Article ID: CBB322806876

When Fields Are Not Degrees of Freedom (2021)

unapi

We show that in the Maxwell–Lorentz theory of classical electrodynamics most initial values for fields and particles lead to an ill-defined dynamics, as they exhibit singularities or discontinuities along light-cones. This phenomenon suggests that the Maxwell equations and the Lorentz force law ought rather to be read as a system of delay differential equations, that is, differential equations that relate a function and its derivatives at different times. This mathematical reformulation, however, leads to physical and philosophical consequences for the ontological status of the electromagnetic field. In particular, fields cannot be taken as independent degrees of freedom, which suggests that one should not add them to the ontology.

...More
Citation URI
https://data.isiscb.org/isis/citation/CBB322806876/

Similar Citations

Article Alisa Bokulich; (2015)
Maxwell, Helmholtz, and the Unreasonable Effectiveness of the Method of Physical Analogy (/isis/citation/CBB591442121/)

Article Frisch, Mathias; (2002)
Non-Locality in Classical Electrodynamics (/isis/citation/CBB000200158/)

Article Francesco Nappo; (2021)
The double nature of Maxwell's physical analogies (/isis/citation/CBB554615043/)

Chapter Donatella Marmottini; Raffaele Pisano; (2017)
Nature-of-Science Teaching: notes on the Lagrangian Methods in Maxwell’s Electromagnetic Theory (/isis/citation/CBB808838171/)

Book Lange, Marc; (2002)
An Introduction to the Philosophy of Physics: Locality, Fields, Energy, and Mass (/isis/citation/CBB000201447/)

Article Jentschura, U. D.; Nándori, I.; (2014)
Attempts at a Determination of the Fine-Structure Constant from First Principles: A Brief Historical Overview (/isis/citation/CBB001421684/)

Article Rinat Magdievich Nugayev; (2016)
Maxwellian Electrodynamics Genesis and Development: Intertheoretic Context (/isis/citation/CBB895974945/)

Essay Review Nordmann, Alfred; (2000)
Heinrich Hertz: Scientific biography and experimental life (/isis/citation/CBB000110363/)

Article Assis, Andre Koch Torres; Reich, Karin; Wiederkehr, Heinrich; (2004)
On the Electromagnetic and Electrostatic Units of Current and the Meaning of the Absolute System of Units: For the 200th Anniversary of Wilhelm Weber's Birth (/isis/citation/CBB000501330/)

Article Helge Kragh; (2018)
The Lorenz-Lorentz Formula: Origin and Early History (/isis/citation/CBB110038655/)

Article Hona, Giora; Goldstein, Bernard R.; (2012)
Maxwell's Contrived Analogy: An Early Version of the Methodology of Modeling (/isis/citation/CBB001211045/)

Article Lazaroff-Puck, Cameron; (2015)
Gearing up for Lagrangian Dynamics: The Flywheel Analogy in Maxwell's 1865 Paper on Electrodynamics (/isis/citation/CBB001553278/)

Thesis Cameron Lazaroff-Puck; (2021)
What Theories Are Made Of: How Industry and Culture Shaped Maxwell's Theories of Electromagnetism (/isis/citation/CBB411319578/)

Article Brenni, Paolo; (2004)
Mechanical and Hydraulic Models for Illustrating Electromagnetic Phenomena (/isis/citation/CBB000770307/)

Article Stanley, Matthew; (2012)
By Design: James Clerk Maxwell and the Evangelical Unification of Science (/isis/citation/CBB001231540/)

Authors & Contributors
Lazaroff-Puck, Cameron
Rinat Magdievich Nugayev
Francesco Nappo
Marmottini, Donatella
D'Agostino, Salvo
Stanley, Matthew
Journals
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Substantia: An International Journal of the History of Chemistry
Ziran Kexueshi Yanjiu (Studies in the History of Natural Sciences)
Sudhoffs Archiv: Zeitschrift fuer Wissenschaftsgeschichte
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics
Spontaneous Generations
Publishers
Pavia University Press
Blackwell Publishers
Cambridge University Press
University of Minnesota
Concepts
Electromagnetism
Physics
Electrodynamics
Philosophy of science
Fields and field theory
Electricity; magnetism
People
Maxwell, James Clerk
Hertz, Heinrich Rudolph
Lorentz, Hendrik Antoon
Sommerfeld, Arnold Johannes Wilhelm
Gauss, Carl Friedrich
Weber, Wilhelm Eduard
Time Periods
19th century
20th century
Places
Great Britain
Europe
Comments

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment