrm{m}}}$$, and that this can in fact be written as
a single sided gradient operation on a potential, provided the multivector product is filtered with a four-bivector grade selection operation

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:1240}
\boxed{
\boldsymbol{\mathcal{F}} = \gpgradetwo{ \grad \lr{ {A^{\mathrm{e}}} – I {A^{\mathrm{m}}} } }.
}

Similarly, it can be observed that the
specific function of the conjugate structure in the two sided potential representation of
\ref{eqn:potentialMethods:1080}
is to discard all the scalar and pseudoscalar grades in the multivector product. This means that a single sided potential can also be used, provided it is wrapped in a grade selection operation

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:1260}
\boxed{
\boldsymbol{\mathcal{F}} =
\gpgrade{ \lr{ \spacegrad – \inv{v} \PD{t}{} }
\lr{
– \phi
+ v \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}}
+ \eta I v \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}}
– \eta I \phi_m
} }{1,2}.
}

It is this grade selection operation that is really the fundamental defining action in the potential of the STA and conventional 3D representations of Maxwell’s equations. So, given Maxwell’s equation in the 3D GA representation, defining a potential representation for the field is really just a demand that the field have the structure

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:1320}
\boldsymbol{\mathcal{F}} = \gpgrade{ (\alpha \spacegrad + \beta \partial_t)( A_0 + A_1 + I( A_0′ + A_1′ ) }{1,2}.

This is a mandate that the electromagnetic field is the grades 1 and 2 components of the vector product of space and time derivative operators on a multivector field $$A = \sum_{k=0}^3 A_k = A_0 + A_1 + I( A_0′ + A_1′ )$$ that can potentially have any grade components. There are more degrees of freedom in this specification than required, since the multivector can absorb one of the $$\alpha$$ or $$\beta$$ coefficients, so without loss of generality, one of these (say $$\alpha$$) can be set to 1.

Expanding \ref{eqn:potentialMethods:1320} gives

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:1340}
\begin{aligned}
\boldsymbol{\mathcal{F}}
&=
\spacegrad A_0
+ \beta \partial_t A_1
– \spacegrad \cross A_1′
+ I (\spacegrad \cross A_1
+ \beta \partial_t A_1′
+ \spacegrad A_0′) \\
&=
\boldsymbol{\mathcal{E}} + I \eta \boldsymbol{\mathcal{H}}.
\end{aligned}

This naturally has all the right mixes of curls, gradients and time derivatives, all following as direct consequences of applying a grade selection operation to the action of a “spacetime gradient” on a general multivector potential.

The conclusion is that the potential representation of the field is

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:1360}
\boldsymbol{\mathcal{F}} =
\gpgrade{ \lr{ \spacegrad – \inv{v} \PD{t}{} } A }{1,2},

where $$A$$ is a multivector potentially containing all grades, where grades 0,1 are required for electric sources, and grades 2,3 are required for magnetic sources. When it is desirable to refer back to the conventional scalar and vector potentials this multivector potential can be written as $$A = -\phi + v \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}} + \eta I \lr{ -\phi_m + v \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}} }$$.

## Gauge transformations

Recall that for electric sources the magnetic field is of the form

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:1380}
\boldsymbol{\mathcal{B}} = \spacegrad \cross \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}},

so adding the gradient of any scalar field to the potential $$\boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}’ = \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}} + \spacegrad \psi$$
does not change the magnetic field

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:1400}
\begin{aligned}
\boldsymbol{\mathcal{B}}’
&= \spacegrad \cross \lr{ \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}} + \spacegrad \psi } \\
&= \spacegrad \cross \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}} \\
&= \boldsymbol{\mathcal{B}}.
\end{aligned}

The electric field with this changed potential is

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:1420}
\begin{aligned}
\boldsymbol{\mathcal{E}}’
&= -\spacegrad \phi – \partial_t \lr{ \BA + \spacegrad \psi} \\
&= -\spacegrad \lr{ \phi + \partial_t \psi } – \partial_t \BA,
\end{aligned}

so if
\label{eqn:potentialMethods:1440}
\phi = \phi’ – \partial_t \psi,

the electric field will also be unaltered by this transformation.

In the STA representation, the field can similarly be altered by adding any (four)gradient to the potential. For example with only electric sources

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:1460}
\boldsymbol{\mathcal{F}} = \grad \wedge (A + \grad \psi) = \grad \wedge A

and for electric or magnetic sources

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:1480}
\boldsymbol{\mathcal{F}} = \gpgradetwo{ \grad (A + \grad \psi) } = \gpgradetwo{ \grad A }.

In the 3D GA representation, where the field is given by \ref{eqn:potentialMethods:1360}, there is no field that is being curled to add a gradient to. However, if the scalar and vector potentials transform as

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:1500}
\begin{aligned}
\boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}} &\rightarrow \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}} + \spacegrad \psi \\
\phi &\rightarrow \phi – \partial_t \psi,
\end{aligned}

then the multivector potential transforms as
\label{eqn:potentialMethods:1520}
-\phi + v \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}
\rightarrow -\phi + v \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}} + \partial_t \psi + v \spacegrad \psi,

so the electromagnetic field is unchanged when the multivector potential is transformed as

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:1540}
A \rightarrow A + \lr{ \spacegrad + \inv{v} \partial_t } \psi,

where $$\psi$$ is any field that has scalar or pseudoscalar grades. Viewed in terms of grade selection, this makes perfect sense, since the transformed field is

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:1560}
\begin{aligned}
\boldsymbol{\mathcal{F}}
&\rightarrow
\gpgrade{ \lr{ \spacegrad – \inv{v} \PD{t}{} } \lr{ A + \lr{ \spacegrad + \inv{v} \partial_t } \psi } }{1,2} \\
&=
\gpgrade{ \lr{ \spacegrad – \inv{v} \PD{t}{} } A + \lr{ \spacegrad^2 – \inv{v^2} \partial_{tt} } \psi }{1,2} \\
&=
\gpgrade{ \lr{ \spacegrad – \inv{v} \PD{t}{} } A }{1,2}.
\end{aligned}

The $$\psi$$ contribution to the grade selection operator is killed because it has scalar or pseudoscalar grades.

## Lorenz gauge

Maxwell’s equations are completely decoupled if the potential can be found such that

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:1580}
\begin{aligned}
\boldsymbol{\mathcal{F}}
&=
\gpgrade{ \lr{ \spacegrad – \inv{v} \PD{t}{} } A }{1,2} \\
&=
\lr{ \spacegrad – \inv{v} \PD{t}{} } A.
\end{aligned}

When this is the case, Maxwell’s equations are reduced to four non-homogeneous potential wave equations

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:1620}
\lr{ \spacegrad^2 – \inv{v^2} \PDSq{t}{} } A = J,

that is

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:1600}
\begin{aligned}
\lr{ \spacegrad^2 – \inv{v^2} \PDSq{t}{} } \phi &= – \inv{\epsilon} q_e \\
\lr{ \spacegrad^2 – \inv{v^2} \PDSq{t}{} } \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}} &= – \mu \boldsymbol{\mathcal{J}} \\
\lr{ \spacegrad^2 – \inv{v^2} \PDSq{t}{} } \phi_m &= – \frac{I}{\mu} q_m \\
\lr{ \spacegrad^2 – \inv{v^2} \PDSq{t}{} } \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}} &= – I \epsilon \boldsymbol{\mathcal{M}}.
\end{aligned}

There should be no a-priori assumption that such a field representation has no scalar, nor no pseudoscalar components. That explicit expansion in grades is

