Introduction and Summary of Results

Part of the Lecture Notes in Physics Monographs book series (LNPMGR, volume 11)


The primary purpose of this work is to determine an equation of motion for the classical Lorentz model of the electron that is consistent with causal solutions to the Maxwell-Lorentz equations, the relativistic generalization of Newton’s second law of motion, and Einstein’s mass-energy relation. (The latter two laws of physics were not discovered until after the original works of Lorentz, Abraham, and Poincaré. The hope of Lorentz and Abraham for deriving the equation of motion of an electron from the self force determined by the Maxwell-Lorentz equations alone was not fully realized.) The work begins by reviewing the contributions of Lorentz, Abraham, Poincaré, and Schott to this century-old problem of finding the equation of motion of an extended electron. Their original derivations, which were based on the Maxwell-Lorentz equations and assumed a zero bare mass, are modified and generalized to obtain a nonzero bare mass and consistent force and power equations of motion. By looking at the Lorentz model of the electron as a charged insulator, general expressions are derived for the binding forces that Poincaré postulated to hold the charge distribution together. A careful examination of the classic Lorentz-Abraham derivation reveals that the self electromagnetic force must be modified during the short time interval after the external force is first applied. The resulting modification to the equation of motion, although slight, eliminates the noncausal pre-acceleration that has plagued the solution to the Lorentz-Abraham equation of motion.


Electromagnetic Force Power Equation Bare Mass Rigorous Derivation Power Series Solution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

Personalised recommendations