Foundations of Physics

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 337–368 | Cite as

Positive- and negative-frequency parts of D'Alembert's equation with applications in electrodynamics

  • Boris Leaf


It is shown that in every gauge the potential of the electromagnetic field in the presence of sources is resolved by an extension of the Helmholtz theorem into a solenoidal component and an irrotational component irrelevant for description of the field. Only irrotational components are affected by gauge transformations; in Coulomb gauge the irrotational component vanishes: the potential is solenoidal. The method of solution of the wave equation by use of positive- and negative-frequency parts is extended to solutions of D'Alembert's equation, and applied to equations satisfied by the potential in Coulomb gauge and the electric and magnetic vectors. Fourier transforms of potentials specifying destruction/creation operators become time dependent in the presence of sources. Our central equation states this time dependence. Frequency parts of Maxwell's equations are obtained. When the retarded potential in Coulomb gauge is resolved into kinetic and dissipative components, the latter is shown to be in radiation gauge. Correspondingly, the energy/stress tensor is resolved into three components; the power/force density, into two: a kinetic and a dissipative component. Work done by the latter component is negative: energy and momentum are dissipated from matter to radiation. Boson quantization conditions are satisfied by the kinetic component of the retarded potential, but commutators of the dissipative component are determined by the current sources. The energy/stress tensor and Hamiltonian of the field in the presence of sources are derived from the classical Lagrangian density. The relation between the Hamiltonian and the energy is shown to agree with the time dependence of the destruction/creation operators in Heisenberg picture.


Quantization Condition Gauge Transformation Magnetic Vector Lagrangian Density Frequency Part 
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© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Boris Leaf
    • 1
  1. 1.Seattle

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