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:1640}
\begin{aligned}
\lr{ \spacegrad – \inv{v} \PD{t}{} } A
&=
\lr{ \spacegrad – \inv{v} \PD{t}{} } \lr{ -\phi + v \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}} + \eta I \lr{ -\phi_m + v \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}} } } \\
&=
\inv{v} \partial_t \phi
+ v \spacegrad \cdot \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}} \\
&-\spacegrad \phi
+ I \eta v \spacegrad \wedge \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}}
– \partial_t \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}} \\
&+ v \spacegrad \wedge \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}}
– \eta I \spacegrad \phi_m
– I \eta \partial_t \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}} \\
&+ \eta I \inv{v} \partial_t \phi_m
+ I \eta v \spacegrad \cdot \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}},
\end{aligned}

so if this potential representation has only vector and bivector grades, it must be true that

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:1660}
\begin{aligned}
\inv{v} \partial_t \phi + v \spacegrad \cdot \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}} &= 0 \\
\inv{v} \partial_t \phi_m + v \spacegrad \cdot \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{m}} &= 0.
\end{aligned}

The first is the well known Lorenz gauge condition, whereas the second is the dual of that condition for magnetic sources.

Should one of these conditions, say the Lorenz condition for the electric source potentials, be non-zero, then it is possible to make a potential transformation for which this condition is zero

\label{eqn:potentialMethods:1680}
\begin{aligned}
0
&\ne
\inv{v} \partial_t \phi + v \spacegrad \cdot \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}} \\
&=
\inv{v} \partial_t (\phi’ – \partial_t \psi) + v \spacegrad \cdot (\boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}’ + \spacegrad \psi) \\
&=
\inv{v} \partial_t \phi’ + v \spacegrad \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}’
+ v \lr{ \spacegrad^2 – \inv{v^2} \partial_{tt} } \psi,
\end{aligned}

so if $$\inv{v} \partial_t \phi’ + v \spacegrad \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}’$$ is zero, $$\psi$$ must be found such that
\label{eqn:potentialMethods:1700}
\inv{v} \partial_t \phi + v \spacegrad \cdot \boldsymbol{\mathcal{A}}^{\mathrm{e}}
= v \lr{ \spacegrad^2 – \inv{v^2} \partial_{tt} } \psi.

# References

[1] Constantine A Balanis. Antenna theory: analysis and design. John Wiley \& Sons, 3rd edition, 2005.

[2] C. Doran and A.N. Lasenby. Geometric algebra for physicists. Cambridge University Press New York, Cambridge, UK, 1st edition, 2003.

[3] David M Pozar. Microwave engineering. John Wiley \& Sons, 2009.

## Does the divergence and curl uniquely determine the vector?

[Click here for a PDF of this post with nicer formatting]

A problem posed in the ece1228 problem set was the following

### Helmholtz theorem.

Prove the first Helmholtz’s theorem, i.e. if vector $$\BM$$ is defined by its divergence

\label{eqn:emtProblemSet1Problem5:20}
\spacegrad \cdot \BM = s

and its curl
\label{eqn:emtProblemSet1Problem5:40}
\spacegrad \cross \BM = \BC

within a region and its normal component $$\BM_{\textrm{n}}$$ over the boundary, then $$\BM$$ is uniquely specified.

### Solution.

This problem screams for an attempt using Geometric Algebra techniques, since
the gradient of this vector can be written as a single even grade multivector

\label{eqn:emtProblemSet1Problem5AppendixGA:60}
\begin{aligned}
\spacegrad \BM
&= \spacegrad \cdot \BM + I \spacegrad \cross \BM \\
&= s + I \BC.
\end{aligned}

Observe that the Laplacian of $$\BM$$ is vector valued

\label{eqn:emtProblemSet1Problem5AppendixGA:400}
\spacegrad^2 \BM
= \spacegrad s + I \spacegrad \BC.

This means that $$\spacegrad \BC$$ must be a bivector $$\spacegrad \BC = \spacegrad \wedge \BC$$, or that $$\BC$$ has zero divergence

\label{eqn:emtProblemSet1Problem5AppendixGA:420}
\spacegrad \cdot \BC = 0.

