Wednesday, February 13, 2013

1302.2683 (S. J. van Enk)

The covariant description of field lines: application to linked beams of

S. J. van Enk
The concept of electric and magnetic field lines is intrinsically non-relativistic. Nonetheless, for certain types of fields satisfying certain {\em geometric} properties, field lines can be defined covariantly. More precisely, two Lorentz-invariant 2D surfaces in spacetime can be defined such that magnetic and electric field lines are determined, for any observer, by the intersection of those surfaces with spacelike hyperplanes. An instance of this type of field is constituted by the so-called Hopf-Ranada solutions of the source-free Maxwell equations, which have been studied because of their interesting topological properties, namely, linkage of their field lines. In order to describe both geometric and topological properties in a succinct manner, we employ the tools of Geometric Algebra (aka Clifford Algebra) and use the Clebsch representation for the vector potential as well as the Euler representation for both magnetic and electric fields. This description is easily made covariant, thus allowing us to define electric and magnetic field lines covariantly in a compact geometric language. The definitions of field lines can be phrased in terms of 2D surfaces in space. We display those surfaces in different reference frames, showing how those surfaces change under Lorentz transformations while keeping their topological properties. As a byproduct we also obtain relations between optical helicity, optical chirality and generalizations thereof, and their conservation laws.
View original:

No comments:

Post a Comment