Electrodynamics is concerned with answering a simple question: what is the force exerted on a test charge Q by some arbitrary configuration of charge? Griffiths does not achieve the equation that truly answers this until the tenth chapter; while powerful, the relationship is complex. My goal is to explore this overarching equation and the ideas directly preceding it, including the Liénard-Wiechert Potentials, Jefimenko’s Equations, and retarded time. In order to deal with the five dimensional nature of these equations I will make heavy use of Mathematica’s plotting and manipulation functions. My hope is to generate a number of graphical representations of these functions, some with simplifying assumptions made, and thereby expose their physical significance.

chnadellPost authorThese equations have 3 spacial dimensions, a time dimension, and a dimension that represents electric potential, magnetic vector potential, magnetic field, or electric field.

Yes, the Liénard-Wiechert potentials are those of a moving point charge, and the force equation I referenced is directly preceded by the equation for the electric field generated by a moving point charge. I see the potentials and fields as being very closely related, and it’s my hope to get some good graphical representations of all of them.

Jenny MagnesHow are these equations five dimensional? Are you going to model the electric field due to a moving charge?