This required constraint on $$\BC$$ will show up in subsequent analysis. An equivalent problem to the one posed
is to show that the even grade multivector equation $$\spacegrad \BM = s + I \BC$$ has an inverse given the constraint
specified by \ref{eqn:emtProblemSet1Problem5AppendixGA:420}.

### Inverting the gradient equation.

The Green’s function for the gradient can be found in [1], where it is used to generalize the Cauchy integral equations to higher dimensions.

\label{eqn:emtProblemSet1Problem5AppendixGA:80}
\begin{aligned}
G(\Bx ; \Bx’) &= \inv{4 \pi} \frac{ \Bx – \Bx’ }{\Abs{\Bx – \Bx’}^3} \\
\spacegrad \BG(\Bx, \Bx’) &= \spacegrad \cdot \BG(\Bx, \Bx’) = \delta(\Bx – \Bx’) = -\spacegrad’ \BG(\Bx, \Bx’).
\end{aligned}

The inversion equation is an application of the Fundamental Theorem of (Geometric) Calculus, with the gradient operating bidirectionally on the Green’s function and the vector function

\label{eqn:emtProblemSet1Problem5AppendixGA:100}
\begin{aligned}
\oint_{\partial V} G(\Bx, \Bx’) d^2 \Bx’ \BM(\Bx’)
&=
\int_V G(\Bx, \Bx’) d^3 \Bx \lrspacegrad’ \BM(\Bx’) \\
&=
\int_V d^3 \Bx (G(\Bx, \Bx’) \lspacegrad’) \BM(\Bx’)
+
\int_V d^3 \Bx G(\Bx, \Bx’) (\spacegrad’ \BM(\Bx’)) \\
&=
-\int_V d^3 \Bx \delta(\Bx – \By) \BM(\Bx’)
+
\int_V d^3 \Bx G(\Bx, \Bx’) \lr{ s(\Bx’) + I \BC(\Bx’) } \\
&=
-I \BM(\Bx)
+
\inv{4 \pi} \int_V d^3 \Bx \frac{ \Bx – \Bx’}{ \Abs{\Bx – \Bx’}^3 } \lr{ s(\Bx’) + I \BC(\Bx’) }.
\end{aligned}

The integrals are in terms of the primed coordinates so that the end result is a function of $$\Bx$$. To rearrange for $$\BM$$, let $$d^3 \Bx’ = I dV’$$, and $$d^2 \Bx’ \ncap(\Bx’) = I dA’$$, then right multiply with the pseudoscalar $$I$$, noting that in \R{3} the pseudoscalar commutes with any grades

\label{eqn:emtProblemSet1Problem5AppendixGA:440}
\begin{aligned}
\BM(\Bx)
&=
I \oint_{\partial V} G(\Bx, \Bx’) I dA’ \ncap \BM(\Bx’)

I \inv{4 \pi} \int_V I dV’ \frac{ \Bx – \Bx’}{ \Abs{\Bx – \Bx’}^3 } \lr{ s(\Bx’) + I \BC(\Bx’) } \\
&=
-\oint_{\partial V} dA’ G(\Bx, \Bx’) \ncap \BM(\Bx’)
+
\inv{4 \pi} \int_V dV’ \frac{ \Bx – \Bx’}{ \Abs{\Bx – \Bx’}^3 } \lr{ s(\Bx’) + I \BC(\Bx’) }.
\end{aligned}

This can be decomposed into a vector and a trivector equation. Let $$\Br = \Bx – \Bx’ = r \rcap$$, and note that

\label{eqn:emtProblemSet1Problem5AppendixGA:500}
\begin{aligned}
\gpgradeone{ \rcap I \BC }
&=
\gpgradeone{ I \rcap \BC } \\
&=
I \rcap \wedge \BC \\
&=
-\rcap \cross \BC,
\end{aligned}

so this pair of equations can be written as

\label{eqn:emtProblemSet1Problem5AppendixGA:520}
\begin{aligned}
\BM(\Bx)
&=
-\inv{4 \pi} \oint_{\partial V} dA’ \frac{\gpgradeone{ \rcap \ncap \BM(\Bx’) }}{r^2}
+
\inv{4 \pi} \int_V dV’ \lr{
\frac{\rcap}{r^2} s(\Bx’) –
\frac{\rcap}{r^2} \cross \BC(\Bx’) } \\
0
&=
-\inv{4 \pi} \oint_{\partial V} dA’ \frac{\rcap}{r^2} \wedge \ncap \wedge \BM(\Bx’)
+
\frac{I}{4 \pi} \int_V dV’ \frac{ \rcap \cdot \BC(\Bx’) }{r^2}.
\end{aligned}

### Trivector grades.

Consider the last integral in the pseudoscalar equation above. Since we expect no pseudoscalar components, this must be zero, or cancel perfectly. It’s not obvious that this is the case, but a transformation to a surface integral shows the constraints required for that to be the case. To do so note

\label{eqn:emtProblemSet1Problem5AppendixGA:540}
\begin{aligned}
\spacegrad \inv{\Bx – \Bx’}
&= -\spacegrad’ \inv{\Bx – \Bx’} \\
&=
-\frac{\Bx – \Bx’}{\Abs{\Bx – \Bx’}^3} \\
&= -\frac{\rcap}{r^2}.
\end{aligned}

Using this and the chain rule we have

\label{eqn:emtProblemSet1Problem5AppendixGA:560}
\begin{aligned}
\frac{I}{4 \pi} \int_V dV’ \frac{ \rcap \cdot \BC(\Bx’) }{r^2}
&=
\frac{I}{4 \pi} \int_V dV’ \lr{ \spacegrad’ \inv{ r } } \cdot \BC(\Bx’) \\
&=
\frac{I}{4 \pi} \int_V dV’ \spacegrad’ \cdot \frac{\BC(\Bx’)}{r}

\frac{I}{4 \pi} \int_V dV’ \frac{ \spacegrad’ \cdot \BC(\Bx’) }{r} \\
&=
\frac{I}{4 \pi} \int_V dV’ \spacegrad’ \cdot \frac{\BC(\Bx’)}{r} \\
&=
\frac{I}{4 \pi} \int_{\partial V} dA’ \ncap(\Bx’) \cdot \frac{\BC(\Bx’)}{r}.
\end{aligned}

The divergence of $$\BC$$ above was killed by recalling the constraint \ref{eqn:emtProblemSet1Problem5AppendixGA:420}. This means that we can rewrite entirely as surface integral and eventually reduced to a single triple product

\label{eqn:emtProblemSet1Problem5AppendixGA:580}
\begin{aligned}
0
&=
-\frac{I}{4 \pi} \oint_{\partial V} dA’ \lr{
\frac{\rcap}{r^2} \cdot (\ncap \cross \BM(\Bx’))
-\ncap \cdot \frac{\BC(\Bx’)}{r}
} \\
&=
\frac{I}{4 \pi} \oint_{\partial V} dA’ \ncap \cdot \lr{
\frac{\rcap}{r^2} \cross \BM(\Bx’)
+ \frac{\BC(\Bx’)}{r}
} \\
&=
\frac{I}{4 \pi} \oint_{\partial V} dA’ \ncap \cdot \lr{
\lr{ \spacegrad’ \inv{r}} \cross \BM(\Bx’)
+ \frac{\BC(\Bx’)}{r}
} \\
&=
\frac{I}{4 \pi} \oint_{\partial V} dA’ \ncap \cdot \lr{
\spacegrad’ \cross \frac{\BM(\Bx’)}{r}
} \\
&=
\frac{I}{4 \pi} \oint_{\partial V} dA’
\spacegrad’ \cdot
\frac{\BM(\Bx’) \cross \ncap}{r}
&=
\frac{I}{4 \pi} \oint_{\partial V} dA’
\spacegrad’ \cdot
\frac{\BM(\Bx’) \cross \ncap}{r}.
\end{aligned}

### Final results.

Assembling things back into a single multivector equation, the complete inversion integral for $$\BM$$ is

\label{eqn:emtProblemSet1Problem5AppendixGA:600}
\BM(\Bx)
=
\inv{4 \pi} \oint_{\partial V} dA’
\lr{
\spacegrad’ \wedge
\frac{\BM(\Bx’) \wedge \ncap}{r}
-\frac{\gpgradeone{ \rcap \ncap \BM(\Bx’) }}{r^2}
}
+
\inv{4 \pi} \int_V dV’ \lr{
\frac{\rcap}{r^2} s(\Bx’) –
\frac{\rcap}{r^2} \cross \BC(\Bx’) }.

This shows that vector $$\BM$$ can be recovered uniquely from $$s, \BC$$ when $$\Abs{\BM}/r^2$$ vanishes on an infinite surface. If we restrict attention to a finite surface, we have to add to the fixed solution a specific solution that depends on the value of $$\BM$$ on that surface. The vector portion of that surface integrand contains

\label{eqn:emtProblemSet1Problem5AppendixGA:640}
\begin{aligned}
\gpgradeone{ \rcap \ncap \BM }
&=
\rcap (\ncap \cdot \BM )
+
\rcap \cdot (\ncap \wedge \BM ) \\
&=
\rcap (\ncap \cdot \BM )
+
(\rcap \cdot \ncap) \BM

(\rcap \cdot \BM ) \ncap.
\end{aligned}

The constraints required by a zero triple product $$\spacegrad’ \cdot (\BM(\Bx’) \cross \ncap(\Bx’))$$ are complicated on a such a general finite surface. Consider instead, for simplicity, the case of a spherical surface, which can be analyzed more easily. In that case the outward normal of the surface centred on the test charge point $$\Bx$$ is $$\ncap = -\rcap$$. The pseudoscalar integrand is not generally killed unless the divergence of its tangential component on this surface is zero. One way that this can occur is for $$\BM \cross \ncap = 0$$, so that $$-\gpgradeone{ \rcap \ncap \BM } = \BM = (\BM \cdot \ncap) \ncap = \BM_{\textrm{n}}$$.

This gives

\label{eqn:emtProblemSet1Problem5AppendixGA:620}
\BM(\Bx)
=
\inv{4 \pi} \oint_{\Abs{\Bx – \Bx’} = r} dA’ \frac{\BM_{\textrm{n}}(\Bx’)}{r^2}
+
\inv{4 \pi} \int_V dV’ \lr{
\frac{\rcap}{r^2} s(\Bx’) +
\BC(\Bx’) \cross \frac{\rcap}{r^2} },

or, in terms of potential functions, which is arguably tidier

\label{eqn:emtProblemSet1Problem5AppendixGA:300}
\boxed{
\BM(\Bx)
=
\inv{4 \pi} \oint_{\Abs{\Bx – \Bx’} = r} dA’ \frac{\BM_{\textrm{n}}(\Bx’)}{r^2}
-\spacegrad \int_V dV’ \frac{ s(\Bx’)}{ 4 \pi r }
+\spacegrad \cross \int_V dV’ \frac{ \BC(\Bx’) }{ 4 \pi r }.
}

### Commentary

I attempted this problem in three different ways. My first approach (above) assembled the divergence and curl relations above into a single (Geometric Algebra) multivector gradient equation and applied the vector valued Green’s function for the gradient to invert that equation. That approach logically led from the differential equation for $$\BM$$ to the solution for $$\BM$$ in terms of $$s$$ and $$\BC$$. However, this strategy introduced some complexities that make me doubt the correctness of the associated boundary analysis.

Even if the details of the boundary handling in my multivector approach is not correct, I thought that approach was interesting enough to share.

# References

[1] C. Doran and A.N. Lasenby. Geometric algebra for physicists. Cambridge University Press New York, Cambridge, UK, 1st edition, 2003.